So Excited... Friend Has Gotten "The Call"!

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iowabelle
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So Excited... Friend Has Gotten "The Call"!

Post by iowabelle » Fri Oct 17, 2014 7:12 pm

My college classmate, Melissa, has gotten the call and she's going out the middle of November!!

Now, I haven't seen Melissa since we graduated from college eons ago... but I did send her a study list and gave her several pages of advice based on my experience of going out there... which I have found out now she totally disregarded. (Well, what can you do? She's got a job, kids and husband... and things happen.) :lol:

So I shot her some more "advice", "well, if you have time, here's what you can do!"

But I'm very excited for her. She could really use the money, and she's a very smart woman. We didn't have the word "back in the day" but I would have categorized her as my "frenemy", because she was just so talented and I was very jealous of her abilities. I'm looking forward to her confrontation with Trebek!

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Re: So Excited... Friend Has Gotten "The Call"!

Post by doihavetoreally » Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:12 pm

Good for you and her.
Good enough to lose on Jeopardy!

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Re: So Excited... Friend Has Gotten "The Call"!

Post by ElendilPickle » Fri Oct 17, 2014 9:36 pm

That's exciting! Good for her.

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Re: So Excited... Friend Has Gotten "The Call"!

Post by Golf » Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:02 pm

iowabelle wrote:but I did send her a study list and gave her several pages of advice based on my experience of going out there... which I have found out now she totally disregarded. (Well, what can you do? She's got a job, kids and husband... and things happen.) :lol:

She could really use the money, and she's a very smart woman.
Good for the both of you.

If she needs the money and is a very smart woman, she'll study her butt off. If she doesn't study her butt off, she's not as smart as you think she is.

If she studies I'll be rooting hard for her.

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Re: So Excited... Friend Has Gotten "The Call"!

Post by dhkendall » Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:08 pm

Golf wrote:
iowabelle wrote:but I did send her a study list and gave her several pages of advice based on my experience of going out there... which I have found out now she totally disregarded. (Well, what can you do? She's got a job, kids and husband... and things happen.) :lol:

She could really use the money, and she's a very smart woman.
Good for the both of you.

If she needs the money and is a very smart woman, she'll study her butt off. If she doesn't study her butt off, she's not as smart as you think she is.

If she studies I'll be rooting hard for her.
There's different schools of thought on whether you need to study or not. (The opposing school, which contains some people that have done very well for themselves on the show if memory serves, says that if your existing knowledge, contained of things you knew without studying your butt off, was good to make it past the test and the audition, then you don't need to study your butt off; in fact it may hinder your existing knowledge, replacing it with new knowledge that may not come when you need it to in the heat of the lights.)

I say go with whatever works for her, as students from both schools have done well on the show. (Maybe have her look back to her college days and see if "cramming" helped or hindered her, that might determine which camp she's in.) Whatever she chooses I think should be ok, and best of luck to her!
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Re: So Excited... Friend Has Gotten "The Call"!

Post by dhkendall » Sat Oct 18, 2014 11:25 pm

dhkendall wrote:
Golf wrote:
iowabelle wrote:but I did send her a study list and gave her several pages of advice based on my experience of going out there... which I have found out now she totally disregarded. (Well, what can you do? She's got a job, kids and husband... and things happen.) :lol:

She could really use the money, and she's a very smart woman.
Good for the both of you.

If she needs the money and is a very smart woman, she'll study her butt off. If she doesn't study her butt off, she's not as smart as you think she is.

If she studies I'll be rooting hard for her.
There's different schools of thought on whether you need to study or not. (The opposing school, which contains some people that have done very well for themselves on the show if memory serves, says that if your existing knowledge, contained of things you knew without studying your butt off, was good to make it past the test and the audition, then you don't need to study your butt off; in fact it may hinder your existing knowledge, replacing it with new knowledge that may not come when you need it to in the heat of the lights.)

