Posted by: thescoundrel | January 25, 2008

Fifth Grade – Use It or Lose It!

I have to admit I am not a big game show fan. Yes I had a brief fling watching Wheel of Fortune (mostly after it went nighttime, daytime went downhill fast after Pat Sajak left for the nightime version – can you say Rolf Benirschke) and would on occasion attempt to match wits with the Jeopardy enthusiasts. My trivia skills could best be described as, had I played for real, I would have lost on Jeopardy, baby! But then I dropped cable television for the better quality picture of satellite television, which meant no more ABC, NBC, CBS or Fox. I really did not lose sleep over the lost shows, especially the loss of game shows. (Really, all the quality games shows ended with The Gong Show featuring Gene-Gene the Dancing Machine!) Still I recently picked up local channels on my satellite package and have witnessed the onslaught of nighttime games shows since my absence. After being lured by watching a Jeff Foxworthy interview, I have now seen four episodes of one in particular and I can see that Elementary and Junior High is evidently universally transient knowledge. As I was watching the show “Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader” I became less and less impressed with the knowledge of adults and more impressed by the quickness exhibited by the young tykes that actually help the professional adults. I have to admit that I was more than a little embarrassed at my own inability to answer questions that used to flow off my tongue without even thinking for the answer. As I was watching the Jeff Foxworthy show, “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader”, it became apparent that I along with the adults that were actually participating on the show, were probably not smarter than a fifth grader. The most recent show contestants included an EMT, a Middle School (Junior High, for us traditionalists) Principal, a college student striving to become legally blonde, plus some assistance offered by the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. (Note to self, do not rely on the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders for help on answers to elementary school questions!) Let us just say that the show contestants along with this viewer struggled with some of the answers! It reminded me of an experience I had watching people in NYC being interviewed on the street by news reporters and being asked to name state capitals. I was having a good old belly laugh until I heard a capital question I could not answer. That was embarrassing since I could name all fifty state capitals long before I was a fifth grader. (It was a required knowledge edict from my mother. Her and my grandmother spent more time than any teacher ever attempted drilling them into my head!) As I was embarrassingly struggling for some of the answers on the Foxworthy hosted show, that past awkward memory resurfaced. Ooops – no dessert with supper for theScoundrel! One thought that has came form this TV viewing is that first through fifth grade learning is evidently universally transient knowledge and a case of use it or lose it! Another consideration is perhaps we should replace the current debate process with question from the “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader” television show and see if our POTUS candidates are smarter than a fifth grader! Hmmm I wouldn’t place any bets on the results, I am far too frugal for that kind of gambling, my odds are better with the lottery!


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