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A great reckoning in a little room

marlowe1marlowe1 1004 replies27 threads Senior Member
edited June 2019 in University of Chicago
If you strike at the King you had best kill him. Yesterday U of C librarian Emma Boettcher conquered the phenomenal James Holzhauer. His previous Jeopardy victories had been stupendous, one-sided and unprecedented. He had set close to a dozen records for the magnitude of his one-day wins. He was a professional gambler with steely nerves, lightning reflexes, and seemingly unlimited ready information in every imaginable field. Emma took him down with the magic question, "Who is Marlowe?"

Don't let anyone tell you that a knowledge of Shakespeare and his great contemporaries is without utility.

The King is dead, long live the Queen.
edited June 2019
35 replies
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Replies to: A great reckoning in a little room

  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 5893 replies96 threads Senior Member
    edited June 2019
    To be fair, they both did answer the final 'who is marlowe' question correctly....but she had more money in the end which is all that matters!
    edited June 2019
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  • makemesmartmakemesmart 1775 replies14 threads Senior Member
    Haha! Good one!
    Rumor has it the gambler is tired of the game...
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  • 85bears4685bears46 768 replies44 threads Member
    I have never imagined that there would be a celebrity working at the Reg ;)

    What surprises me most is that this happened in mid-March. You mean Jeopardy is not live?
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  • marlowe1marlowe1 1004 replies27 threads Senior Member
    They tape something like five shows a day during brief intense periods, then decant them on air through the year. Everyone involved is sworn to secrecy. Emma was good throughout the game and she got lucky in getting the daily doubles (although to have a chance at getting them you have to have been ringing in and answering ordinary questions effectively). She also followed Holzhauer's technique of betting all her winnings on the first daily double she turned up - and answering correctly, of course. Still, the Champ looked just a little off his game. Hard to think he was tired of winning an average of 70 grand a pop, but maybe this was his fifth show of the day - whereas it was her first. He was a likeable guy, but if he had to be beat, good that it should be a young woman stamping due dates on books at the Reg.
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  • intparentintparent 36292 replies644 threads Senior Member
    There is a whole different thread on this.
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  • marlowe1marlowe1 1004 replies27 threads Senior Member
    Many thanks, @Erin's Dad .

    It's up to Emma now to keep it going. At least she dodged the curse of the giant-slayers by winning last night.

    There will be no dearth of Chicago hands to applaud her exploits. It would be nice if Alex were to use his chat time with her to draw out something about her work at the U of C. However, I have noticed that employers are seldom mentioned by name.
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  • milee30milee30 2920 replies19 threads Senior Member
    Is she a UChicago grad or simply an employee?
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  • marlowe1marlowe1 1004 replies27 threads Senior Member
    Don't believe she got any of her education at the U of C but merely works there at Regenstein Library. Some of the stuff she is handling in the stacks must have rubbed off, but I hope she's also been watching lots of television, reading comic books and listening to bands. She's somewhat of a scholar on the subject of trivia-based quiz shows (just what show could she have been thinking of?). She wrote a thesis at UNC analyzing the weighting of difficulty in any question according to the number of variables in play in the question - or something like that. Having a theoretical grasp of the subject probably instills some level of confidence. But, Emma, keep your trigger finger limber on that signalling device!
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  • 85bears4685bears46 768 replies44 threads Member
    She took a day off at Reg yesterday according to NBC News. Her undergrad degree was from Princeton and she had a master degree from U of North Carolina. I didn't know a staff librarian requires such advanced education. My bad.

    I wonder whether Emma will get a round of applause next time she shows up on the first floor of Reg, which is not designated as a quiet zone.

    Man, there have been a lot of celebrity news at U of C lately. First Angelina Jolie's visit. Now a Jeopardy champion. What happens to my seclusive scholarly ivory tower ;) ?
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  • JHSJHS 18503 replies72 threads Senior Member
    Princeton! marlowe1's anti-Chicago! And, what's more, she grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs! So an East Coast Princetonian, who is obviously quirky as hell and fits right in at the Reg.

    I think the anti-Chicago-exceptionalists get points for this!

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  • marlowe1marlowe1 1004 replies27 threads Senior Member
    Ah, but remember, @JHS , that he or she who comes to the U of C renounces all that came before. I'm claiming Emma as a genuine Chicago spirit who has found her home after years in the wilderness of Philadelphia and Princeton!
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  • JHSJHS 18503 replies72 threads Senior Member
    It doesn't look like she renounced all that came before. She first tried out for Jeopardy when she was in high school, and she wrote her masters thesis on analyzing Jeopardy questions. She's doing what she's always done.

