I was driving around with my sister “Peaches” yesterday (not her real name of course) and listening to music on the radio. As we drove, I wondered if she had read about my plan on this blog, and knew, then, that I was not following it as originally written: You might remember that I had given up listening to music on the radio in favor of anything more educational, while I am preparing to be on Jeopardy! someday. I decided a weekend or two ago that I would tweak the plan to allow me to still listen to music on the weekends, in the hopes that this will increase compliance long-term.
It turns out Peaches hadn’t read about it, but she has some opinions about it – She thinks it is too much! I tried to explain to her that I am far from ready for the show and I don’t learn what I need to learn if I’m passive about it. She seems to think that I am learning enough without specifically studying for the show, and that I will not have any fun by, for example, not listening to music anymore.
Later, on the way to the movies with my family, Peaches said she wanted me to put a poll on this blog, with three choices: Is my plan adequate, inadequate, or “overboard”? Incidentally, my mom agreed with Peaches! I tried to make my case by telling them about a category on the show last week, Presidential Math, where two presidents and an operation are given, and the contestants are to give the correct number. For example: “Obama divided by Madison.”* I thought this category was ridiculously difficult. I told them that, had I been on the show that day, I’d might as well have put my signalling device down for the whole category, because I am clueless about it right now and will be until I study presidents for the show.
I invited Peaches to keep track of her own score using the Coryat method that I used last week, in an attempt to prove that, even though she is a very bright girl and shines in a classroom and on the job, her scores will not be great because the information on the show needs to be studied in order to succeed on it. She said ‘no way,’ and that she doesn’t see how her scores will prove my case.
Anyway, I agreed to do the poll. I’ll leave it up for two weeks. I’d also love to read your comments about this, even after the two weeks are up!
Since I am at my parents’, I got to watch last night’s episode of Jeopardy! (It’s on available on Saturday nights where I live.) Erik Nelson was the returning champion last night, and his challengers were Mengmeng Zhang and Melissa Noble. I swept the category You Just Have to “Ask.” At the end of the Jeopardy round, Erik led with 5400, Mengmeng had 4000, and Melissa had 2600. Melissa’s game took a turn for the worse in the Double Jeopardy round, with misses on clues like these triple-stumpers:
In Thar He Blows: “From 1967 to 1992, this Doc was in and trumpeting himself as the bandleader of “The Tonight Show.”*
And in Birth of a President: “November 2, 1865 in Corsica (now Blooming Grove), Ohio.”* (I have to admit I guessed the same thing she did.)
Mengmeng, too, faltered when he lost 3500 on this Daily Double in Population-pourri with only two clues remaining: “Of cities in titles of Shakespeare’s plays, this Mediterranean capital has the highest population.”* Erik, meanwhile, gained 3000 on his Daily Double in Birth of a President: “June 12, 1924 in Milton, Massachusetts.”* At the end of Double Jeopardy, then, Erik had 18000, Mengmeng had 12900, and Melissa had 1000. The Final Jeopardy category was Award Namesakes: “His ‘A Little Pretty Pocket-Book” from 1744 was one of the first books published specifically for children.”* I had this narrowed down to two, and both of those names were guessed by the contestants. Erik, who wagered 7801, and Melissa, who wagered 999, got it right, making Erik a two-day champion.
*11 (44/4), Doc Severinsen, Warren Harding, Athens, George H.W. Bush, Newbery