History Society Pub Quiz: Reviewed

A review of History Society’s latest virtual pub quiz

After six long months away from the Bubble and its vitality, I needed to re-immerge into our unique events culture. But how to do that? Sitting at your desk and chatting to random people through a screen is certainly not the most captivating when your only desire is to relive the usual Friday nights, ending up in unmissable chips and gravy (to Empire or to Dervish, that is the question!).

Despite this personal reluctance towards technology, I started scrolling through my Facebook invitations to find the event I could consider the most bearable. Being the geek that I am, the History Society Pub Quiz seemed a fun opportunity to brush up some general knowledge and fun history facts, while providing an excuse to invite friends over (within government regulations, of course).

The History Society’s graphic is nice and clear, warm tones of red, beige, and navy blue confer that feel of professionality, while the wooden pub counter background just recalls the old better days. The event description is simple and direct, without all that unwanted cheesiness that makes you feel like you never made it past middle school; and the committee calls for “a historically fun time”. Overall the event seemed promising and not too time-consuming, while still filling an otherwise not-so-exciting Thursday night.

As my first social milieu back in town, I wanted to go big. I stormed M&S and bought whatever could make for a good aperitivo night (Italian antipasti, cheese, bread, crisps etc.), and of course booze could not be missed. Rushing back home because I did not check the time, we were thence fashionably late to the quiz. Luckily the committee expected that, so they spent a good fifteen minutes introducing themselves and the society.

After connecting to Kahoot, choosing a group name (which I won’t reveal due to a very disheartening final result), the quiz starts. To spice things up, my friends propose drinking every time we got a question wrong. I am confident, I do believe history has no secrets for me but since the first couple of questions I realise how wrong I am.

“Who slaughtered the dragon in the Saga of the Volsungs?”

“What was Egypt’s ancient capital?”

I believe that just the Ancient History round saw me have two drinks down. The Medieval and Early Modern round was no better with a huge confusion on how prostitutes were identified by the colour yellow in Renaissance Venice (we opted for red) or whether Edward I recognised any bastard. To our surprise, the worst was yet to come with Late Modern History when almost the totality of the quiz attendees realised that David Hume is not the “father of Scottish Enlightenment” (I admit I had never heard of Hutcherson before Thursday). At least we proudly knew New Zealand was the first country to allow women to vote and I did appreciate the questions dedicated to feminist history.

When we finally thought things were starting getting better, the general knowledge round was just like a roller coaster, ranging from alcohol consumption in Eastern Europe to Harry Potter’s cameos. Biggest shout out to my friend James for guessing every single flag they showed (peculiar hobby but definitely handy!). He actually saved our score from being completely disastrous. When the quiz finally ended, I saw relief in everyone’s faces and yet the craving for another round.

I think this is the feeling that sums up the event. Did I feel dumb more than half of the time? Yes. Did the questions make me doubt my academic journey? Surely. Would I do it again? Definitely!

Despite being miserable as a team and definitely downing too many glasses, we had fun. Me and my friends had a chance to meet up and chat and afterwards we just continued discussing the most controversial questions and enjoyed the rest of the night. The committee was lovely and a big shout-out to Sydney (from Maryland!) for being a great Events Officer. Finally, a huge congratulations to Azha, the winner, for being a true inspiration.

An online event might not be the best but if the organisers show their passion (as History Soc did), you spice it up with some drinking games and have the right company, then the St. Andrews’ magic returns.

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