A junior from Yale University...

Dara Lind

What do you love most about Jeopardy!?
I tend to have this very starry-eyed 20-year-old idealistic way of putting things, and it occurred to me on the plane that the virtue of Jeopardy! was that it's basically--y'know--displaying the merits of naming the things of the world, right? Like, displaying that you're aware of and familiar with and comfortable with all of these different, y'know, kinds of knowledge, the--the things around us. Um, and really just kind of making--y'know--interacting with the world in that way.

Will you use your Jeopardy! appearance to impress people?
Um, I've been having fun with it so far. Y'know, I've been kind of like, "Oh, yeah, y'know, I'm going to Madison." "Madison? What's there?" "Uhhh, Jeopardy! taping?" "Oh my God! You're on Jeopardy!?" Um-- [edit] --it's more something that I'd, y'know, probably just kinda bring up to--y'know--uh, to--to have fun with people.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I was thinking for a while that I kinda wanted to go into communications/PR/marketing/that sort of thing. Um, recently, I've kinda fallen in love with the other side of the message machine--which is, like, y'know, writing/journalism. Um, I've, all--if--I absolutely want to be writing. That's the one thing that I know I'm doing--I just don't really know what I'm doing with it. Um, I will almost certainly be in Washington, D.C. because I lived there last summer, and I loved the city.

Can you sing your school's fight song?
Um, I could... It involves barking, so... [Laughs] All right:
Bulldog! Bulldog! (arf!) /
Bow, wow, wow /
Eli Yale /
Bulldog! (arf!) Bulldog! (arf!) /
Bow, wow, wow /
Our team will never fail /

When the sons of Eli /
Break through the line /
That is the sign we hail /
Go Yale!

2008 College Championship quarterfinalist: $5,000.

20 and from Cincinnati, OH at the time of the College Championship.

Jeopardy! Message Board user name: DaraL

Dara's First Blog Entry
Posted May 2, 2008

I juggle well.

Not with scarves or flaming hoops or anything--my hand-eye coordination is positively awful. (I've been thinking about this a lot lately because of its effect on my buzzer speed--why, oh why, couldn't I have spent more time playing video games in middle school and less time reading?) But in a metaphorical sense, I'm basically in a constant state of juggle. There have been occasions when I haven't had more on my agenda than I could handle, sure, but the single-mindedness and focus that not having to bounce continually from activity to activity gives me yields quickly to tunnel vision and, ultimately, claustrophobia.

All of this is by way of saying that my training regime for Jeopardy, in the three weeks since I found out I was going to be on the show, has basically been to think about it as little as possible and immerse myself in other things. Certainly, there are enough other things to think about: my double-major course-load is slowly wearing down what work ethic I have, my extracurricular activities are gearing up for the end of the semester, etc.

And I have no idea--none--what I'm doing this summer, or for that matter after graduation next year. This would be ironic if it weren't so terrifying: I'm living the life of a junior-league public intellectual--writing a newspaper column, debating with the Yale Political Union, etc.--and it's not getting me any internship offers; what it's gotten me instead is a slot on a television quiz show.

This is the problem with the juggler's mentality, of course--I'm compelled to work on what I lack rather than admitting the awesomeness of what I have. Being selected for the Jeopardy! College Championship is fantastic. It's surreal. It is, of course, the sort of thing that any nerd dreams of growing up. And while I haven't been watching the show since coming to college, the audition process was a much bigger deal for me than I admitted to myself: I missed part of a Political Union debate to take the online test, which I was convinced I'd bombed, and was so intent on making a good impression at the live audition that I maintained perfect posture even when I didn't think anyone was looking. I even resisted the urge to make snarky comments, which was especially difficult given that my friend Sameer was also trying out. (We haven't had the chance to hang out since the audition, and I don't know if he knows I'm on the show. He called me yesterday to set something up for this week and I haven't had the heart to call him back and let him know that I'm not exactly going to be available.) Then I went six weeks waiting to hear, and agonizing over it a little more than I should have (energy I probably should have put into internship applications, I'm thinking).

I went into a sort of ecstatic panic when I found out--I definitely haven't hyperventilated that much since I found out I'd gotten into Yale. (In fairness, the Yankees haven't been in the World Series since then, so my opportunities have been limited.) I was at home in Cincinnati over spring break, and at the time I was catching up with an elementary school teacher of mine over tea. I could barely hear the details about the tournament over her shrieks. I'm so happy I got to make her day.

- Read more from Dara on May 5th!


Posted May 5, 2008

A lot of the people I know have been more excited than I thought they'd be, and some even more than I am--a few of my friends are flying from New Haven to Madison to see me compete this weekend. I suspect I'm still a bit in denial about the whole national-television thing. But at the moment, burying myself in work to avoid thinking about it has allowed me to be productive, at least. And I have all of tomorrow, traveling and hanging out in my hotel room, to mentally prepare myself--both to compete in the tournament and to take in everything I can about the experience. Because, oh my word, this is going to be fun.

- Dara's first game airs Wednesday May 7th. Check back for her next blog entry. [Never posted]

Dara appeared in the following archived game:
#5458, aired 2008-05-07 Joey Beachum vs. Andrew Chung vs. Dara Lind 2008 College Championship quarterfinal game 3. From the Kohl Center...

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