19 February 2013

Knowledge Bowl, Zagreb

12 little hours spent aboard a minivan: hurtling through wintry, desolate, and peopleless landscapes stranded together aboard this tiny space shuttle were two drivers, two teachers, and eight students. A journey to ascertain knowledge, to test the tenacity of one’s nerves, to challenge others’ views, to infringe rules and to get away with dodging rules, to shake hands with the opponents and congratulate them, and above all, to engage in endless logical deductions, “We were defeated by the fourthranking team, but we defeated the third-ranking team by a landslide, thus, we should be – what - second?” But we are not. No big deal. Because we had the best homeward journey: 12 hours of unflaggingly passionate philosophical discussions about books, society, anarchy. One against all, all joined together, profound and witty remarks of these scholars-in-the-making seemed to illuminate and heat-up the small space of the mini-van with the synergy that was almost synaesthetic. At times, bound to overhear the fledgling ‘philosophers’, the two teachers could not hide their amazement and snicker at the aptitude they demonstrated in adeptly switching from English into Macedonian, to the point that even the only non-native speaker of Macedonian in the heat of the moment (argument) fluently spoke Macedonian. United in this, the proud teachers laughed at them and with them. And the conclusion, “This was a good ride back home.” and “Now I see some people with different eyes.”