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English competition challenges students

April 11, 2002|By JENNIFER RALTON-SMITH

Staff Writer

With Professor Barbara Stuart's rapid-fire questions ranging from, "The Beatles lived in this submarine," to, "These six words begin Hamlet's famous soliloquy of indecision," students from six local high schools competed in Imperial Valley College's "Language Jeopardy!" competition Wednesday.

Vincent Memorial High School in Calexico won the event, with Central Union High School of El Centro and Brawley Union High School placing second and third, respectively.

The competition was part of the English division's IVC English Challenge 2002. In place as an annual event since 1984, the challenge is in the words of IVC English division chairman Fred Fischer, "a wonderful opportunity for juniors and seniors at our local high schools to come out to IVC and discover just how much we regard language as something to be celebrated."

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Guest speaker for the day-long event, British-born adventurer and author Graham Mackintosh, regaled the students with tales of his journeying south of the border and shared stories about his efforts to get published.

"I wanted to show the students how I got published and how I go about writing a book," he said, adding ruefully "and I also described how I deal with writer's block."

Mackintosh, author of "Into A Desert Place" and "Journey with A Baja Burro," was enthusiastic about his role in the event.

"I just love coming to something like this because I do feel it's nice to see someone getting inspired to think, ‘Hey, if this guy can write, maybe I can write, too!'"

And just in case you can't quite remember the color of that submarine — it was yellow. And Hamlet's angst-laden utterance started with "To be or not to be…"

>> On the Web: grahammackintosh.com

>> Staff Writer Jennifer Ralton-Smith can be reached at 337-3442 or dingo87@earthlink.net

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