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Monday, February 2, 2009

I Lost on Jeopardy Part II


(I'm giving you two paragraphs from part one to remind you of where I left off -- they're in italics below:)

I got a letter (or was it a card? I was so excited I don’t even remember) saying that I should go to NY for an interview for Jeopardy. It was on a Friday in June at 9 o’clock in the morning. And it was a Friday that my Mom (who I always do these things with) would be in Israel. This meant several things: 1) I would have to go on a Friday (a day that I usually devote to getting ready for Shabbat – the Sabbath) 2) I would have to get up at an unG-dly hour in the morning (to me, anything before 8:30 am is unG-dly) – something like 6 in the morning (usually, if I’m up at 6 in the morning it’s only because I haven’t gone to sleep yet, and this happens more often than you might expect) 3) I would have to go ALONE (something I rarely do).

But, just to show how much Jeopardy means to me, I managed to do this. I even got into bed the night before around 10 pm (the only way I’m in bed by 10 pm is if I’m sick or I just came back from Israel the day after staying up all night to see the Giants in the Super Bowl that starts in Israel at about 1:30 in the morning, but I digress).

I actually got up before the alarm rang (a pattern that will repeat, but I’m jumping ahead). I got myself ready, off to the train (I borrowed my brother-in-law’s parking permit to park at the train station) and into Manhattan early enough to walk to the Waldorf Astoria from Penn Station (forgetting that Grand Central was in the middle if I walked all the way East, so I walked through Grand Central to “get to the other side”) by 8:30, before anyone else. The room wasn’t even open yet.

The other people started coming a few at a time. Since I was in NY, there were a few other Orthodox Jews there. One, another woman, overheard me talking to my brother about what time Shabbat (the Sabbath) started where he was and started talking to me. That was when I started to feel more comfortable (not, mind you, that I was nervous, just that I didn’t quite feel “at home”).

I had previously tried out for “Who wants to be a Millionaire”. For “Millionaire”, one goes to the studio to be in the audience. Anyone who is in the audience can take the test for the show. Most of the people in the audience do take the test. So if you pass the test (they don’t tell you who has passed until late in the second of two shows your are part of the audience), you are one of only about 10-15% of the audience to pass and you feel really smart.

With Jeopardy, though, everyone who is invited to the audition has passed the test on-line. I have likened the experience to new students coming into Harvard – just about all of the students who come into the freshman class of Harvard were valedictorians of their High School classes. So they’re used to be the smartest one in their class. But then they come to Harvard and everyone there was the best and brightest in their school.

It’s the same with Jeopardy. Everyone there is the best in trivia and that sort of knowledge in their milieu. So you don’t feel quite so brilliant. It can be a bit intimidating.

They took us into the room and we sat down. I don’t remember everything that happened in the order that it happened, but I remember several things. I remember them giving us another test (this test was very easy, much more so than the on-line test, it’s possible I got all the answers right and I couldn’t have gotten more than 3 or 4 wrong). I think they just give this test to make sure that the people in the room are actually the people who passed the on-line test, not someone substituting for them. I also remember doing a quick rehearsal of using the buttons. And I remember that nobody (including, or especially??? Myself) stood out as being any faster or smarter than anyone else.

I hadn’t heard from Jeopardy by the time the next on-line test came along (well, the next one we were told that we could take). So, since we were told that Jeopardy loves people who keep trying (there was one person there that was on his fourth or fifth time there), I decided to take the test again. There was only one problem, though. I was scheduled to be in Israel for my niece’s wedding when the test was being given. So, while the test is given at 8 pm Eastern Standard Time, it’s 3 am in Israel.

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Strong Biblical Women
Strong Biblical Women 2
Why Be Vegetarian
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Creating new recipes from old
Strong Biblical Women Part 3
About the Jewish Calendar
Witches and Morality
Presidential Trivia Quiz
Christmas and the Jewish Single
Math Hints 1 -- Adding Fractions
Presidents1: George Washington
Passover: Holiday of Freedom
Ruth and Naomi
John and John Quincy Adams
Television Trivia Quiz
Tamar -- Mother of Kings
Jewish Perspective of G-d
Why I'm a Red Sox Fan

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