(Blogger’s Note: This was originally an essay written for college applications. Don’t use it. I never submitted it to a school, so I can’t verify if it’ll work for you anyway.)
Throughout my short life, there have been a few universal phrases. Phrases that I and my family remember and often use, such as “good morning,” “good-bye,” “I love you,” “Thank you”, and others. But one specific quotation, not coined centuries but mere decades ago, has changed my life in ways few others could have.
And so begins my daily ritual of watching the game show Jeopardy! Even since I was 2 years old, I have watched Jeopardy! every single weekday without stop (“What is loyalty?”). I have been comforted by the calm, collected voice of Alex Trebek, amazed by the intellectual capacity of the combatants, lulled to bed by the “Think Music.” And when the Jeopardy! music has not been there to bring me to sleep, I got quite angry. One particular tantrum occurred when I was at age three, when I had an ingenious plan to build a time machine out of Lego and supplies from The Home Depot-so I could watch an episode of Jeopardy! Thus, in the interest of both myself and my parents, I strive to watch Jeopardy! as much as possible; I had only missed about thirty shows by age twelve (“What is fanaticism?”). Every night, my family has assembled in the living room to be the first to call out the “questions to answers”. Final Jeopardy! is near-war, as the family member who answers the clue correctly, when all of the TV contestants answer incorrectly (“What is a triple stumper?”), gets their name on our calendar. Not only did I gain a large amount of knowledge from Jeopardy! (such as how Jonathan Swift wrote diary entries addressed to “Presto”-get it?), I’ve also gained interest in trivia research, and have padded the wallets of Jeopardy! employees-I currently have three or four Jeopardy!-related products.
Jeopardy! has also presented to me amazing life experiences. In 2005, my father and I to an appearance by the Jeopardy! “Brain Bus”, the show’s traveling exhibition vehicle. Here, we played the “Fast 5”, the 5-answer mini-game, which included a “Daily Double”, in which the winner got a copy of The New York Times Guide to Essential Knowledge. Having to perform against people three times my age (“What is an underdog?”), I amazed the crowd by winning the book as one of my four questions answered correctly. I have gotten to use the book for studying for the annual Teen Tournament exam, striving to reach my lifelong dream of actually being on the show. While that hasn’t been realized, I’ve used the book and my Jeopardy! wares to unite fellow trivia lovers in my school(“What is Townsend Harris High School’s ‘Trivia and Knowledge Club?’”), becoming the club’s founder.
Knowledge, to me, is one of the most important things a person can have. It is something that I cherish greatly and something that I continue to try to obtain. Jeopardy! has taught me that knowledge does not make you a boring person, but instead makes you more understanding of the rest of the world, making you a better person. Because of Jeopardy!, I’ve become a person who aspires to learn what he needs to know to get ahead in the world. Because of Jeopardy!, I’ve become the person I am, and that has allowed me to understand the most important Jeopardy! clue in my life, “Who is Daniel Pecoraro?”
Now, I’d like From the Greek for $2000, Alex.