The day of the 1998 Kern County Academic Decathlon Competition, I found myself on the Bakersfield College campus for some time with nothing to do. As I looked at a billboard, I saw a poster advertising “Patrick Combs, author ‘My $95,000 Adventure.’” The day before I had been checking links on my web page, and noticed a link I have to Patrick Combs’s home page.
My mom and I ate dinner at the Burger King on Columbus in Bakersfield near Bakersfield College the night of the 1998 Kern County Academic Decathlon Competition, and on the wall was the painting “Nighthawks” by Edward Hopper. Nighthawks, was of course, one of the paintings which I studied as a member of West Highs 1996-1997 Academic Decathlon team.
I wrote the article for the Saga about the 1998 Kern County Academic Decathlon competition on Sunday and took it in Monday morning for the Saga staff to put on the page. When I got there, Mr. Heiselt was talking about “My Fair Lady,” which was the movie based on the play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. Pygmalion was, of course, one of the novels I studied as a member of West Highs 1996-1997 Academic Decathlon team.
I stood before the refrigerator, and as I picked up a piece of string cheese, my mom asked me “Is there any cheese left?”
One afternoon I had been at home, sick, and as I was sitting there Gwydyr meowed at me. I looked at her, and then at the food I was eating, and realized that she probably hadn’t eaten for some time. Awhile later my mom came in, looked around and asked me what Gwydyr had been eating since she wouldn’t go in the rest of the house where the food was since my brother had gotten his dog.
I had been talking to Ms. Kiser on the telephone, and the topic of people not knowing how to pronounce her last name came up. She said people got confused because the ‘a’ had been left out. So this got me talking about how Julius Caesar was pronounced Ki-zer, as there are no soft c’s in latin. Where, after all, do you think the German title Kaiser came from? And the Russian title tzar, Csar came from? After the phone call, I got on IRC, and one of the first things that Mr. Pi asked me was something about Caesar. When I finally went to read, I picked up Deadeye Dick, by Kurt Vonnegut. Halfway through Chapter 2 of that novel, Vonnegut writes “He said that the original [house] might have been a medieval granary built on the ruins of a Roman watchtower from the time of Juilius Caesar. Caesar was
murdered two thousand years ago.”
I had been reading Deadeye Dick, by Kurt Vonnegut, and I came across a passage which read “She [Eleanor Roosevelt] was visiting war plants in the boondocks to raise morale.” This passage referred to an event which occurred during World War II, and a person might have been very likely to ask of Mrs. Roosevelt “How is the war effort going?” Shortly after reading that passage, I walked into Mrs. Jacobs room, and the first thing she said to me was “How goes the war effort?”