Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Todd Test Revealed

As promised, here's the answers to The Todd Test; Li'l Dill, stop reading immediately until after you take the quiz. Everyone else, feel free to proceed.

Question #1

Which of the following was I not president of?
Technology Student Association (high school)
Honors Society (high school)
Student Council (high school)
English Club (college)

Correct Answer: Honors Society. This was one of the tricky ones that pretty much only people who knew me in High School would know, since only they would know that Wyandotte didn't have an Honors Society with officers at the time I was going there. A lot of people picked Student Council, which is understandable, since in a lot of places StuCo elections are popularity contests and I wasn't exactly king of the school; however, when I ran for prez, nobody ran against me, so I didn't have to worry about experiencing the agony of popularity-driven defeat.

Question #2.
Most kids have security blankets: I had a security what?
Teddy Bear
Stuffed monkey

Correct Answer: Security stick, as I described in this blog post about weird things I did as a kid. Most of the folks who got it wrong fell into my trap and picked "Stuffed monkey," so I shall take this chance to say yet again that the monkey obsession is not inherent in me, but rather a byproduct of my friendship with Rebel Monkey, as explained here.

Question #3
I took first place at the TSA national conference twice in what event?
Prepared Speech
Technology Bowl (Quiz bowl)
Extemporaneous Speech
Chapter Team (Parliamentary procedure)

Correct Answer: Chapter Team (Parliamentary procedure). The Wyandotte team took first place at nationals twice while I was involved, once my 8th grade year when I was Sergeant-at-Arms, and once my Senior year, when I was president. In fact, the first year we won, the heads of the Oklahoma TSA delegation had our team come to Stillwater to video-tape a demonstration to distribute to other TSA chapters wanting to do Chapter Teams. For the record, I did compete in all of the events listed at least once, but only really enjoyed Chapter Team and Extemp.

Question #4
What is the only Competitive Speech piece I ever qualified for State with?
"Jack and the Beanstalk" by Roald Dahl
"The October Game" by Ray Bradbury
"To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee
"The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota" by Weird Al Yankovic

Correct Answer: "The October Game" by Ray Bradbury. Love this story; very dark and twisted. And, although I was nearly sabotaged by Mr. Green Rabbit's Foot, I did manage to qualify for State with it my Freshman year. I did perform each of the other pieces listed, and have discussed each of them here at one point or another, but although I qualified for Regionals with each, but wasn't able to make it to State with any of them.

Question #5
How many stories did I have published in Papyrus, the OSU undergraduate literary publication?

Correct Answer: 2. The first piece was one of the two short stories I've posted here, Moving On.; if you want more info on the writing process and how I nearly didn't make the cut for Papyrus, you can go here. The second piece was called "Neat Freak," and was a SF tale set in the same world as the Painkiller and Nature Boy segments of In a Cabin in the Woods. Surprisingly, it was easier getting the SF story in than the slice-of-life story, but I think the selection committee had a lot to do with that.

Question #6
What is my favorite Stephen King novel?
The Shining
Needful Things

Correct answer: The Shining. Love this book; the other three listed are high up on my list as well, but each of them sort of fell flat for me with their endings, while The Shining was solid all the way through.

Question #7
How long have I been teaching Sunday School?
approx. 2 years
approx. 2 1/2 years
approx. 3 years
approx. 3 1/2 years

Correct answer: approx. 2 1/2 years. In retrospect, I wish I had approached this question a bit differently, but oh well.

Question #8
What is my favorite Shakespeare tragedy?
Romeo and Juliet
King Lear

Correct Answer: Macbeth. I was very surprised that my mom got this one wrong, as it was her Senior English class that first introduced me to The Scottish Play; to this day I'm disappointed that Kenneth Brannagh never tried to do a film version of it. Runner up for favorite tragedy? King Lear, which I gained a special appreciation for when I had to do a scene from it for class.

Question #9
Which of the following movies did NOT cause me great mental pain?
A Sound of Thunder
Meet the Parents
Do the Right Thing
Death to Smoochy

Correct Answer: Death to Smoochy. Yes, that's right: Death to Smoochy. Lots of folks hate it, but I actually liked it. The other three films though . . . sheesh. Sound of Thunder drove me insane with its faulty time travel theory, let alone stupid character decisions; Do the Right Thing's ending ticked me off to no end because they played it off like the destruction of the pizza place was somehow justified; and Meet the Parents caused me intense pain throughout almost the entire film with people lying for no reason and jumping to conclusions and being total jerks beyond measure. HatehateHATE that movie.

