The Tuesday of my second show was bright and sunny. It did not take long for storm clouds to gather.
I entered Sony Studios with the confidence of Muhammad Ali after dancing with George Foreman in Zaire. Whatever was coming, I was ready. Let’s see what this new batch of contestants had in store.
As we did the usual rigamarole of last session, I perused the group. All of them, in my mind, were beatable. By the rehearsal, however, there was one wild card–a local contestant named Todd Covert. If anyone was capable of taking me down, it was him. But that would have to be decided later.
The contestants for my first title defense were drawn. The first was a demure, retired teacher from Groton, Connecticut named Mary Tuohy. The second was Todd. Crap. Oh well, maybe the board will break my way, as it did last week. Hopefully, even the Daily Doubles will finally work out to my advantage.
The entire show was a joust between Todd and I. Mary didn’t even buzz in the entire first round. By Final Jeopardy, we were both neck and neck, with Mary finally chiming in for some questions. The category: “Historical Shakespeare.” I owned this. Even if you didn’t read all the plays, a cursory knowledge of the plotlines of the histories, coupled with an extensive knowledge of medieval British history–both of which I had–could get you clear. Yet once again, it was unsure whether Todd or Mary could handle it, too.
“In ‘Henry VI, Part I’ this woman is described as ‘a holy prophetess new risen up'”
The one goddamn history that I never even glanced at. Screw these late Lancastrians. So I guessed. If I reasoned it out, especially the time period, I should have written the right answer, which was Joan of Arc. I used my balls, and went with Isabella of Spain. I bet the farm. Do the math. In all fairness, Todd would’ve beaten me anyway since he could bet $1 more than my doubled score.
So I lost. Todd ended up becoming a multi-day champion, so it was no slouch on my part to lose to him. I had a great time, and its an experience I carry everywhere, especially my classroom. One thing I like to do is create Jeopardy!-like games for my students to play–culminating in a 5th-grade trivia contest attended by much of the school. We didn’t have time for it this year, but it is happening again next year.
So that you can do the same, below are some links to Jeopardy templates you can use in your classroom:
Amy Johns at Fayette County Public Schools has a great site with game show templates: http://teach.fcps.net/trt2/links/powerpointgames.htm
You can also try Elaine Fitzgerald’s site at: http://www.elainefitzgerald.com/gametemplates.htm
The following website has links to templates that are both browser-based and PowerPoint-based, in case you want to work outside of Powerpoint: http://www.shambles.net/pages/learning/games/jeopardy/
If you want to see how I did question by question on Jeopardy!, go to http://www.j-archive.com It has all the games cataloged since the first syndicated game in 1984. My games were the 25th season, Oct 10 and Oct 13, 2008. See if you can do as well.
Anyone who wants to discuss the game show process further, especially people in the Neighborhood who will appear or plan to appear on Jeopardy!, can certainly post or e-mail with any questions.