Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Stump the Tantrum

It's a challenge for me to sit still for more than two hours unless I'm watching a movie, reading a book, playing Wii, stalking prey or pretending to be a statue on Bourbon Street for money.

But this week I'm in Compliance Training as it relates to software development, and our training is all day. And as bad as that sounds, our trainer has actually managed to keep us all interested by intertwining "training time" with "trivia time."

You know us computer nerds love our trivia!

So to keep us all awake, every hour or so we have a quick trivia quiz. Some of the questions that we've been asked so far have been:

Q: What's the most common city name in the US?
A: Franklin

(I got this one after we guess a few presidents' names and our trainer told us it wasn't named after a president. By the way, Ben Franklin was a constitutional bad-ass, beyotch!)

Q: What are the top ten US cities with the highest population?
A: Go here for the list.

(I guessed Arvada, Colorado, but it was 239th.)

And here's one that I missed, but think I should get credit for:

Q: What's the longest one-syllable word in the English language?
A: scrootched

(I said "smiles" because there's a mile in between the s's.)

In between these few moments of trivia are hours of actual training, which has actually been very educational. Our trainer is an "IT Auditor," which means he's a professional hacker - it's his job to try to break into systems and find any holes in security. Anytime a professional hacker is paid to come to your office, it at least makes the day a little more interesting. I'm just happy I'm on this side of things.

So if you have to give a speech, presentation or host a training seminar any time soon, try throwing out some trivia questions when returning from a break. Trivia is a great ice-breaker, gets people talking, and might actually keep people awake for the entire duration of your speech.

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