Trivia question: Who in the Nueva community is awesome at bringing people together for an evening of fun?
Answer: That would be the one and only Nueva Communications/Website Manager Rachel Freeman!
Rachel has been a trivia buff for many years. She and her friends always enjoy getting together for a battle of wits, and she is sharing her love of knowledge with the Nueva community. Rachel recently hosted two trivia nights, one for Nueva seniors and the other for faculty and staff members.
It all began when Rachel read an email from Equity and Social Justice Director Alegria Barclay regarding a potential quiz night. Alegria and Allen Frost, director of the Innovative Teacher Program, hoped to plan an exciting evening for faculty and staff members. Rachel quickly jumped in to offer her experience and expertise, and soon it became a popular event.
“I have always loved seeing how much I know,” Rachel explained. “I grew up watching Jeopardy with my mom. Even in college, I watched Jeopardy daily with my two best friends. After I joined the workforce, I started a trivia team with my colleagues. Although some of us no longer work there, we still do monthly trivia nights. When the shelter-in-place order happened, we scheduled a weekly happy hour together and decided to run our own trivia night every other week.”
Rachel’s favorite category? Sports. “I’m a huge sports trivia buff,” she added. “Test me: I can tell you, in order, the team that won the World Series every year since I was born!”
The first trivia night for Nueva faculty and staff members was held on April 24, followed by a special trivia night for seniors on May 6. The students were randomly assigned to teams, while faculty and staff had the option of creating their own teams or being assigned to teams. Categories included general knowledge, TV shows and movies, sports, and geography. The faculty and staff participants even had a round dedicated to Queen of England music themes!
“Trivia offers an opportunity for people to socialize and have an activity that focuses them,” Rachel said. “Sometimes, I find that the conversations in general Zoom get-togethers can feel stilted. Trivia provides a great starting point for all sorts of conversations, and that puts people at ease.”
Rachel received many positive emails from her colleagues about trivia night. Interim Humanities Director & WRC Director Jennifer Paull noted Rachel’s fantastic stage presence and said she hopes there will be a faculty staff/student challenge in the future. Many people shared it was the most fun they have had during this stressful COVID-19 time.
“It was the most fun we’ve had in quite some time,” said Upper School physics teacher Barak Yedidia. “It was wonderful to hang out with our team and see everyone having so much fun.”
“Rachel hosted a spectacular trivia night for the seniors,” said Twelfth-Grade Dean Brian Cropper. “It was a perfect way to get together. We saw about 50 seniors over the course of the night."
According to Upper School Assistant Division Head Claire Yeo, Rachel’s presence was “marvelous” and the evening ran smoothly.
“The YouTube feed was seamless, and I loved you and Brian bopping in and out of our rooms like putti in a Renaissance painting,” Claire added. “I look forward to many more such events to come—you’re a legend!”
As for Rachel, she recently hosted another trivia night for a nonprofit agency, and she would love to host more trivia nights for her Nueva colleagues.
“I’d be happy to host this for other groups in the Nueva community,” she offered. “It’s so much fun to interact with people during this time in a casual, yet structured way. I’m an extrovert and I get my energy from being around other people, so I’ve really been missing that during this time. To be able to share my love of trivia with others is so wonderful for me! Who knows? Maybe we’ll start a monthly Nueva trivia team!”