Billions of blistering blue barnacles!

Billions of blistering blue barnacles
Gold Medal Winners: Damien, Xavier, Zackary and Tristan

Four students from the École des Jeunes Riverains in Saint-Anicet took home the gold medal during the Optimist Engineering Competition. Damien, Xavier, Zackary and Tristan defeated their fourth-grade competition from a dozen schools – from Saint-Anicet to Granby and from Beauharnois to Varennes via Île Bizard – by answering a barrage of questions, all having to do this year with the Adventure of Tintin book, Explorers on the Moon.
“If we can answer more than 1,000 questions, we will have done it,” said Zackary’s mother with enthusiasm. An impossible task? “Theoretically no,” would be the response of the famous Professor Calculus… Without a doubt, it was the amused patience of their fourth-grade teacher, Maryse, that helped immeasurably to encourage the four Tintin-ologists.

Billions of blistering blue barnacles!
Three of the four Optimist gold medal winners. Damien is absent from the picture.

It was patience that saw these four champions read and re-read the book depicting just one of many adventures from the mind of Belgian Remi Hergé. “Since January, we had to study an hour each day to prepare for the competition,” explained Xavier. “It was quite a discovery for me because I did not like to read. Now I can say that I love reading!”
It was far from child’s play for this group of ten-year-old students to qualify throughout the different stages of the competition. They had to cope with the stress of competition, in front of the judges and around 100 or so members of the audience. “I would press the button, hoping my answer was correct,” recalled Tristan. “You could look at the judges and see by their face if you gave the right answer. If not, would we be able to answer again? How many points is the famous spelling question worth? This one was the most difficult…

The critical question, the one that would determine the winning team: “What was the license plate number of the car that comes onto the airstrip? All eyes were on the team from Saint-Anicet. “I started to feel hot before I gave the right answer,” said one of the champions. A little later, the Head Judge announced that Zone 6 Saint-Anicet had won the competition with a score of 120 points, compared with 35 points from their nearest competitors.
The result of this story, the four students agree they are a super team of good friends.

Denise St-Germain
Volunteer Correspondent for the Haut-Saint-Laurent

Translation by Sarah Rennie
Volunteer Correspondent for the Haut-Saint-Laurent

Lise Guinard, Photographer

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One Response to "Billions of blistering blue barnacles!"

  1. L.O'Connor   May 12, 2017 at 9:50 AM

    What a great story! Congratulations to the students, who worked so hard. This will benefit them the rest of their lives. Of course, the teacher and the parents backed them up fully.
    This uplifting story made my day.
    L.O.