April 2018 Wellness Champion

April Wellness Champion

Pictured Above: Buffy Martin Tarbox, from San Francisco, CA (left), Sharon Lawson (centre), Brittany Hanlon, from Huddersfield, UK (right)

We Did Not Choose Trivia, Trivia Chose Us


Our April Wellness Champion is trivia enthusiast Sharon Lawson from the Faculty of Health Sciences – Dean’s Office. Sharon has been a fan of Jeopardy! since it started back up in the ‘80's. She got into it right away and describes herself as a trivia nut! Sharon lives by one of her favourite quotes from the book Brainiac: Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs - “We did not choose trivia. Trivia chose us.”

Sharon and a friend of hers from Lethbridge College started taking the practice test for Jeopardy! years ago to prepare themselves if they were ever given the opportunity to audition for Jeopardy!. Sharon was just recently given this opportunity – which has been a dream of hers for some time now. She was invited to try out to be a contestant on Jeopardy! last month.

Sharon explained that when you take the initial online test, you select where you would want to audition from a list of closest cities to you. The Jeopardy! team contacts you via email to notify you if you have been selected for an audition or not. Sharon shared that she almost accidentally deleted the email she received inviting her for an audition! The nerve-wracking part is that you must reply to their email within 48 hours of them sending it to you! So, when Sharon got that email she called up her friend and travel partner Lisa, and they started making travel plans for Vancouver.

The weather in Vancouver was awful that weekend and several flights from Calgary were cancelled, so making her way to Vancouver was a challenge in itself - never mind the intense 50 question test she had to complete as part of the audition. The test consisted of answering 50 questions in a short period of time. Such a short period of time in fact, that each contestant is given less than 10 seconds per question to write down their answer.  Sharon explained that there is no organization to how the test is structured. Each question can skip to a new category or topic with no rhyme or reason. These tests are designed to test how fast you can think on your feet. Thankfully, (and you bet we asked) spelling does not count! However, your answers must be legible.

Sharon said that there were 25 people in her audition. She said it was very intense at first, everyone was looking around, trying to size up the competition. When the introductions rolled around she learned that about 60% of the eligible contestants were from Vancouver and the surrounding area. The rest of the contestants consisted of one from Kelowna, one from Salmon Arm, two from Edmonton, one from Calgary and herself from Lethbridge, one from Saskatoon and even one from San Francisco. Sharon explained that they participated in a sort of icebreaker quiz. The purpose of it was to calm everyone's nerves and make the environment a little more relaxed, all while preparing you for what was to come. It was designed to get participants to wait until the entire clue was read before buzzing in (this didn’t go very well J). Sharon was then given the opportunity to do a trial run of a mock Jeopardy! game that consisted of 3 participants at a time with real buzzers and even a video greeting from Alex Trebek himself!

When Sharon isn’t practicing trivia, she spends her time playing golf, reading, hanging out with friends and playing with her cat, Graycie - who is leash trained and even enjoys walks outdoors! Sharon is also an avid traveler, having been to England 3 times already, with another trip planned for July. She loves spending time in London and also attends the University of Cambridge, where she takes Medieval History classes. Sharon finds joy in her many interesting hobbies and we think she is an exemplary model when it comes to practicing self-care. Sharon takes the time in her life to focus on the things and places that truly make her the happiest.

Please help us in congratulating Sharon on her exemplary lifestyle.