Note: This story has nothing to do with NCAA brackets, because Texas sucks. And so does Texas A&M. And Kansas. And Wisconsin. Clearly, I won't be winning any NCAA pools.
But I did win a portable DVD player.
About 2 weeks ago, a woman came around the newsroom at CNN with a box of munchkins, repeating a conversation that went something like this:
--want a munchkin?
--sure. what are they for.
--for the Continuous Learning Environment.
--ok, whatever thanks.
--we have a new and improved website and we're giving away a DVD player. here's a card.
And...scene. See most people just stop at "thanks for the munchkin." But I know from years of Hillel tabling that when people bring you food and you don't know who they are, they are probably trying to tell you who they are, and why they are giving you free food. So I ate the munchkin AND looked at the card, which directed me to the Continuous Learning Environment (CLE - and yes, they pronounce it "CLEE") website where I clicked on the "Win a DVD player" link.
Now here's where many might have given up, if they'd gotten this far. Because, in order to win the DVD player, you had to answer 3 questions about CLE, which meant potentially spending a long time exploring the website.
But with the chance at the player in sight, I ventured into the CLE seeking answers to the 3 questions.
1. Which Training Tip do you think is the most helpful?
This answer I found in a link marked "training tips" and i just picked out one that sounded good and was somewhere in the middle of the list. This is a technique I picked up sometime between 1oth grade and my freshman year of college. Basically, when you have to read a book for class but you can't read more than 3 paragraphs before your head starts to sag and you wake up 15 minutes later with drool on your chin, you just take a few choice quotes from the middle of the book for use on tests, in-class participation, and term papers. Works every time.
2. Fill in the blank in this sentence from the CLE Mission statement: "At the Continuous Learning Environment (CLE), we believe learning is a process, not a ______
This involved some digging, but of course the mission statement was on the front page, so it really just involved a bit of reading. By the way, the answer is "event." Learning is a process, not an event. OK.
3. Find the Channel for Learning. From the list of videos available, tell us which one is your favorite.
This question had the courtesy not to ask me why whatever video I chose was my favorite. So I just chose a random video.
And in about 5 minutes on the CLE website, I had my 3 answers and sent them off.
2 weeks later, the donut lady comes by our area looking for me. And she tells me I won. And the general reaction among my coworkers was "wow. you might have been the only person who entered." Regardless, on Friday, donut lady plus 2 more of the CLE people brought me my prize. And it was then that I discovered nothing is completely free.
"Can we take your picture?" they asked. "It's for the website." Wasn't expecting that. Then they asked if they could film me opening the box. Weird. Finally they said "we also want to do a quick interview." See when I entered to win this thing, I didn't think there'd be press involved. But alright, go ahead. Interview.
So he comes back with a tripod and a microphone and wires me up and gets ready to interview me, while I have no idea what he could possibly ask me. "how does it feel to win a DVD player?" or "what are you going to do with your new DVD player?"
Instead he asks, "What do you think of the CLE website?" OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH....so you want me to bullshit.
"Would you recommend the CLE website to your co-workers? What would you tell them?"
Sure, I'd recommend it. I'd tell them the CLE website is very helpful. After all, it won me this DVD player. No, I didn't say that, but I should have. Actually, I can't remember what I said, but if I wanted to, I could write up a transcript, and I might do that if I overcome the urge to destroy the DVD copy of the interview they gave me (which I can watch in my new DVD player...how convenient!). But don't count on it.
The good thing is, I have my DVD player, the interview is only available on an internal CNN website, and nothing I said is funny, interesting, or embarrassing enough to end up on YouTube.
In Other News: My friend and loyal "Full Circle" reader Samantha Ross appeared on Jeopardy! Wednesday night and demonstrated The Importance of Being Right in Final Jeopardy. You can catch her again Thursday night.