I just searched for my name through the archives of the Staten Island Advance (the local Staten Island newspaper), and I found some gems. This post is purely self-promotional, and I doubt anyone other than my parents will appreciate it, but too bad.
In 4th Grade I participated in a debate discussing whether Staten Island should secede from New York City. Knowing what I know now, I would have just given it to Jersey, but back then I was in favor of secession. But take note that I was always a champion of a Republican form of government, stressing the importance of equalrepresentation. I note the irony that even at the age of 10, I was *shrugging.*
Never before has the preservation of trees become such a secession priority. But when Lucille Tannis’ fourth-grade class discussed the topic yesterday, saving trees was issue one.
Joshua Blackman pointed out that an Island city would be broken into 15 districts “to make sure every neighborhood is represented.”
“But what are you going to do about the dump?” said one student, challenging him during the question-and-answer portion of his speech.
“I might try to recycle or something,” said Joshua with a shrug of his shoulders a response not unlike those seen from some bureaucrats confronting the issue.
I was the Jewpardy Chapmion at JCC Summer Camp 2 years running. They would not let me participate a 3rd year. Would’ve probably three-peated. The prize? Sweet $200 worth of Geoffrey Bucks. Quite the prize for a 12 year old. If I recall, I purchased a copy of NBA Live ’96 for the PC. Shaq was on the cover, still in a Magic Jersey. Ah, the memories.
And, in an odd twist of fate, the final question in 1996 was “What was the Balfour Declaration?” I nailed that question.
In 2010, a question on Judge Boggs’s Judicial Knowledge Quiz was “What was the Balfour Declaration?” Nailed it again.
At stake was $200 in Geoffrey Bucks in what had been an unusual activity for a day camp — an intellectual challenge called Jewish Jeopardy.
Six semi-finalists among seventh and eighth-graders at the Jewish Community Center’s Lillian Schwartz Day Camp, Sea View, squared off last week, having survived eight weekly rounds of competition.
And the winner is a lad by the name of Josh Blackman.
Although color wars is the usual way to cap a summer of softball, swimming and other physical activities, the JCC decided this year to add a cultural-educational aspect to the agenda and it proved so popular that it’s sure to become a fixture, reports Ruth Lasser, JCC’s director of communication.
Each week, the contestants were given packets with information about Jewish holidays, Jerusalem or Israel and quizzed Jeopardy style. In other words, they would be given an answer and would have to provide the right question. While the preliminaries dealt with that week’s packet, the finals covered all eight weeks of material.
Oh — what, you ask, are Geoffrey Bucks? They are bills redeemable dollarfor- dollar at Toys R’ Us and Kids R’ Us stores. Geoffrey is a giraffe whose picture appears on each bill.
The picture was not reproduced, but there was this photo of me looking pensively at my teammates
Caption: Mapping a debate strategy are, from left, Eric Hoff, Adam McCauley, Jeffrey Orlowski and Joshua Blackman, all members of the debate team at Bernstein Intermediate School, Huguenot.
First Prize in the Staten Island science fair for 8th Graders. Natch. I think I made ice cream using Liquid Nitrogen.
I participated in a Summer Research program at High School and we worked on building robots and the like.
Caption:Students Stephen Milone, left, James Lee, J.T. Quadrino and Joshua Blackman prepare to launch their “Scrambler” vehicle.
Only second prize in the 9th and 10th grade category for Staten Island. Letdown.
Even though I only took 2nd Prize (and no cash prize) at the Staten Island fair, I won a $200 Prize at the annual New York City Science Math and Technology Expo. I basically froze crap with Liquid Nitrogen and observed what happened.
And Joshua Blackman, a sophomore, received $200 for his project called “To Freeze or Not to Freeze? That is the Question.”
First Prize, again, in the Staten Island Science Fair.
There are more memories, I’m sure. But these are fun.