top of page

Who is Alex Trebek?

I always wanted to be a contestant on Jeopardy. Every couple of years, I would complete an online test that would determine whether I qualified. I never did. Outside of all things literature, my background knowledge is lacking in other subjects like the sciences or pop culture. My ability to remember Shakespearean trivia or minor characters in a Dicken’s novel simply wasn’t enough to fill in my gaps in other categories.

Watching the show as a family, sometimes Andy and I would compete with one another. I nearly always lost. He simply knows the science, math, history, pop culture, and random trivia better than I do. We agreed if the opportunity came, he would represent the Forisha family on Jeopardy. He regularly completes online Jeopardy tests and qualifies. He just never had a callback, yet.

We love Jeopardy, not just because we’re proud nerds, but because we love Alex Trebek. Mr. Trebek makes learning fun. Every contestant who makes it on-screen does so after rigorous testing. They all deserve to be up there, so when someone starts to falter, a case of nerves not a lack of knowledge is to blame. I’ve often watched a contestant bomb answer after answer or seem gun shy to press his or her button, yet after a commercial break, the nervous contestant turns it around, undoubtedly because of an off-screen pep talk with Mr. Trebek. He even wrote about helping contestants find their confidence on-air in his autobiography.

Mr. Trebek hosted Jeopardy for 36 years and was contractually obligated to continue hosting until 2022. Obviously, his contract has been cut short, but it also illustrates his love and dedication to his job. He had no plans to retire, even after his diagnosis of Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer. In an age where nearly any question on Jeopardy can be answered instantaneously with a Google search, he shows us how cool it is to know about anything and everything.

Background knowledge shapes who we are and what we believe. If we devote more time as a society to learn and learn outside of our comfort zone, we will grow collectively. In the world of education, there is truly nothing more important than to allow opportunities for students to learn whatever they want to learn without the burden and pressures of accountability. Build the habit of lifelong independent learning for the sheer love of it early and kids will continue to learn on their own long after they complete their formal education.

This type of curiosity begins with reading, but it doesn’t have to. In school, I disliked science classes because I found them boring. I love learning about science now because I learn today on my terms. David Attenborough has devoted his life to teaching society about the natural world using documentaries. Neil Degrasse Tyson has taught me more about astrophysics than I ever thought I would learn because he made it interesting and approachable to a lit geek. Alton Brown teaches me about food science. Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything said it best in his introduction, how he wanted to learn about science, and found it painfully drab (like I did), so he decided to write about it himself and make it interesting. My interest in science was spurred by getting question after question wrong in science categories. I read a lot of history books these days, too, because Jeopardy has also shown me that I lack knowledge in that area.

What I believe Mr. Trebek’s legacy in our society is a drive for learning. In the realm of competitive spirit, learning and pushing one another to grow intellectually goes beyond the classroom. This happens on a couch at home with family members asking and answering questions along with Jeopardy. We have Mr. Trebek to thank for that.


Оцінка: 0 з 5 зірок.
Ще немає оцінок

Додайте оцінку
bottom of page