Monday, May 03, 2010

Meeting Alex Trebek

One of the annual events in the Geography Department at Texas State University is the Grosvenor Lecture. I usually dread this event, because the speakers are often dry, pedantic, and simply boorish. Since I have been here, I have sat quietly and patiently during talks by some mountain explorer, some schlep that I cannot even remember, and last year some total crook from the nature conservancy. This year, Alex Trebek was invited because of his participation in the National Geography Bee. Now, I cannot stand the Geography Bee, but I was intrigued at the idea of Trebek coming on campus. However, his television persona is somewhat dry, pedantic, and boorish, but once I met him-- I began to realize that may be more of a factor of his reactions toward the dorky contestants on Jeopardy than anything else. Julie, myself, and two friends (Hunter and Linda) were invited to a VIP reception to meet Trebek. He was very coordial and welcoming to both faculty and students. He was impressed with our University and department. He had no formal speech, but fielded questions from the audience about the game show and the television industry. The hour went by very quickly and he shared stories and anecdotes about life in the TV industry. I asked my students the next day what they thought of the lecture. They all liked it!-- except one student who tried to anticipate my reaction by saying, "I wish he had talked more about the Geography Bee." I said that I could appreciate that sentiment, but that I did not share the feeling. Anyway, here is a photo, from the event. A real highlight of my four years here at Texas State.


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