Our next contestant interview is with Kara Drotar, a senior in the Bible Bee this year. She’s been competing since 2010, and qualified for the semifinals every year since 2017.
Enjoy reading! (If you’re feeling nice, leave a comment below. 🙂 If you’d like to participate in a contestant interview, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with subject line “Contestant Interview”. Include your full name, BB division in 2021, and how many years you’ve participated in the Bible Bee.)
Favorite BB moment?
The semi-finalist announcements each year. I get so nervous leading up to them, and the relief, surprise, and joy of hearing my name called is indescribable, then to find out all the other friends that I get to be in semi-finals with.
Share a BB “inside” joke or event, something no one but BBers will understand.
David is better than Jason.
What do you love the most about the Bible Bee?
The competition and community of Bible Bee motivate me to memorize far more scripture than I ever would have on my own. I also love that Bible Bee forces me to slow down to memorize and study portions of the Bible I never would have chosen for myself.
How would you be different if the Bible Bee had not entered your life?
I don’t think I could even list all the ways I would be different. I don’t think I would be as firm in my faith without Bible Bee. God has used all the verses I’ve memorized in BB to inform what I believe and why I believe it. I’ve also memorized verses that have changed my idea of what I want/need my future to look like.
What has God taught you through the Bible Bee?
He’s taught me how helpless I am in my own strength, and how much I can trust Him. He’s also shown me how much more there is to be gained in losing (or having things not go according to my plans) than in success. And, that the only thing that will ever satisfy is Him. “So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like the rain, Like the spring rain watering the earth.” (Hosea 6:3)
Favorite study/memorization tip
Spaced repetition is my favorite concept. Review something just when you’re about to forget it, and you’ll strengthen your memory of it far more than if you had reviewed it sooner. If you start reviewing something early in the Bible Bee season, by the end you will only need to revisit it every few weeks.
What is your “before-Prelims” (or “before-Semis”, if you’re a previous semifinalist) routine?
I always try to eat “brain food” before every part of the competition. I review all my verses the day of orals/semi’s/finals. Before the test I read or recite the study passage and review my most missed facts. Before semi’s I do a little extra study on my weak points from the test. Immediately before/during I drink plenty of water and stop reviewing. And I pray every time before I go on stage.
Favorite verse/passage and why?
I love all of 2 Chronicles 20. Jehoshaphat is a great example of seeking God in trouble, rather than trying to handle the situation himself. Then we see the amazing way that God delivered Judah from an impossible situation.
Who is a Bible character you look up to and why?
I look up to King Josiah and the way he was committed to God’s word as soon as they discovered it. He sought God, read the whole law to the people, and started to follow it all. But also… Esther, David, Paul, Peter, Solomon, and Jehoshaphat.
If you could travel through time, which Bible period would you want to land into? Why?
I would love to land in the time of the early church. It must have been amazing to have the Spirit inside for the first time and to learn how Christ changed everything for their lives. It seems like it was a hard time, but also like they had a vibrant faith and community.
If someone asked you, “What do you believe?”, how would you answer them? Or, “What is faith?”
I believe in an eternal, sovereign, perfect God. I believe He created everything. I believe that my sin has both created a chasm between myself and God, as well as incurred judgement on myself. I owe a debt I could never satisfy. But God. I believe that Christ was the Son of God, that He entered time and space, and through His death bore the wrath of God that was due to me. He made it possible for me to have a relationship with the God of the universe, and even to be adopted into His family.
Favorite place to study
My grandparent’s house – I like to spend a week or so there during Bible Bee season. Other than that, the back deck at our (former – just moved) house or Starbucks.
Favorite place to memorize Scripture
I nearly always memorize on our (former) tiny front porch.
Snacks are my favorite food group. I like chips with a good guacamole, pringles, cheez-it snapped crackers, and mangoes.
One thing people can always bribe you with
Good, hot coffee.
Favorite game to play with BBers
History and Literature
Favorite book(s), excluding the Bible, commentaries, and Bible Bee programs
Mere Christianity, Shadow of the Almighty, The Power of Moments, and Deep Work are a few favorites.
Topic you could talk/argue/discuss about for hours
I was recently in a discussion about “being a Christian in a polarized world.” I could have gone on about those topics for hours if they had let us. Also Bible Bee, memories, and food.
So many. A few would be: “Eternal Weight of Glory” (Wendell Kimbrough), “Red Sea Road” (Ellie Holcomb), “By Faith” and other songs by the Gettys + crew, and “Light of the World” (We the Kingdom).
Your hidden talent
I can touch the tip of my nose with my tongue.
Favorite thing about yourself
My tiny hands.
How would others describe you?
My mom usually calls me weird or crazy. My dog would call me annoying. People trying to take tons of my money tell me that I’m special. On occasion my brothers call me “very nice.”
Fun fact, or facts, about you
I like to go on a nature walk every day. To the mailbox and back. It’s a bit of a family joke. In other news, I like to tell myself jokes. My parents thought my middle name was a family name, but I found out a few years ago it isn’t. My dream is to own a tiny, cuddly dog. And, I love cheesy motivational quotes.
Future plans after Bible Bee? (e.g. college, career, etc.)
I plan to start college this fall at a university to-be-determined. I don’t know exactly what I will major in, but it will likely be some form of Journalism or Communications.
What do you usually do for off-season?
I like to do some new scripture memory and review passages I’ve memorized in the past. I also like to work on reading through the Bible, rather than doing an in-depth study like during Bible Bee.