GSEC Virtual Trivia Night!

By Sophie Goliber, PhD 2022

Participants of the first GSEC Zoom Trivia! They raised $130 for the Central Texas Food Bank!

Since I have written this article, we have been in quarantine for about 2 Months and 3 Days (who’s counting lol…) and MAN do I miss places. I miss restaurants, bars, and my friend’s houses. And in an effort to try to find something to do, GSEC has been coming up with anything to keep graduate students occupied. This led to the first ever GSEC Zoom Trivia night!

I was inspired by a friend of mine from high school, Haley Parker (apart from being one of my best friends, she’s an incredible comedian, who does improv and writes and performs hilarious parody songs). She hosted a couple of online trivia nights for her friends and I joined with my mom, who was all the way back in NY, as my teammate. Haley would read the questions out and my mom and I would text each other in the background to answer the questions on the Google form Haley supplied. It was an awesome way to spend a Tuesday night and connect with my mom and my friends back home. Before quarantine, I would often get some friends together in Austin for trivia at local bars, so this was a much welcome distraction from COVID life.

So, I decided I would host a trivia night for the Jackson’s school graduate students, and with help from Haley, I started getting my questions together! I was inspired by a few rounds that Haley had come up with about espionage, onomatopoeia, cocktails and added my own questions to some of hers. There was an audio round where everyone had to identify the song and artist from the first 20 seconds. I also included a visual round that was made up of “disaster movies” because we are an Earth Sciences school after all. Teams of up to 4 people could sign up and there was a $5 suggested donation to the Central Texas Food Bank.

Example of a question from the “Disaster Movies” visual round…do you know what this movie is from?

I ended up getting a really bad migraine when the trivia night was originally scheduled and was down and out for a few days, so we ended up doing it the following week. A big shout out to my fellow GSEC Officers and those that already signed up for their kindness and understanding on this. I was ready to barrel through but it was nice to be reminded that you can take a break, even if it’s from something as fun and undemanding as trivia may be! Take care of yourselves, not only during quarantine, but every day, y’all!

And so trivia went off without a hitch! We had 6 teams participating (and an additional non-player) and raised $130 for the Central Texas Food Bank! The winners were Team “lol no idea” (Nicole Guinn, Hunter Manlove and Rachel Ruthven) and Team “Cousehar” (Kelly Olsen, Stephen Ferenz, Heather Christensen, and Alison Tune). A big thank you to Kiara Gomez, who did all our scoring!

Best Wrong Answers:

  1. Who is considered America’s first spy? Paul Revere (2 groups said this!)
  2. What adventuring Dreamworks protagonist shares his name with a spasm of the diaphragm? Shrek
  3. Any cocktail recipe they didn’t know? Shots or “weird martini”
  4. Which city will host the 2028 Olympic Games? Time has ceased to have meaning


Just for fun, here’s an example of our last, theme-less round:

Round 7: General Trivia

  1. Which Apollo 11 astronaut did not set foot on the moon?
  2. In which year did Twitter launch?
  3. Of what is the sci-fi show Torchwood an anagram?
  4. Which colour pill does Neo swallow in The Matrix?
  5. Which city will host the 2028 Olympic Games?
  6. What number is found in reference to their varieties on Heinz products?
  7. Which US state was Joe Exotic a.k.a. the Tiger King’s G.W. Zoo based?


Answers (Disaster Movie image: The Day After Tomorrow; Round 7 General Trivia: 1. Michael Collins, 2. 2006, 3. Doctor Who 4. Red, 5. Los Angeles, 6. 57, 7. Oklahoma)