I say go with whatever works for her, as students from both schools have done well on the show. (Maybe have her look back to her college days and see if "cramming" helped or hindered her, that might determine which camp she's in.) Whatever she chooses I think should be ok, and best of luck to her!
Hmmm, here I thought that Ken Jennings was one of those in the same camp as Golf (he chronicles his studying sessions in Brainiac), but in an interview he gave for the Costco members' magazine (of which I am not, just saw the link on his blog) The Costco Connection he writes: "Don't cram. Try short daily study sessions for a couple of weeks instead of pulling ann all-nighter right before the test day."
"Jeopardy! is two parts luck and one part luck" - Me

"The way to win on Jeopardy is to be a rabidly curious, information-omnivorous person your entire life." - Ken Jennings

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jeff6286
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Re: So Excited... Friend Has Gotten "The Call"!

Post by jeff6286 » Sat Oct 18, 2014 11:34 pm

This is surprising to you? Do you really think Golf (or anyone) would advise an all night cram session the night before appearing on the show?

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Re: So Excited... Friend Has Gotten "The Call"!

Post by JeopardyBill » Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:52 pm

A lot of folks might not have time to do this, but I treated my Jeopardy! preparation pretty much as a full-time job during the month between the call and my appearance. I more or less studied all day for four-and-a-half weeks, paying particularly close attention to the J! Archive.
dhkendall wrote:
Golf wrote:
iowabelle wrote:but I did send her a study list and gave her several pages of advice based on my experience of going out there... which I have found out now she totally disregarded. (Well, what can you do? She's got a job, kids and husband... and things happen.) :lol:

She could really use the money, and she's a very smart woman.
Good for the both of you.

If she needs the money and is a very smart woman, she'll study her butt off. If she doesn't study her butt off, she's not as smart as you think she is.

If she studies I'll be rooting hard for her.
There's different schools of thought on whether you need to study or not. (The opposing school, which contains some people that have done very well for themselves on the show if memory serves, says that if your existing knowledge, contained of things you knew without studying your butt off, was good to make it past the test and the audition, then you don't need to study your butt off; in fact it may hinder your existing knowledge, replacing it with new knowledge that may not come when you need it to in the heat of the lights.)

I say go with whatever works for her, as students from both schools have done well on the show. (Maybe have her look back to her college days and see if "cramming" helped or hindered her, that might determine which camp she's in.) Whatever she chooses I think should be ok, and best of luck to her!

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Re: So Excited... Friend Has Gotten "The Call"!

Post by Dr. J » Mon Oct 20, 2014 11:15 pm

I'm of the camp of "study your butt off" until/unless the studying itself is completely stressing you out. Better to study wagering if you have no experience with that, as it will serve you as well (better, even?) than content knowledge. I also advocate taking breaks from studying to consider what you're going to wear, hone your interview stories, and plan some hijinks for your Alex 'n' me photo :D

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Re: So Excited... Friend Has Gotten "The Call"!

Post by fritzk3 » Tue Oct 21, 2014 1:01 am

JeopardyBill wrote:A lot of folks might not have time to do this, but I treated my Jeopardy! preparation pretty much as a full-time job during the month between the call and my appearance. I more or less studied all day for four-and-a-half weeks, paying particularly close attention to the J! Archive.
Just curious... were you working at the time? This would seem hard to do with a full-time job. I remember reading Bob Harris's book and thinking, "No wonder you were able to study all day... you were essentially unemployed!"

I've seen both sides of the argument presented; I'm thinking that brush-up sessions and patching knowledge holes in likely categories (e.g. Shakespeare, US Presidents, etc.) might be a good idea for prospective contestants.

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boson
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Re: So Excited... Friend Has Gotten "The Call"!

Post by boson » Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:46 am

Can any one point me to an argument by a successful contestant who says you shouldn't study? I find that attitude hard to fathom.

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Re: So Excited... Friend Has Gotten "The Call"!

