Monday, April 25, 2016

Homer Wins: A Recap of Martia Dementia 2016

An image of the final
Martia Dementia bracket.
The path to victory appeared to be wide open. Augustus crushed his competition like bricks and left marble in his wake. Last years finalists, Lucan and the returning champion Euclid, both fell in the second round, and having delivered a decisive blow to Alexander the Great, the emperor seemed to be on the cusp of victory. But Augustus underestimated the epic bard Homer. Homer, who delivered to the world the epics the Iliad and the Odyssey. Homer, who, as a 5 Seed, rolled over the likes of Sophocles and Plutarch, and just as easily beat Hesiod and Ovid. Homer beat Augustus 157-4 to win the 2016 Martia Dementia competition. Much like last year, many narratives came out of the bracket as voting created conflict between these authors, philosophers, and political figures, and there was plenty of opportunity for others; imagine if Ovid had beat Homer and was given the opportunity for vengeance? These narratives and the success of Martia Dementia happened all thanks to our participants.

Don't ask B-C's Connor Hart about what happens when
you have Caesar and Michigan State going all the way.
The response to Martia Dementia was again overwhelming, building off last years success. I would like to thank all the teachers, professors, friends, students, and anyone I may have left out for their participation. I would also like to take time to acknowledge and congratulate the following for their success in this years competition. First, to Ryan Schumacher of the Bullis School, who only had two picks in the Sweet Sixteen, I say congratulations for having the most abysmal bracket! To Derrick Thomas III, also of the Bullis School, who, with only one correct pick in the Final Four, still managed to pick up 43 points, I would also like to say congratulations for taking third place! To Ruth Loop of the Thomas Dale High School, who managed to slip into second place with 44 points despite having one finalist, Augustus, going no further than the Sweet Sixteen, I would like to say congratulations for finishing in second place! Lastly, I congratulate the Brookfield Academy Upper School, sponsored by their teacher Ruth Osier, who, having 75% of the Final Four correct and nothing but right picks from there, won this years Martia Dementia!

Still disappointed in how your brackets turned out? Want to prepare for a better outing next year? Osier let us know what it took to make her classroom a winning one: 
Several (basketball) students were very amused by the idea of Greeks and Romans facing off.  Heated debates began on Vergil vs. Plautus or Pompey vs. Trajan.  Since there was such controversy, I instructed the debaters to fill out brackets and I would take the most common threads and send a copy to enter in the contest.  Around a dozen students turned in forms to me.  Once it was submitted, copies of our bracket were distributed to all students with an explanation of how to vote.  Then we left on spring break and I assumed the students would forget to vote and it would end then.  But when we returned they were excited that most (not all) of their picks were still in the running.  As each round concluded and voting began again, I allowed the students to have a couple minutes at the beginning of class that day to vote.  When we arrived at the final four the students started to get friends and relatives to vote.  At the end of the tournament, every day the students asked if I had heard if we won because our choices seemed to move on at every level.  When I was able to announce Victoria est nobis! cheers broke out.  The students enjoyed the fun of the competition and I enjoyed introducing names and history lessons to the students who didn’t know all the teams.
A Roman copy of a bust of Homer,
in the British Museum, London.
Perhaps with the debates and controversy the road to victory got off to a bumpy start, but it would seem things ran smoothly once Osier found common threads in her classrooms brackets. After that, all it took was a little outside support, some dedication and cooperation, and a lot of votes, for the Brookfield Academy Upper School to take home the spolia victoriae. Congratulations again!

Looking forward to next years Martia Dementia? Already counting down the days? Want to see an author, politician, or philosopher who did not make it into this years bracket? Would you rather see gods and goddesses versus heroes versus beasts? Tweet @BCPublishers what and who you would like to see, and include the hash tag #MartiaDementia or give feedback in the comments below. Did you have questions or comments about how this years competition went? Were you able to find ways to incorporate Martia Dementia into the classroom, or do you have ideas of how you might next year? Comment below–I would love to hear from you!