Saturday, 31 March 2012

A nice surprise

I'd like to tell you that I only do it in the cause of improving my own knowledge. Some nasty inner demon tells me that the more likely reason is that I'm hoping that I can score a few mental brownie points if I can prove the question master wrong.

Hmm, I'd better explain. My friend Ann returned to play in our team in the rugby club on Thursday night, after being unable to attend due to family commitments for the best part of a year. One of the last questions of the evening was -
"Name the first American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. " Now, I've written about 'home' subjects before. You know you're on a loser if one comes up. If I get a question right on Shakespeare, then why should I get any credit ? I'm an english teacher. But if I get it wrong . . . Well, to cut a long story slightly shorter, I've probably heard it before, but it wasn't going to come. Not on Thursday night, anyway. Ann, the light of certainty in her eyes, said words to the effect of "I know - it's Edith Wharton. " Not in a position to agree or disagree , I shoved the answer down.

Now, those of you who answered "Pearl Buck" as soon as you read the question, very well done. That would have brought you the point, and it was the answer that Clive, our QM , gave. But Ann had been so certain, and she was still so certain after the answer had been given, that we both said the immortal words "I'm going to check that on Google when I get home. " Which is really what I was on about at the start of this post - the practice of post mortem googling. Needless to say, Pearl Buck is the right answer. Edith Wharton didn't win the Nobel prize at all. On the other hand she did win the Pulitzer Prize - and was the first woman to do so, and that explains where Ann's answer came from. Just one of those things , and totally understandable. As it was we did well enough to get a rare win over the Lemurs in the questions, although we failed miserably in the picture handout and lost overall by one point. Still, it was lovely to see Ann back , even if it was only for one week. I didn't leave work until about half past 6 on Thursday night, and I was so cream crackered that I nearly didn't go down - needless to say I'm really glad I did.


DanielFullard said...

Post Morterm googling or post-mortem Reference booking is something I do after every quiz without fail. Not to prove anything but just to learn.

Londinius said...

Hi Daniel

It's a good way, too. Putting my professional hat on, the simple act of looking it up on google will reinforce the connection within your memory, and render you much less likely to get it wrong again next time.

Mind you, I do like the satisfaction of knowing when I'm right and the QM is wrong too.