Post by Tigershark » Tue Oct 21, 2014 2:12 pm

Here's my two cents on the issue of to prepare or not to prepare...

I did some preparation before I went on the show, but I didn't treat it like a full time job. Mostly it was reviewing J-Archive. I bought Ken Jennings Trivia Almanac, and browsed through it when I had some free time, but honestly it wasn't that helpful. I wasn't a huge fan of how it was arranged (it's pretty random) and most of the information in it was so obscure, that Jeopardy would never ask a question about it. I also got a trivia pursuit book, which was less helpful. (I swear the writer of the entertainment section had seen seven movies from the late 90's-early 2000's and wrote all of the movie questions about those films.) Jeopardy question tend to be written so that people with a broad range of knowledge can answer most or all of the questions, and doesn't go too deep or random on a topic. If it's a topic you know really well, chances are you are going to get it right.

I did review a few topics I noticed came up frequently like Presidents, Space, which I was clueless on, and Canadian Geography. In the four days I was on the show, I got an extra two questions right because of preparation. Also there are always some super random categories that you just can't expect or prepare for. For example, I got a category on Internet Slang and another on Dr. Seuss.

There was a guy who was on the show before me who had been super intense about preparing and studying for the show. I think he had probably treated preparation like a full time job. He was in the lead going into FJ and probably would have been formidable competition. I probably would not have been a three day champ if I had to face him. However, he was completely stumped by FJ, which of all things was a musical theatre question.

Probably the best preparation, and I know this seems really obvious, is to watch the show. If you watch the show enough time, you get a feel for how the writers craft the questions, and how they sometimes leave clues to the right answer. Also, as of late, I have seen a lot of topics repeated in FJ. For instance there have been multiple questions about Quasimodo and Agatha Christie in the past few months, that it looks like the writers are getting lazy.

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Re: So Excited... Friend Has Gotten "The Call"!

Post by Robert K S » Tue Oct 21, 2014 5:47 pm

In retrospect, I'm not sure if I'm for "studying" (as such) or not. In my experience of watching 7 games live (while waiting to play), playing in 2, and watching one more after losing, studying my butt off resulted in my knowing the correct responses to about 2-3 clues more than what I would have known otherwise. 2-3 clues out of around 600 is a pretty small percentage. I suppose that for the person who learns the response to a vital Final or DD only because of studying, the studying will have come in handy, but that didn't happen to me. The Daily Double that ended me was something I had studied and knew, but just couldn't pull. I also had a few negs in my games that resulted only because I felt falsely confident enough in the subject matter as a result of my studying. Thus my studying might have actually resulted in net negative money.

Probably a better bet is to watch a lot of TV (Jeopardy! especially), play a lot of trivia games, read newspapers and magazines and books, and keep an open mind about all sorts of subject matter over many years. Any last-minute studying should be devoted to studying lists so as to be able to navigate through them (presidents in chronological order; states, counties, and capitals; Shakespearean characters; etc.). Studying anything broader than list material in the last few months before tape date is a little like putting your money on a roulette spin where the wheel has 600 spaces.

Buzzer timing and stamina are much more important aspects of the game if one hopes to win multiple times.

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Re: So Excited... Friend Has Gotten "The Call"!

Post by alietr » Tue Oct 21, 2014 6:54 pm

Robert K S wrote:Buzzer timing and stamina are much more important aspects of the game if one hopes to win multiple times.
I'll add getting a good night's sleep to that list.

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Re: So Excited... Friend Has Gotten "The Call"!

Post by Dr. J » Wed Oct 22, 2014 12:28 pm

alietr wrote:
Robert K S wrote:Buzzer timing and stamina are much more important aspects of the game if one hopes to win multiple times.
I'll add getting a good night's sleep to that list.
Yes!! And eating right. This is the time to try out some "nighttime" products (Advil PM, or is that Aleve??) if you have trouble sleeping. That Jeopardy bus comes early!

