Sheehy’s World History classes compete for doughnuts through trivia

March 15, 2018 — by Anishi Patel and Sandhya Sundaram

Sheehy's classes face off in weekly trivia tournaments that motivate students to study. 

Amidst learning about Totalitarianism and World War I, sophomores in World History teacher Jerry Sheehy’s classes spend time at the end of every week for the class competition.

Sheehy says the competition is a weekly trivia showdown between his three world history classes in order to “spice things up.” He asks the class questions that range from American history and presidents to topics such as boy bands or baseball. Each individual period must collaborate to answer questions and earn points for the class’s overall score.

In the past, Sheehy has asked questions like “What’s the rapper Snoop Dogg’s real name?” and “Who is the oldest living president?”

“We’ve done positive things with the competition — one year, I had pitted the classes against each other in the canned food drive,” Sheehy said. “Between my three classes, we brought in more canned food than the rest of the school.”

For sophomore World History student Claire Smerdon, the trivia contest is nice break from the routine.

“When you’re stressed and have a lot of things on your plate, it's nice to be able to forget that for a few minutes and be competitive,” Smerdon said.

But the class competition isn't always about productivity or even relaxation; Sheehy likes to stimulate his students’ competitive nature.

“It’s always fun to have bragging rights over your classmates,” Sheehy said. “The whole mantra of ‘We beat you!’ or ‘We’re ahead of you!’ is enjoyed by all the students.”

At the end of the semester, the winning period is promised the alluring prize of doughnuts, and according to sophomore Abhay Manchala, the first semester winning class, Sheehy’s fourth period, is still waiting for their prize.

Regardless, Manchala said that the class competition is a great way to engage the class, and for him to hear from students that he would not speak to otherwise.

“It really makes the class come alive,” Manchala said. “Although it does get loud, and it’s not really school based or curriculum based.”

Even when contests get competitive in the heat of the moment, Manchala has not encountered students who are extremely set on winning.

“If we miss a question or something, it’s annoying, but I’m not going up to people in second period saying, ‘hey guys, we’re totally gonna beat you in the class competition!’” Manchala said.



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