The Great Scattergories Debate: Elena Walz vs. Ms. Barclay


Photo by: Alicia Dofelmier

Elena Walz ’22 Ready to Crush Ms. Barclay ’94

Alicia Dofelmier, Staff Writer

If you had been around after school last Friday the 11th and happened to look into Room 208, you would’ve witnessed a legendary game of Scattergories. Ms. Barclay ‘94, Elena Walz ‘22, Anna DiCrisi ‘22, Mr. Stegink, and even myself, for a few minutes that is, were all playing Scattergories. For those of you who do not know what Scattergories is, let me explain. The objective of the game is to score points by naming objects within a set of categories, given an initial letter, within the time limit. Now, Ms. Barclay claims that Elena’s victory was fraudulent, but I wanted to give the Royal community the chance to decide for themselves the ultimate question: Did Elena really cheat to win in Scattergories? Before you make your decision however, let me provide you with all the facts.

First, here is Elena’s opinion. Let me take you back to a little earlier that day during office hours when Elena decided to wear the dress that has been hanging in Ms. Barclay’s room (see featured image). When asked why she continued to wear it even during the game of Scattergories, Elena shared, “I just saw the dress and I was feeling the Christmas spirit. I wanted to show Ms. Barclay that I could still crush her even while wearing a ridiculous dress and clearly I proved my point.” Now you are probably beginning to put together an image in your head of a confident Elena ready to crush Ms. Barclay. Well, when the dice was rolled, the letter “M” came up and one category was “desserts.” As her answer, Elena put down “Marzipan Mascarpone Meringue Madness,” which scored her four points. Now, even though that may not be a real cake, Elena argues that it still counts, and I for one, support her. BBC Foods even has a recipe for it! 

Now, onto Ms. Barclay’s opinion. “This is what happened.  It’s not just my view of what happened.  It’s definitely what happened.  If Mr. Stegink wasn’t so tired from having a 4 week old baby at home, he would corroborate, but he’s useless and, thus, we must accept my version of events. I invited Elena and Anna to play Scattergories with Mr. Stegink because it seemed like these two troubled students were lonely and had no friends.  During List 2, the letter M was rolled.  Although I did not know at the time that Elena had been studying all the Scattergories lists for weeks and had practice in using this same list (List 2) with the letter M, I now understand that this was the case. We’ll get to that later. One of the items on the list happened to be ‘Dessert.’ After the time ended, Elena announced her dessert was something ridiculous and IMAGINARY from a show she’s too old to be watching called My Little Pony.  It was something like ‘Marscapone Meringue Madness Mudpie.’ I scoffed at that answer, but it was determined that the answer was acceptable because Mr. Stegink had a headache and did not like our arguing back and forth.

Because I am an upstanding Catholic woman and an educator with a heart of pure gold, I thought it was my higher purpose to allow Elena’s answer, seeing as how Jesus might have allowed it if he was playing Scattergories.  However, deep inside, I knew I was breaking a moral rule I never break in allowing Elena’s answer to be scored as 4 points (because it counted as one dessert with the same letter back to back to back to back.)  It should have been scored as 0 points. I fought the urge to throw the gameboard directly at Elena, but then I saw the flicker of fear in Anna DiCrisi’s eyes, as though she was warning me that Elena might high kick me if I provoked her. Since I know Elena is an elite athlete and because I have a small child who needs me at home, I decided to remain calm.

A Very Fearful Ms. Barclay ’94 (Photo Credit: Rosary Facebook)

When school resumed, the issue came up in class.  While technically I did place second to last in the Scattergories game we played, it was only because I was thrown off by this earlier event. I will say that Sophia Kondo ‘22, who is an honest young person, said I was right and that Elena’s answer should not have counted.  I think we all can agree that Sophia Kondo would never lie, and I felt vindicated. 

Yet later that evening, two students sent me video links of how to cook a Marscapone Marachino Merinque Madness Cake (or whatever it’s called), yet I still feel Elena’s answer was unacceptable because it’s an IMAGINARY dessert from an IMAGINARY land of little ponies that DON’T ACTUALLY EXIST.  That’s what happened and my account is totally accurate without any embellishment whatsoever no matter who tells you otherwise.  Also, Elena cheated because she was studying Scattergories for weeks (possibly months) and she had practiced List 2 with the letter M.  She admitted this in class and the shame in the air was palpable.”  

Now, personally I see no harm in Elena’s practicing.  Think of it like this, you study for a test to do well and if you know all the answers on that test that’s a good thing. So, basically you could say that Elena was studying for a Scattergories test.  However, I know there are some who do not agree with this. 

Well, Royals that is the story of the great Scattergories debate. Now that you have all the facts, you are able to decide for yourself: Is Ms. Barclay right? And, if she is, does that forever put an asterisk next to Elena’s Scattergories win? Feel free to weigh in in the comment section. 

1/2 Edit: According to Mr. Stegink it turns out that he will not corroborate to Ms. Barclay’s view of what happened. Since I am an honest reporter I wanted to give him the opportunity to share with the Royal community his point of view. Here is what Mr. Stegink thinks happened, “Elena made a risky, yet completely legitimate move in the game. Her answer was based in a current, existing fandom (my little pony). Barclay is not a part of that fandom but that doesn’t matter. I don’t watch sports but that doesn’t give me the power to veto all sports-based answers in the game.

When Elena revealed her answer, she impressed/convinced enough other players of the game to give her credit. This is part of Scattergories. You can technically make up every answer but it is then incumbent on you each time to convince a majority of your opponents that the play was legit. Elena did this and she did it well. Technically, she didn’t have to convince anyone since her answer was already legitimate as per my first point. Elena claims she won and that she won big. While it is true that she won the round, she came nowhere close to winning the GAME. After three rounds, I won by a clear margin and I have the receipts to prove it. No amount of claims of fraud or appeals to the courts will overturn this legitimate victory.

Mr. Stegink’s Winning Scattergories Ticket (Photo Credit: Ms. Barclay ’94)

Apparently, Barclay feels she had several legitimate answers that were not given credit during the game so in the world of her mind, she won. Whatever helps her sleep at night, I guess. She clearly did not win however for the same reason Elena succeeded with her 4-point answer. The jury of her peers was not convinced at the time of play. By continuing to play, Barclay showed she agreed with the will of the rest. If she truly felt robbed, she should have filed an appeal at the moment and filibustered until the matter was thoroughly resolved.

If either Ms. Walz or Ms. Barclay feels the game was unfair, perhaps they should consider the junior version of the game an adequate substitute.”

Well Royals, once again it is now up for you to decide whose point of view you feel is correct.