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As I read “American Pi” (11/30) by Sean Daly in the last issue of the Washington City Paper, I was distressed to realize the poor spirit it was written in. It’s Academic is a wonderful Washington tradition that has been enriching the lives of area teenagers for the past 41 years. It is a shame that Daly wrote his article without the respect that this institution deserves.

Daly apparently thinks that the teenagers who participate in the show are the proverbial “nerds,” “geeks,” and “brainiacs” that he refers to. He envisions pimple-covered faces, pocket protectors, and large, clumsy glasses. While this might fit a twisted stereotype, it does not do justice to the teenagers on the show. I am a participant on the show, but I also find time to be a varsity swimmer and member of my school crew team. My friend Harry (whom Daly incorrectly calls Henry) is an avid fencer; a former schoolmate of mine, Nathaniel, who is also featured in the article, is a leading actor in Madison High School’s plays and a member of the tennis team. It’s Academic is merely one facet of our lives. We are normal people, without said pocket protectors, who happen to take pride in the fact that we are good at remembering trivia. We appreciate the support of our schools, cheerleaders and all, because they recognize the work that we put in to represent them. Apparently, school spirit is not high on Daly’s list of commendable virtues in a teenager.

It’s Academic is not an “MTV Beach House for brainiacs” but a field in which teenagers represent their school. Apparently, Daly cannot accept that “nerds” can be successful. He is clearly still holding a grudge against them because he didn’t have the brain power to be one of them. Daly is still stuck in high school, and his sophomoric article does not deserve to be printed in your newspaper.

Oakton, Va.