Question #10
Where was my first full time job?
Telemarketing firm
Chemical plant
Public library
University library

Correct Answer: Chemical plant. The summer between graduating from high school and heading off to OSU, I got a job at the chemical plant where Frost-E-Frost's dad worked. Seem like an odd choice for me? Not when you consider that at the time I was thinking about pursuing a degree in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering. It's a toss up between whether I consider this job my worst job of all time, or if my few months as a telemarketer win that title; on the one hand, there were aspects of the chemical plant job which made me miserable, not the least of which was that I was always being unfavorably compared to my predecessor in the position, a man who had spent most of the time he was supposed to be training me just showing me where the best spots were to go and take a nap so you wouldn't get caught. But, he was able to stand around and tell dirty jokes and swap tales of drunken conquests with the other guys, so he was golden; quiet, introverted, still-in-my-shell Cap'n N. was not so favored. Still, working at the plant didn't make me physically ill at the thought of going in to work, so telemarketing might have the edge. Most people picked one of the library jobs, but I didn't get a job at the public library until after I quite telemarketing, and even then it was part-time; the academic library job came even later, after I graduated college.

Question #11
What instrument did I play in band?

Correct Answer: Saxophone. Alto Saxophone, to be precise. I remember coming home from our first day of band in 5th grade and telling my mom "I'm not sure what instrument I want to play, saxophone or drums--" "Saxophone," my mother responded quickly and with finality, having been beset with visions of my younger self walking around the house with drum sticks banging on everything in sight. So, alto sax it was. I can't remember the last time I played; probably the summer between Freshman and Sophomore year of college when I would occasionally play during church.

Question #12
What was the title of my college essay where I began to explore my neurotic tendencies?
On the Outside Looking In
Of Prisms and Plotlines
The Nerd's Soliloquy
My Own Worst Enemy

Correct Answer: "Of Prisms and Plotlines." I know this threw some people off because it doesnt necessarily sound like it's about neurotic tendencies, but really, why would you expect me to approach things from a normal* P.O.V.? I mentioned this one a couple of times in the blog, one during the Secret Origins series, and once in the intro to In a Cabin, where I talked about the plotline aspect of the title; the prism aspect comes from this passage:
One of my biggest problems has always been that I think too much about everything. Not too hard, just too much. I picture my mind as some sort of prism which separates future possibilities in much the same way as a regular prism separates visible light into the colors of the rainbow. Right before any decision my mind is suddenly paralyzed with what seems like an infinite number of possibilities, all of which are disastrous and sure to lead me to my doom. Faced with certain failure I'm usually unable to act until the situation in question is over. Then the prism in my mind shifts ever so slightly, and I am inundated with a flood of new possibilities, all of which are perfectly happy, perfectly fabulous, and by that point, perfectly out of my reach. Which typically sends me hurtling into depression.
Ah, the good ol' days of rampant paranoia, huh? As for the other titles, the only one that was ever a real work by me was "The Nerd's Soliloquy," which I wrote for an Original Oratory for Competitive Speech -- the morning of competition. Have I mentioned I'm a horrible procrastinator, or have I been putting off talking about that?

Question #13
What recurring cast member of Buffy the Vampire Slayer did I meet at the Sidewalk Film Festival in Birmingham?
Emma Caulfield (Anya)
Marc Blucas (Riley)
Amber Benson (Tara)
Danny Strong (Jonathan)

Correct Answer: Amber Benson (Tara). Holy cow, I can't believe I've never really talked about my Amber Benson encounter here outside of a passin comment or two; this one is worthy of a full-fledged blog post for posterity's sake. The title is already determined: Incidence of Coincidence.

