Guest Blogger: The Day I Met Sporcle

Here’s the second entry in a series of several blog posts by guest writers we hope to run in the coming weeks and months. This post was written by Jane Kulow who runs a very informative blog called Dr. StrangeCollege.

I met Sporcle on Thursday, June 4th, 2009…

…And it was sort of like love at first sight. If you can fall in love with a website, that is.

Our sister-in-law sent an email about an upcoming reunion — a family Olympics that has been going for thirty years — and tossed this challenge our way:

“Oh yeah, you might check out this trivia website:  to prep for the trivia section.”

Our family of five immediately jumped down the Sporcle rabbit-hole.

Who knew there were ten three-letter body parts? [Why couldn’t I think of ‘gum’?]

How many countries in Africa could we name? [I think I got about a dozen on the first try. Had you heard of Sao Tome and Principe?] Even Europe was tough until I learned how to spell Herzegovina.

While our 12 year old son earned a basketball jersey from us by conquering the names of all the countries of the world, I still have a mental block with the islands of Oceania. I know they would be useful in other games (countries ending in U, anyone?), but I haven’t yet devoted the brain-muscle.

Meanwhile, the ever-devious Sporcle-ites came up with the bomb: the game that ends with one wrong answer. I’m not going to say thank you for that.

I will say thank you to Sporcle for developing such a great group activity — whether for our family or for the college competitions or, the newest, online challenges. Often, in this household, one of us will be attempting a game when someone else walks into the home office. The simple phrase, “Got a minute?”, actually means: “Could you please pull your chair over here beside mine right now and help me with this Sporcle quiz?” Not one of us can say no to that, whether or not we have a minute or six minutes to spare.

Besides the fun participation for the family, Sporcle gives each of us an area of expertise. The twelve year old is an NFL Trivia expert and created a few games early on. Our fifteen year old daughter is a maven of current pop culture, design, and every one of the hundreds of books she has read. Our seventeen year old son covers the waterfront of music quizzes in all genres and international soccer. My husband and I dominate (did I say that?) on history and literature trivia as well as pre ’90s pop culture, but we clearly stopped paying attention to prime time television when we had babies.

There’s no going back to prime time TV, either. We’d rather play Sporcle.

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Jane Kulow tweets about schools, books, and libraries as @CvlKulow. She’s a Red Sox fan, an avid reader and Jane blogs about the college search / admissions / finance front at DrStrangeCollege.wordpress.com. Her three teens are so glad.

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