Monday, March 18, 2013

Day 77: Jeopardy

As I continue to submit applications for things involving college, I have written quite a few essays. But here is my most recent, which obviously and easily relates to Disney. The question was "If you could create your ideal Jeopardy board, what six categories would you choose? Give an example question in each category."

As long as I can remember, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with the popular quiz show, Jeopardy. Each week millions of people tune into the show, and while I am generally not one of them, the show still holds quite a bit of sentimental value. It is no question to any of my friends that I love Disney, considering I have traveled to the Walt Disney World Resort 23 times and I write a daily blog called Everyday Disney. But there is one attraction at Walt Disney World that is largely centered around the quiz show, meaning that I will forever think of Ellen Degeneres learning about energy with Bill Nye the Science Guy when someone begins to hum the theme song. But with categories ranging from “The Final Frontier,” “That Old Time Television,” “Mind Your Manners,” and “Yeah, I play the oboe,” it’s hard to imagine knowing any of the answers to just one game, much less those for many games in a row. Personally, if I do watch, I feel much like Ellen in the Disney attraction, having no idea how to respond to any clue the show gives out. I celebrate if I know just one answer each show, unlike the contestants who come back day after day with one correct response after the other. But if I were to create my own Jeopardy board, what would happen, and more importantly, what would the questions be?

Since Jeopardy always reminds me of Disney, it should be no surprise that my first category is located there. Titled “It’s a Small World,” after the popular attraction, this group would focus on everything that includes the Disney Parks. I took my first trip to Walt Disney World at only 15 months old, and I’ve gone back as often as possible, meaning that I know the parks like the back of my hand. I often get the question if I ever find it boring to return year after year, but the truth is, I never do. There’s always something new to explore, such as the newest addition to the Magic Kingdom, New Fantasyland. But it’s also the reason that this category really has endless questions, ranging from simple ones that I could answer in a heartbeat to ones that would take some time for me to figure out. For instance, for $200 the clue might be “This 18 story geodesic sphere is the symbol of Epcot.” The correct response? “What is Spaceship Earth,” my all time favorite attraction and the symbol of my second home. But for Final Jeopardy, Alex Trebek might say, “This fictional character is the creator of the Main Street U.S.A. Emporium at the Walt Disney World Resort.” After wagering some of my winnings and quite a bit of thought I would eventually come up with the answer, “Who is Osh Popham.” I knew the answers to both of these questions, but there are many others that even I wouldn’t be able to answer. Still, having a category such as “It’s a Small World” on my Jeopardy board would definitely set me ahead of my competition.

The second category focuses around one of my favorite things, especially in the “small world.” The Disney Parks are no stranger to good food, and so it’s no surprise that my board continues to focus around what I know best. In honor of one of my favorite Disney movies, “Beauty and the Beast,” as well as one of the newest Disney restaurants, “Be Our Guest,” this category is titled “Try the Grey Stuff, It’s Delicious.” As a child I often helped my mom in the kitchen, using my own little knife made specifically for kids, and for the past 10 years I have been a member of my local 4-H club, where I have entered in the Foods & Nutrition category for many years. While I don’t spend all of my time in the kitchen, I do enjoy recreating recipes from Disney restaurants as well as coming up with creations of my own. Of course, I own every Disney cookbook that has ever been in existence, and thanks to one of them I know the correct response to “Walt Disney usually offered lunch guests a glass of this vegetable juice or something similar before going to the studio commissary” would be “What is V8.”

For most of my life, and next to Disney, music has been one of the most important things to me. Named “Give a Little Whistle” after the song from the animated feature, Pinocchio, this category would focus around all things having to do with the melodies that I’ve grown to love. Eight years ago now I began playing oboe and only four years ago I started playing saxophone. Music in general, although specifically jazz, has defined who I am, and has provided me with leadership roles to help me grow and learn. For $600 a question here might be “This composer has been nominated for an Oscar more often than anyone else in any other category.” The answer is “Who is John Williams,” composer to popular films such as Star Wars, and one of my personal role models in the world of music. Although I am only a recent fan of much of his work, he has really inspired me to always give my best performance, and his music itself has helped me work on the expression needed to play my instruments. Aside from this he has also been part of my inspiration in my decision to pursue music as I advance in my education.