Question #14
My Honors Thesis dealt with the use of supernatural themes in the work of a well-respected multicultural author. What was it called?
The Ghosts of Toni Morrison
The Ghosts of Amy Tan
The Ghosts of Leslie Marmon Silko
The Ghosts of Maxine Hong Kingston

Correct Answer: "The Ghosts of Amy Tan." I did write papers about two of the other writers mentioned ("Yellow Woman and Woman Warrior: oral storytelling tradition in the works of Leslie Marmon Silko and Maxine Hong Kingston"), but it was the evolving use of ghost stories and supernatural themes in Tan's first three novels that became the focus of my honor's thesis. For a while my thesis abstract was up on the OSU Honor's program website as an example for others (as was the abstract for Coronela's), but alas, it has since been replaced. I think I got more compliments for the presentation I gave about the paper in front of other thesis candidates than I did for the paper itself; one of the people there ran into my years later while I was working at the OSU library and recognized me, which was cool.

Question #15
What class in college did I barely manage to pull out a B in, wrecking my 4.0?

Correct Answer: Chemistry. "But wait," the more observant among you might be saying, "didn't you just say five questions ago that you had thought about being a Chemistry major?" Yes, yes I did; please note that my final major was something totally different. To be honest, my grade was not a result of me not being able to do the work, as much as it was me being too dazzled by my first semester of college and not applying myself to do the work. Plus, my professor didn't allow partial credit because, he said, "they don't allow partial credit in the working world" -- an argument I felt lacked solidity due to the fact that he also insisted we memorize all formulas and constants, not to mention the Periodic Table, a requirement that I'm pretty sure wasn't enforced in the working world. I barely scraped out a B in the class thanks to cramming hard for the final and doing well in the lab. Surprisingly enough, it was the lab, which I generally did well in, which convinced me to pursue something other than Chemistry, as the experiments bored the living daylights out of me. Oh, I also wound up with Bs in Calc and Stat, but they were high Bs, and the fact that I had already gotten my first B out of the way my first semester kind of took the pressure off of maintaining the As across the board; as long as my GPA was high enough to keep all my scholarships, that was all I cared about.

Question #16
Which of the following is NOT a pet peeve of mine in movies/TV?
People lyling for no good reason.
Non-linear storytelling
Doing a "Rear Window" homage as a red herring
Misrepresentation of dissociative identity disorder

Correct Answer: Non-linear storytelling. The fact that I love movies likeGo, Pulp Fiction, and (most tellingly) Memento should say all I need to about why that one doesn't bother me. As for the others . . . The "lying for no good reason" thing just bugs me on an almost primal level; misrepresentation of DID bugs me because of the research paper I did on it, back in the day when it was still known as MPD (Multiple Personality Disorder); and the "Rear Window" thing bugs me because it's always a red herring, taking away any dramatic tension it might hold. The lying thing is the only one that can completely ruin a movie for me, but the other two do grate as well.

Question #17
How many times have I been asked to be a groomsman for a friend's wedding?

Correct Answer: 1. It amazes me how many people put 3 as their answer (including my mom); apparently y'all think I'm more popular than I actually am. No, the only wedding I've been in was Wrath teh Berzerkr's, and that was largely due to the fact that I was rooming with him at the time.

Question #18
Out of the following performers my parents subjected me to as a youth, which can I not stand?
Linda Rondstat
Neil Diamond
Kingston Trio

Correct answer: Neil Diamond. Nothing much to say about this one; just don't care for Neil Diamond's music. I can tolerate it, but not happily. As for the other three, I own a "Best of" album of each.

Question #19
I was once ticketed for wreckless endangerment; what acquaintance from college was driving the other car involved?
A former professor
A former roommate
A former R.A.
A former Hall Director

Correct Answer: A former Hall Director. Also surprised I haven't talked about this incident at all; going to have to get to blogging about that soon as well. Oh, and despite people calling foul, there is a difference between R.A. and Hall Director, so deal with it.

Question #20
For those who actually read "In a Cabin in the Woods," Caleb's cat is named for one of my favorite fictional characters, and is what I plan on naming my next pet. What is it?

Correct Answer: Tenzil. Named for Tenzil Kem, one of my favorite characters from one of my favorite comics, Legion of Super-Heroes.. Nevyn is a character from Katherine Kerr's Daggerspell series; Matrim is from Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series; and Zoidberg (who almost everyone guessed) is by far my favorite character on the excellent animated series Futurama.

And there you have it, your guide to the wonderful world of Todd. Maybe you'll all do better on the next quiz . . .



Flunky lover said...

You forgot to mention how well I did on your test. That was some pretty impressive guesswork.