Nobody beats the wiz.
THERE ARE NO PARADES OR PEP RALLIES for becoming Wisconsin’s champion in Microsoft Word, as Logan Mumper found out. The somewhat reserved but blazingly intelligent sophomore at Hamilton High School only told a couple of friends about his big win, and they told him he was destined to become the next Bill Gates. And he might be. Mumper, who nearly snagged the crowns for Excel and PowerPoint as well, plans to become an engineer (which kind he hasn’t decided), and Silicon Valley can always use more of those.
Mumper got this far by receiving a perfect score on a Word skills test normally given to adults, part of a new Microsoft program to inculcate students in its Office suite of programs at a young age. He’ll represent us all at a national competition in Atlanta in June, and maybe even at an international tournament to follow. Asked about the most difficult question on the exam, he re-enacted the process for turning on certain “non-printable characters” in Word but not others by flipping through layers of menus, clicking on boxes, furrowing his brow and testing the results. As the other kids talked amongst themselves and laughed, he worked with a quiet intensity. Later, he demonstrated an animated Mario figure he’d made using only Word macros.
Is there anything he doesn’t yet know about Microsoft’s word processor? He reflected for a moment. “I’m not sure,” he said. “I haven’t figured that out yet.”