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What are lessons from Jeopardy, Alex?


November 17, 2020



On Nov. 8, we learned that Alex Trebek had passed away after his courageous battle with cancer. Like many, I was quite saddened to hear of Mr. Trebek’s passing. I am not sure about you, but I found that through the initial lockdown in March, I was craving entertainment that was not dark and twisty, and that would be a good distraction from the stress, anxiety and frustrations of the pandemic.

This was when I rediscovered Jeopardy. It was like visiting an old friend (albeit one that knows everything), and I found myself making it part of my daily routine. I was inspired watching Mr. Trebek host the show, knowing of his diagnosis, and I laughed at his dry humour when he stated that he needed to fight cancer since he still had three years left on his contract.

After his death, people began to share the reasons they loved Alex Trebek and Jeopardy — they found him funny and smart. People noted that the show helped them learn English, or they watched it with their family every night.

This reminded me of when I was about 11. I’d visit my grandmother and we would watch Jeopardy after supper (sometimes my grandmother “watched” the show through her eyelids, but that’s another story). Little did my grandmother know that I would often watch the show at an earlier time so when we’d watch together, I could answer more questions. She would always be so impressed at how many of the questions I got correct. I thought I was so clever, but I suspect that she knew what was up the entire time.

It’s tough sometimes to remember or find the humour in stressful times. This is why I chose to share this story as opposed my original column about the polarization in the United States after their recent election (and how extraordinarily great it is that Kamala Harris was elected!). However it may look for you, it’s important during these times that we take breaks from the anxiety and stress life is handing us. We all need to find a bit of humour these days and allow ourselves to enjoy it. Even if it’s just a moment to provide the answer in a form of a question. ❚

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