Monday, April 23, 2018

Martia Dementia Recap

The Final Martia Dementia Results

When (14) Vergil beat (3) Plato in the first round, everybody tore their brackets in two. I guess a showdown between (11) Homer and (14) Vergil, the two epic greats, was simply inevitable. (2) Hector and (3) Aeneas met in the contest that was marked by a Martia Dementia first—a tie—which was decided by the will of the fates (i.e., a coin flip). The returning champion, (1) Caesar, once again faced down and beat (1) Zeus. Just as Caesar presumed to extend his dictatorship for another year, victory was snatched away by none other than (3) Cincinnatus. Cincinnatus had been steadily overcoming foes Roman and Trojan to prevent Caesar’s enduring reign.

This was my first year in charge of the competition and I was continually inspired and humbled by your enthusiasm and participation. I would like to thank all the students, teachers, professors, and colleagues who made this year’s Martia Dementia a success. Now for the spolia! To Parker Birchard of the Bullis School, who made only 3 correct picks, I say congratulations for having the most abysmal bracket. To the Brookfield Academy students sponsored by the perennial Ruth Osier, I say congratulations for taking third place with a perfect Round of 32. To Ryan Shih of Dominion High School who made only 12 incorrect picks, I say congratulations for taking second place. Finally, I congratulate Nicholas Santana, who triumphantly seized first place with 3/4 correct picks in the Final Four and only 12 incorrect picks overall.

Still disappointed in how your brackets turned out? Want to prepare for a better outing next year? Heed the wise words of past years’ winners:

A Sample Martia Demetia Bracket
Ian Lobo (2017 winner): Well, I wouldn’t call my picks much of a strategy but more like educated guesses. My main way of choosing was who is more known by the people entering this contest, because I felt as if people would choose who they knew the most, as well as if the person they chose was good or bad. For the ones I didn’t know of, like Hesiod, a quick Google search provided me with the answer. As whether my strategy changed, not really but I just asked friends to just pick Caesar because he needs to win!

Ruth Osier (2016 winner, and 2018 third-place winner): 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.’

Our Champion, Cincinnatus (Wikimedia Commons)
Thanh Tran (2015 winner): I basically chose the authors whom I liked best in each pairing if not entirely at random. I may have asked a lot of my students to vote for my bracket.

Want to find out if Cincinnatus will maintain his title or relinquish it and return to his fields? We will need to wait till next year to see! Already counting down the days? Want to see an author, politician, or philosopher who did not make it into this year’s 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 year’s 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–we would love to hear from you!

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