“It’s Academic” found a new home at the World MediaNet studio at National Harbor. But then the coronavirus pandemic hit, and assembling contestants, coaches, fans, production staff and host Hillary Howard in the same room wasn’t a good idea.
Everyone scrambled, and the show was put together on Zoom. It’s still broadcast Saturdays at 10 a.m. on Channel 4.
“It’s a program that touches so many people, and it has such a wide reach,” Trepanier said. “Our coaches and students are so sincerely supportive. Emails have been pouring in: ‘We’re all in for next year. What can we do to help?’ ”
Trepanier declined to put a price tag on sponsorship but said a sponsor gets a lot for its money.
“We offer a unique advertising opportunity. In our show, every single shot has some sort of, well, right now, Giant sign,” she said. “When students thank parents and coaches, they almost always thank Giant, too. I feel a sponsor is embedded in the show. You see so much of the sponsor, visually.”
In the D.C. area, 81 schools participate. Another 81 compete in the Baltimore version. Central Virginia has “It’s Academic,” too.
The supermarket chain said it will be advancing healthy eating initiatives in the region, increasing food security and access to nutritious foods. In a statement, the company said: “Giant will always be a fan of ‘It’s Academic’ and wishes the show continued success in the future.”
This year marked a milestone for “It’s Academic.” While the show has been around long enough for the children of previous contestants to have competed, this season saw the first appearance of a grandchild of a previous contestant.
In the 1960s, Allen Chin was a member of Anacostia High School’s “It’s Academic” squad. Last month, his grandson Noah Chin competed on the McLean High team — virtually, of course.
McLean defeated Sherwood and Justice high schools.
I’m told that neither of Noah’s parents competed on “It’s Academic.” I hope he’s not lording that over them.
Every societal shift requires a new vocabulary. The coronavirus pandemic has inspired friends Polly Sturm and Claire Carlin of Chevy Chase, Md., and Polly’s niece, Molly Peterson, to come up with covid-related expressions.
For example: “Shot luck” (noun). That’s a dinner gathering you can have indoors, with a group of friends who are two weeks past their second shot.
“Puckle” is a verb that describes the act of pressing a public elevator or ATM button with one’s knuckle to prevent coronavirus contamination.
A “masket” is a handy container in which stray masks are stored.
“Glog” is mask-induced eyeglasses fog.
Have you come up with any covid coinages?
Have you tried turning it off?
On Monday, I recounted the mysterious disappearance of a month’s worth of my emails.
Apparently I’m not alone in being victimized by computers.
The District’s Ted Mastroianni said that when he calls his adult children for help with his computer, they laugh and say, “Dad, you are the only natural enemy of modern technology.”
Nick De Cerchio of Lewes, Del., said his computer plays favorites. It hates him but loves his wife.
“Maybe it is because I cannot tolerate its flaws and crashes, and cuss it out at least twice a day, while my wife caresses and cajoles it like a baby,” Nick wrote. “The computer seems to cooperate with my wife in everything, but knows immediately when I sit at it and starts acting up.”
Dennis Breen of Hyattsville, Md., has come to a different conclusion: “Computers are like dogs and can sense fear. Mine knows I’m afraid of it and, therefore, it knows it can do anything it wants and I’m helpless to make it do what I want it to do. But once I get the IT tech to stare into my screen, it quickly stops making trouble and behaves submissively.”
Dennis said that he gives all of his computers the same name: Cromwell — as in Oliver, not Thomas.
Correction: A previous version of this column gave an incorrect day for when “It’s Academic” airs. It airs at 10 a.m. Saturdays. The column has been corrected.
For previous columns, visit washingtonpost.com/john-kelly.