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Re: So Excited... Friend Has Gotten "The Call"!

Post by periwinkle » Wed Oct 22, 2014 12:50 pm

Robert K S wrote:
Probably a better bet is to watch a lot of TV (Jeopardy! especially), play a lot of trivia games, read newspapers and magazines and books, and keep an open mind about all sorts of subject matter over many years. Any last-minute studying should be devoted to studying lists so as to be able to navigate through them (presidents in chronological order; states, counties, and capitals; Shakespearean characters; etc.). Studying anything broader than list material in the last few months before tape date is a little like putting your money on a roulette spin where the wheel has 600 spaces.
Yes to this (when I was prepping, I tried to read all the sections of the newspaper including sections I usually skip). But studying info about the most frequently covered topics (the ones Robert named, plus geography) is very useful. I knew my geographical sense is somewhat poor, so I did a lot of map reading regularly after the audition while I waited for the Call, and that paid off. I reviewed sports info that was fairly basic and that I could likely retain, rather than minutiae.

We had some "Fandexes" of trivia on different topics for my then-6-year-old, which he liked to read in the car, and I found them very useful for review: they covered all the most-likely-to-be-asked points about Presidents, States, etc. They wouldn't help me with trickier questions, but they were good for refreshing myself on chronology and the best-known facts that I might have forgotten. http://www.amazon.com/Fandex-Family-Fie ... 0761112030

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Re: So Excited... Friend Has Gotten "The Call"!

Post by dhkendall » Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:05 pm

Dr. J wrote:
alietr wrote:
Robert K S wrote:Buzzer timing and stamina are much more important aspects of the game if one hopes to win multiple times.
I'll add getting a good night's sleep to that list.
Yes!! And eating right. This is the time to try out some "nighttime" products (Advil PM, or is that Aleve??) if you have trouble sleeping. That Jeopardy bus comes early!
Leading to the inevitable list of "cursed foods" in the Sony commissary.
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Re: So Excited... Friend Has Gotten "The Call"!

Post by Woof » Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:08 pm

Dr. J wrote:
alietr wrote:
Robert K S wrote:Buzzer timing and stamina are much more important aspects of the game if one hopes to win multiple times.
I'll add getting a good night's sleep to that list.
Yes!! And eating right. This is the time to try out some "nighttime" products (Advil PM, or is that Aleve??) if you have trouble sleeping. That Jeopardy bus comes early!
It's Advil PM, and a word of caution: the "PM" ingredient is Benadryl, which acts as a depressant (and hence sleep aid) in roughly 90% of the population, but perversely as a stimulant in the remaining 10%. I found out, to my dismay, that I'm in latter group when I spent one miserable night wired until 4 am while combating a cold.

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Re: So Excited... Friend Has Gotten "The Call"!

Post by Stanislaus Jacob » Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:55 pm

Do you mind if I ask what city your friend auditioned in? People from my city have started to appear, and I am wondering if they are done with that city or if they spread a particular city throughout the year. You could give me hope! (Unfortunately, I am nowhere near Iowa, but your friend might not live near you currently.)

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Re: So Excited... Friend Has Gotten "The Call"!

Post by Spiny Norman » Wed Oct 22, 2014 9:01 pm

I have been thinking how I will prepare when/if I get the call. In addition to the advice offered here, I think another important factor is mental agility. The writers will give you clues that might help lead you to the correct answer (even if you know little about the category) if you can connect their reference to something familiar in about 1 or 2 seconds. I think the best preparation for being mentally keen is practice, practice, practice. I play along every day. I read a lot of J clues on J Archive and pay attention to the wording. I remind myself to pay attention to the categories which can lead to reasonable guesses also. I think "where is the writer trying to lead us?"

In addition, I will especially review recent award winners, recent headlines, recent world elections, recent best seller lists - the type of news that I may have read but not really internalized. But as Robert KS notes, this may make me falsely confident if I cannot recall correctly.

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