Editor's Note: Numerous instances of plagiarism have been discovered in Dan Kimber’s “Education Matters” column, which ran in the News- Press from September 2003 to September 2011. In those columns where plagiarism has been found, a For the Record specifying the details will be appended to the piece.
This week was the last confrontation between my seniors and juniors in a contest billed as "Ultimate Americana." Call it cultural literacy or trivia — it's a collection of questions and associations to stretch young minds, challenge their intellect and occasionally test their sense of humor.
I offer a sampling to you my readers. I've done, or perhaps overdone this in this space with other quizzes (occupational hazard), but the following 50 items were part of "The Final Conflict" here at school, and the all important bragging rights that went to the winner. This year the juniors buried the seniors.
So put your mind to work for a few minutes and struggle with a few straight-forward questions, half-questions/word associations, quirky clues — and then place yourself on the following scale, which is roughly based on my students' performance on the more expansive 300-question contest:
40 to 50 = Excellent
30 to 49 = Good
20 to 29 = Fair
10 to 19 = Poor
0 to 9 = Ugh
1. Baseball name; 48 hours
2. Spanish for "pelican"; no escaping it
3. Comic book teen; armchair redneck
4. They comfort me, according to the 23rd
5. Early '60s dance; African tribe
6. Old chewing gum; Pershing nickname; 21 declaration
7. Dancing stick; intermediate place
8. When was "Blackbird singing"?
9. What, according to Polonius (in Hamlet) is the "soul of wit"?
10. Who was "Born on a mountaintop in Tennessee"?
11. Muffett's food; Iraqi minority
12. When he visited, he stayed above the fire station.
13. Larceny + force or fear of force =
14. What civil wrong was O.J. found guilty of in his wife's death?
15. Alex Haley's main character
16. Flower; kissing requirement
17. Oxymoronic motorcyclists
18. Famous sergeant; island companion
19. Chess board squares; Beatle old age
20. Audacity in Yiddish
21. Acronym for pampered women at the synagogue
22. Song upon entering Sleeping Beauty's Castle
23. Superman's main adversary and his girlfriends share what?
24. Elvis is the King; Bruce Springsteen is
25. The 20th reduced it by four months
26. Biblical resurrection; Statue author
27. T.S. Eliot poem; Weber musical
28. Island; potent marijuana
29. Where were "these little town shoes" walking?
30. Method of quitting; late for Thanksgiving
31. Famous Christmas street minus all black Civil War regiment =
32. Kevorkian word; young people in China
33. Luigi's complaint to stinky friend; state motto
34. Pinocchio and Jonah both . . . .
35. Beatles song answer to "Why"
36. Adjective preceding big green guy
37. Baseball month; psychiatric condition
38. Rapid transit acronym; Simpson name
39. "Why was I not made of stone like thee" speaker
40. Tim Robbins-Morgan Freeman movie; Scout knot sound-alike
41. High flyers vs. ocean carnivores = Bernstein gangs
42. Lift and separate; cross your heart — ad slogans for what three-letter word
43. What movie took place at Rydell High School?
44. Peanut butter; lube joint; quick time =
45. Next door neighbors of Vivian and William
46. Once French, moved to Canada and finally to Louisiana; distinct cuisine and music
47. Keroac novel; Willy Nelson add-on
48. Her last name liberates me, her book liberated millions of women
49. Rock group; sleep acronym
50. Marxist drug reference to religion
BONUS: (5 points — what to say to a Brit at the urinal (You'll like this if it gets past the censor)
1. Doubleday; 2. Alcatraz; 3. Archie; 4. Rod and staff (23rd psalm); 5. The Watusi; 6. Blackjack; 7. Limbo; 8. "in the dead of night"; 9. Brevity; 10. Davey Crockett; 11. Curds, Kurds; 12. Walt Disney (at Disneyland); 13. Robbery; 14. Wrongful death; 15. Kunta Kinte; 16. Tulips; 17. Hells Angels; 18. Friday; 19. Sixty-Four; 20. Chutzpah ; 21. JAP (Jewish American Princess); 22. "When you Wish Upon a Star"; 23. Alliteration of the letter 'L' (Lex Luthor, Lois Lane, Lana Lang); 24. "The Boss"; 25. The lame duck period; 26. Lazarus (Emma); 27. "Cats"; 28. "Maui Wowie"; 29. NYC; 30. Cold Turkey; 31. 20 (Miracle on 34th subtracted from 54th Regiment); 32. Euthanasia; 33. Eureka!; 34. Swallowed by a whale; 35. "Because"; 36. Incredible (Hulk); 37. October Madness; 38. BART; 39. Quasimoto; 40. "Shawshank Redemption"; Sheepshank; 41. Jets vs. Sharks (from "West Side Story"); 42. Bra; 43. "Grease"; 44. Jiffy; 45. Desi and Lucy; 46. Cajuns; 47. "On The Road," "On The Road Again"; 48. Betty Friedan ("The Feminine Mystique"); 49. R.E.M.; 50. Opiate; BONUS: European.