Who is: Catherine Carson

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Who is: Catherine Carson
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For a couple of days in March, St. Stephens and St. Agnes School teacher Catherine Carson went from fielding classroom queries to answering questions from Alex Trebek on Jeopardy.
    
The trick is to know a little bit about everything.
    
I think a lot of it was remembering things Id learned before, Carson said. I think theres so much information to be learned out there that I really tried to absorb as much as I could.
    
Her eclectic training consisted of studying, multiple rounds of Trivial Pursuit, watching old Jeopardy episodes and even a few bouts of pub trivia.     
    
But her greatest advantage may have been choosing teaching as a career.
    
In day to day life we have the benefit of 16 other brains asking questions and thinking about things in a different way, Carson said. That kind of pushes me to learn more in order to answer those questions. Ive got to do research and find that information for them.
    
While her fourth grade class isnt quite the same as a live studio audience, its good preparation, she said. 
    
The hard part? Answering in the form of a question. 
    
When youre up on stage with the camera and lights and Alex is asking the questions, its one more thing that you have to remember. Its the first thing to go out the window, she said. Youre so anxious to give out an answer. But if it becomes habit [to answer with a question] youre more likely not to just blurt it out.
    
Her episode, taped in March, will air Friday evening. The whole experience still feels like a blur and Catherine is excited to watch herself perform on one of her favorite shows. 
    
Shes not the only one waiting in anticipation of the broadcast, said Bob Weiman, director of SSSASs lower school. 
    
I actually thought she would be the perfect person to be on Jeopardy, he said. Shes very bright. I knew that she would [have the knowledge] and shes also vivacious and energetic. I thought she was the kind of person they would select.
    
The entire school, from students to staff and parents, are thrilled about her opportunity to compete in Los Angeles, Weiman said. Like Carson, he believes teachers have a leg up on the competition.
    
Youre teaching math, social studies and language arts, he said. Youre teaching about explorers to Native Americans You have to know a lot. As a teacher you need to be on your toes all the time, you never know the questions your students are going to have.
    
One thing Carson has learned from her experience is to give everything a try once. You never know whats going to happen, she said. 
    
You never know until you try, Carson said. Theres no harm it in.

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