Just look at them. The members of the Hubris team. Proud as peacocks, holding the Next Erasmus Trophy, which is shaped like a brain. The team, consisting of EUR alumni and a current EUR student, botched their final, decisive assignment (as did the other finalists), which involved reproducing the bone structure of a hand.
“Our forte is our brains, not our hands. We are a little motorically challenged,” said Martijn Wols, the only current student in the group. “The trophy looks just like a stress ball. I wish I could take it to my work,” the 25-year-old public administration student and communication trainer went on.
The Hubris team managed to beat 22 other teams at the Erasmus Pavilion by answering all sorts of science-related questions correctly and very quickly. “This victory was a matter of life experience,” the victors were left to conclude.
“And of Rianne’s nimble fingers,” Mark Adriaans, a 30-year-old history graduate, added, referring to Rianne Nieuwdorp, 25, a former history student herself, who served as the team leader during the quiz and did an excellent job of it.
She got to know her eventual teammates through EUR’s Honours Programme, which they once took together. “The team we beat [in the final] represented the current Honours Programme. This definitely added a dimension to our joy” said Nieuwdorp.
About one hundred participants battled it out through an app on their mobile phones, as with a real TV quiz. Apart from a few dodgy moments, the technology worked just fine. A large screen showed images of professors asking the candidates questions in Dunglish.
“Why do humans have two eyes?” one of the academics asked after a somewhat long-winded story on the human eye.
This question proved too easy – except for Jur van der Beek, 21, whose group, RS Indoor Soccer, was the only group to provide an incorrect answer. Van der Beek said having two eyes is “an innate anomaly”. Naturally, the correct answer is that humans have two eyes to be able to gauge distance. “We are now ranked fourth. From the bottom,” the business administration student jokingly said.
This down-to-earth attitude served his group well, because gradually, RS Indoor Soccer began climbing the ranks. “This team is just like our indoor soccer club. We just keep on getting better,” Jur said, optimistically.
And by Jove, he was right. By the end of the evening, RS Indoor Soccer ranked fourth. They were just out of the medals, and just short of a place in the final, too. Nevertheless, the team were satisfied, said sociology student Anna Koster, 23. “We finished in the top-10. I’ll have a good night’s sleep tonight.”
The winning team, Hubris, had a few more formidable rivals for the victory. For instance, the Vicious & Delicious team were in the running for a top spot for a long time.
“What was the last country to give women the right to vote?” “Liechtenstein!” Russian Ilya Seryshev, 24, shouted. “I told you so,” he responded triumphantly after his answer had proved to be correct.
Eventually, the motley crew of Greek, Italian and Russian Master’s students in accounting and finance only just missed out on a berth in the final.