Ken Jennings for 500, please.

Do you watch Jeopardy? Well, I grew up watching Jeopardy faithfully each weeknight. I always felt a sense of accomplishment when I would know an answer (although I guess it technically is question that you know…).

Ken Jennings, a Utah-native, appeared on Jeopardy 74 consecutive times and won more than $2 million. And I saw many of those shows during his six-month reign on TV.

At SUU, we have a weekly Convocations Lecture where noted people come and speak to the students who are enrolled in the class, and those who aren’t (like me), as well as faculty and community members. Olympic gold-medalists, well-known authors, business CEOs, and others have spoken here.

Last week? It was Ken Jennings. I had marked down that he was coming when I found out the first week of school and arrived early to get a good seat (except there sadly usually are plenty of seats to choose from in the Auditorium). And I even got a picture with him after! Can you see my extremely cheesy smile?! I was a happy girl.

Jennings talked about filming five shows a day, how contestants were not allowed anywhere near host Alex Trebek (so it couldn’t be rigged), and how contestants stood on a stool so they appeared the same height to the viewing audience.

But, I also learned four reasons why we should all know “weird stuff”:

1. It makes a more interesting world.

2. It will help make better decisions.

3. It makes learning other new things easier. 

4. It is easier to meet new people.

Convocations are definitely a way to learn more about the world and see other points of view. I’ve enjoyed going a few times this semester and can’t wait to see who else is coming.


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