Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Bookends: The Trivia Quiz & Art Class Memories

My junior year in high school I took my first art class since grade school. It proved to be a significant decision. The night before that first day of school my best friend had been hit by a car and was killed twenty minutes after I had seen him and said, "I'll see you tomorrow."

Art took on a significant role for me that year. It became a way in which I dealt with my internal wrestlings with significant life issues and a form of escape. It simultaneously became intertwined with my search for meaning.

So it was that art class with Mr. Sebes was a meaningful safe harbor in the midst of the tedium of high school studies, reports and other stresses. This was the late sixties, and there was a record player in the art class room. And there were a couple girls in our class who brought Simon Garfunkel albums to that class, playing them endlessly. In fact, I believe it's possible we went two full years listening to nothing but the same Simon and Garfunkel albums, over and over and over.

In English class, Mr. Harris used contemporary music to teach us about poetry, elevating it to cultural explorations about the angst of our time, which was especially conveyed in many of the songs Simon & Garfunkel wrote and sang, such as Richard Cory and A Most Peculiar Man or the Beatles' She's Leaving Home.

So it is that last night I was thinking about how these songs were played so frequently I could actually remember nearly every line and tonal inflection. From this, I decided to make a quiz for you. Maybe you remember those songs as well. Here are twelve questions based on the album Bookends. See how well you perform. Ten or better is an A. Answer below.

At the Zoo
1. Which animal is kindly but dumb?
2. Which animal is skeptical of changes in their cages?
3. This animal stands for honesty. What is it?
4. Which animal plots in secrecy?
5. And which is insincere?

And more...
6. What was the name of the draft dodger living downstairs in Punky’s Dilemma?
7. What was the name of the famous baseball player in Mrs. Robinson?
8. In the song Fakin’ It, what occupation did the narrator have in another lifetime?
9. Who was the officer in Save the Life of My Child?
10. What happened when the spotlight hit the boy?
11. What was the narrator drinking while looking over manuscripts of unpublished rhyme in A Hazy Shade of Winter?
12. In the song America, what did the narrator say when Kathy was sleeping?

ANSWERS
1. Elephants
2. Orangutans
3. Monkeys
4. Pigeons
5. Giraffes
6. Old Roger draft-dodger
7. Joe DiMaggio
8. A Tailor
9. Officer McDougal
10. He flew away
11. Vodka and lime
12. “Kathy, I’m lost.”
How did you do?

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