How to Survive for 26 Hours Straight With Only Caffeine, Trivia, Challenges, and More Caffeine: An Inside Look Into Kaleidoquiz

If you are around campus during the first weekend of March, you may notice some strange things occurring. Such as: students running around frantically trying to count the exact number of steps in Beardshear Hall or finding out what the exact time is on the clock tower down Welch Avenue. People might be riding bikes down the street taking pictures of nonsense things and others will be wearing outrageous outfits trying to sing karaoke at the radio station. The c-stores will have nearly depleted their stocks of caffeine and sugary snacks as people desperately try to stay awake at four in the morning with smooth jazz playing irritatingly from the radio station everyone is tuned into.

This is Kaleidoquiz, the 26 hour trivia competition that I competed in for the first time last year and have been looking forward to since the minute it ended in 2012. When I say 26 hours, I mean 26 hours. It’s a two day event…straight. Every five minutes, a new trivia question is read on the air of the KURE radio station, a local Ames alternative station that hosts this massive competition every year. The questions range in point value and trying to Google them is a lost cause; they’re more like riddles than actual trivia questions. My team last year set up in our den, and during the questions we got together and tried to come up with an answer to call in. We kept a running point total on a rented projector, and a monitor in the corner displayed the five minutes ticking down. Sometimes we could get the answer, sometimes not. However, the never-ceasing barrage of questions is not the only way a team can get points. Challenges are issued almost every hour, sometimes multiple at once. Last year, they held a human dog show. Two people competed in an obstacle course, one as a “trainer” and the other as the “dog” (see picture). Of course, costumes won extra points. Video games challenges are common, such as Mario Kart and Minecraft, and my team usually dominates at those! A game of Quidditch was played one year, as well as a 70’s themed basketball 3-on-3 tournament. Last year, I participated in the KQ opera challenge, where we had until the early morning hours to make (and perform) an opera. The challenges are designed to be funny and ridiculous, such as a Zoolander fashion show, KQ Idol, and, of course, the scavenger hunts. These hunts involve tracking down some of the most obscure objects known to man, such as receipts from seven different stores, pictures at random locations, a jury duty slip for a county other than Story (where Ames is), and plenty more. Three of these hunts are issued throughout the duration of KQ, and we have a couple of hours to gather as much as we can and bring it to the KURE studio. Finally, there is the infamous traveling question. Because KQ is so long, a road trip question is given to us every year. Past locations have included Dubuque, Montreal, the Twin Cities, and Chicago. Once there, the team members are given tasks to do, such as find something in particular and take a picture of it, find a KURE staff member, among others.

Once KQ winds down, the awards ceremony usually consists of most of the teams trying not to fall asleep on each other while the awards for the top five teams are read, as well as other special categories such as Nerdiest Team, which we won last year and got a Super Nintendo system as a prize. Then it’s off to actually eat a real meal while trying not to fall asleep in our food…and not always succeeding at that. KQ is crazy, fast-paced, challenging, but most of all, fun. The questions are fun to search, the challenges are ridiculous and entertaining, and working together with our teammates and trying to do all of these things together as a group…priceless. Give KQ a try this year, registration is open now!

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KQ participants as a “trainer” and a “dog” before taking the dog to the obstacle course…anything for KQ points!

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-Posted by Katie


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