    Consult, if you will, the requirements for an English major at Princeton and Chicago. Princeton English majors must take a survey course on English literature from the 14th through the 18th Centuries, plus two more courses of their choice in pre-19th Century English literature. That pretty much insures some contact with Shakespeare and Marlowe. Chicago students need only take one course on English literature before 1650, not necessarily a survey. It is perfectly possible to be an English major at Chicago and never to read Shakespeare or Marlowe.
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  • Lea111Lea111 250 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Audience members emit a soft gasp, all eyes move to marlowe ....
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  • marlowe1marlowe1 1004 replies27 threads Senior Member
    There you go pricking my balloon again.

    Is it really possible for anyone to pass through the University of Chicago, English major or not, without reading Shakespeare? Did either of your students do that, @JHS ?

    I won't defend the current English Lit program about which I don't have any real knowledge but a considerable amount of skepticism. I was weaned on long reading lists, survey courses, and the greats. English Lit has moved into a different world since my brief academic engagement with it. I suppose the Chicago English Department must be doing something right given its number one ranking. In my day it never enjoyed that sort of eminence, little though I cared about such things as that.

    Whatever is happening in English Lit these days, if I ask myself what makes for an educated person, the answer is not necessarily a familiarity with the minor authors of English poems and prose. What impresses me more is familiarity with the great foundational texts of philosophy, history, social thought, and world literature, regardless of major.

    I'll split you down the middle on this one and give, reluctantly, some credit to Princeton and the public schools of Philadelphia for forming Emma. But it was undeniably at Chicago that she attained her apotheosis.

    Go Emma! You have the whole of a great university rooting for you.
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  • 85bears4685bears46 768 replies44 threads Member
    I sat on a couch at the first floor of Reg for 15 minutes while hoping that Emma would show up for a thunderous round of applause. Alas, our stars did not align and she was nowhere to be seen.

    It was just the usual loud den of Reg. That reminded me why even in my days I chose to study at Crerar. Reg was too social for me :)
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  • marlowe1marlowe1 1004 replies27 threads Senior Member
    You always do the fieldwork for us, @85bears46 , but on this occasion the butterfly did not flutter. Emma's library specialty is something like "user experience", and she can apparently be seen from time to time at the Reg with clipboard in hand questioning users about the quality of their experience. If you hang around long enough, bears, you may end up as a guinea pig!

    I think somebody should think of putting her in a classroom teaching "The Semiotics of the Quiz Show Experience".
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  • JHSJHS 18503 replies72 threads Senior Member
    I don't remember hearing about any Shakespeare in either of my kids' Hums. You might think Human Being and Citizen would include something, but generally it doesn't.

    Of course my English major took a Shakespeare course with David Bevington. Everyone did. But they didn't have to if they didn't want to. I am pretty certain my Sociology major didn't read any Shakespeare in any of his Chicago courses. He was a theater kid, and had read, seen, and would continue to read and to see, and to work on, a whole bunch of Shakespeare. But not in any UChicago classroom.

    In fairness, 100% of students show up at Chicago having read at least a Shakespeare play per year in high school, and high school teachers don't do a terrible job of teaching Shakespeare. I can understand how it may be more important to introduce people to things not everyone has read before that are also valuable -- Plato, Augustine, Dante, etc.
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  • 85bears4685bears46 768 replies44 threads Member
    From Tribune 6 hours ago:

    The 27-year-old North Side resident earned $25,601 on Wednesday’s episode for a three-day win total of $97,002. She told “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek that her travel goal this year is to visit major cities that only have the “o” vowel in their name, including London and Toronto.

    “When do you hit Oslo?” Trebek asked.

    “I’m hoping to do that,” Boettcher said.

    “And what others?” Trebek asked.

    “Well, Rockford, Illinois, is closest, but perhaps not as glamorous a destination,” Boettcher said.

    Boettcher, who hails from the Philadelphia area, had $24,400 going into “Final Jeopardy!,” and she correctly answered the final clue about X-rays. D.C. education policy analyst Erin Garratt had $12,800 for the final round, and she missed the final clue. New Jersey high school social studies teacher Jonathan Greenstein didn’t get to play the final round because he didn’t have enough money.

    Boettcher faces a Massachusetts policy researcher adviser and an Alabama freelance writer on Thursday’s episode, which is scheduled to air at 3:30 p.m. on WLS-Ch. 7.

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