Dear Friends of the Pub Quiz,
My wife read a touching essay at the Sacramento Poetry Center Saturday afternoon. Because I appreciate the opportunity to call upon her for assistance in all things, I will quote it here, in its entirety:
“Some mornings when I drop off Truman at school, I feel a wistful tug at my mommy heartstrings, sensing the sweetness and the poignancy of each fleeting moment in time and an awareness that such moments soon blend into days and into years gone by.
We grown-ups can forget how hard life is for kids, how big the world seems, and how lost on the playground kids can feel.
Sometimes Truman gives me a hurried look just before turning away, and it really gets me: I know he’s preparing to face the trials of his day. I hope that he will recall the pep talk I gave him on the ride over and remember that he’s strong and brave. Sometimes I’m thinking about the bad dream that woke him (and then me) in the middle of the night and our ensuing snuggle; I hope that sense of Mommy comfort resides somewhere deep within him when he needs it most.
This morning, I watched him check for rain and then earnestly adjust the three hats he wore for Crazy Hat Day. He slung his Star Wars backpack over his shoulder, and as he headed for class, I noticed that his pants seemed barely to reach his ankles. Suddenly, his legs seem way too long for his frame. When did he become so lanky?
I know all too well what monumental developmental changes lie ahead for my sweet boy. And I’m bracing myself for the metamorphosis of adolescence. We can’t stop time, but I feel it slowing down a bit when I tune in and pay attention, savoring a hug and a sweet glance over his shoulder on a Friday morning just before my boy disappears into a sea of crazy hats.”
Truman and his big sister Geneva also read some poems and stories before the patient audience on Saturday to a crowd of almost 20. I sold a bunch of books, and thus have made almost enough to fund the first year of the Charles Ternes Prize, the creativity prize that I am establishing for veteran students at UC Davis. If you would like to contribute, the easiest way would be to purchase a copy of my book, In the Almond Orchard: Coming Home from War. I will have copies available at the Pub tonight. Copies can also be purchased at The Avid Reader (in Davis or Sacramento), and online.
Tonight’s Pub Quiz will feature questions on unions, World War II, togetherness, fish, animal trainers, Massachusetts, first-born children, famous pairs, classical music, Ellen DeGeneres, graduation ceremonies, cities whose names start with the letter D, the meaning of chrome, Louisiana, favorite fruits, neighborhood singers, women in the title, roots and tubers, Peruvian exports, river confluences, institutionalized thievery, Greenery, famous families of people who died too early, 124, proud parents of presidents, luck of the year, the joys of singing about exercise, people from New Hampshire, the trees of Europe, groups of people who I would like to meet, and Shakespeare.
Here are three questions from last week’s quiz:
- Internet Culture. True or False: Computer Engineering is the highest-paying college major.
- Newspaper Headlines. According to National Public Radio, how many schoolchildren are there in Texas? Is it 50,000, 500,000, five million, or 50 million?
- The 2016 Election. In February of this year, the journal and website Politico listed seven battleground states. Which comes first when these states are listed alphabetically? Hint: Virginia comes last. Another hint: If Trump gives up on the west, could Arizona be added to this list?