A fourth group on my Jeopardy board would easily focus around books, and would be titled “They’ve Got Character.” Reading has always been an interest of mine, and has taken me to far off lands many times over. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to choose just one favorite book, since there are so many to choose from, but I am fond of a series called The Kingdom Keepers by Ridley Pearson. It is a multi-book series that features a group of teenagers who fight to save the Magic Kingdom. I’ve loved the series since the start, and am always waiting for the next book in the series to appear. But The Kingdom Keepers isn’t the only series I enjoy, as there are many other books on my long list of favorites. A few honorable mentions? The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Marley and Me by John Grogan and Peter and the Starcatchers, also by Ridley Pearson. I always love reading new books, often times in completely different genres, because if I don’t I’ll never discover some of the treasures that are out there. That’s why a great clue here would be “A historic novel that tells the story of W. P. Inman, a deserter of the Confederate Army during the Civil War,” in which the correct response would be “What is Cold Mountain?” What is now one of my favorite books started as one I had to read for class, and something that if I saw it at the library, I’d never pull it off the shelf. It just goes to prove you should never judge a book by it’s cover.

Speaking of the American Civil War, my next category would be “This Day in History.” I’ve always been interested in history, mostly due to an attraction at, you guessed it, Walt Disney World. The American Adventure at Epcot tells the thrilling tale of our country, and it features a song called Two Brothers, which tells the story of a family before, during and after the Civil War. As you can imagine, when I started Advanced American History in High School, I was quite excited, and throughout the course I really learned something about almost every piece of American History. At the beginning of each class period, our teacher would read us a list of what happened that particular day in history, and I’ve continued the tradition each and every day on my daily blog, Everyday Disney. It’s amazing to see what has happened to get us where we are today, and I find it all quite exciting. “It was on this day in history that the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio was created” would be a great clue to ask me, because I’d know the answer right away to be “What is October 16, 1923.” Knowing about our past enables each of us to push on into the future, and for me, knowing my Disney history will certainly help on my path towards working at Walt Disney Imagineering. Using lessons learned from the past, I will be able to create new and exciting experiences for guests visiting the Disney Parks in the future, and then someday maybe I’ll be in the history books!

It seems like common conversation to ask what one’s favorite movie is. I, on the other hand, am not exactly fond of this question, because I truly have no simple answer. The name of this final group is “The Great Movie Ride,” titled after the attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The ride features some of Hollywood’s greatest films, and the number of movies included in it showcases just how hard it really is to pick just one favorite movie. I personally have to separate my favorites list into categories, ranging from “Favorite Animated Disney Film” to “Favorite Live-Action Non-Disney Film.” It gets a bit complicated the further in depth I go, but the point still stands - I do not have just one favorite movie. But this isn’t a problem, not for me at least, since just as I love reading new books, I love watching new movies. If there is a movie I haven’t seen, you can bet I’ll probably want to watch it. That is, if it’s not a horror movie. Either way, a daily double clue might be “A dog was the inspiration for this adventure film hero’s nickname.” The correct response, “Who is Indiana Jones,” the star of some of my favorite films of all time.

With a Jeopardy board like this, there is no way I would feel like Ellen in her attraction at Walt Disney World any longer. If it wasn’t obvious before, my ideal board would focus around Disney, because as cheesy as it sounds, a board all about Disney would be my perfect round of Jeopardy. There are endless questions you could ask me, and I assure you there would be some I don’t know, but Disney has provided me with a lifetime of entertainment, experiences and lessons that have shaped who I am and will benefit me in the future. When it comes to Jeopardy, I can’t say I’ll always watch, but I do know the response to one final answer that I’m sure Alex Trebek, Ellen Degeneres and Walt Disney would all approve of. “This is the one source of power that will never run out.” The correct response - “Brain power.”

If you've ever been in the Universe of Energy, you'd know just as well as I do where the end of my essay comes from...and that it's the truth. The one source of power will never run out is Brain Power (although now that I look back I probably should have put "What is Brain power," but oh well!)

Here's today's Disney History: 1967: The Pirates of the Caribbean attraction opens in New Orleans Square at Disneyland, California. The debut kicks off with great excitement, as a group of marauding sea-dogs, led by Wally Boag, first sail on the sailing ship Columbia before bursting through the new attractions' doors with a battering ram. Also opening at Disneyland is the Blue Bayou Restaurant in New Orleans Square.

Have a magical day!