Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


April 11, 2013

Geography wiz: It's just a hobby

High Plain fifth-grader one of state's top 100


For the National Geographic enthusiast, it’s a dream vacation.

Alistair was excited about the trip to Worcester, he said, because he got “to take a day off of school, and even better, it doesn’t count [as an absence] because I’m doing something,” he said.

In advance of heading to the state finals, Alistair said he didn’t plan on studying or reading back-issues of National Geographic.

Then again, he didn’t study or prepare for either of the two school bees he went through.

“I don’t think I’ll do anything because I didn’t do anything [at the school level],” he said. “If I goof up this round by studying, then I’d ruin whatever has gotten me this far.”

When asked if he’d at least brush up by reading material on Wikipedia, he frantically shook his head.

“I don’t trust Wikipedia that much because anyone can put something on it,” he scornfully said.

Unfortunately, Alistair won’t be going to the nation’s capitol. He was among the majority of state finalists — around 90 of the top 100 scorers from the Berks to the North Shore — who were knocked out in the first round of the bee in Worcester, his mother said.

The questions students faced were above and beyond what Alistair faced at High Plain Elementary, covering topics that Angela said were “really testing the kids.”

“He did well, but not good enough,” she said, with a chuckle. “He was part of the majority.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Pictures of the Week