Senior brain games

Published 9:09 am Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Star Photo/Rebekah Price Jena Booker, Sue Maxwell and Melinda Morton debate potential answers to the trivia question.

Star Photo/Rebekah Price Jena Booker, Sue Maxwell and Melinda Morton debate potential answers to the trivia question.

Are you familiar with that feeling of anticipation when the answer to a question is just on the tip of your tongue, and then you hear it, undoubtedly moments before it was going to occur to you, and are flooded with anxious disappointment and excited sighs?
The Covered Bridge Crew is not. They represented Elizabethton brilliantly by winning the District Brain Games at the Elizabethton Senior Center Tuesday morning. The three team members, Sue Maxwell, Melinda Morton and Jena Booker, will go on to the regional competition in Knoxville to challenge others with their quick information recall.
The goal of the Brain Games is to provide a clever and exciting activity for seniors to socialize and to keep their minds active.
“We’ve got some intelligent people here, and it shows,” Senior Center Director Kathy Dula said.
Eight district senior centers’ teams participated in groups of three, and 90 were present in the audience to cheer and to play along — many of whom had never visited the senior center before.
Some were first-timers and others had attended the last three years of Brain Games.
The trivia game, similar to Jeopardy, challenges participants’ knowledge in a variety of subjects including math, history, space, science and music. Teams can bid up to 10 points on each question based on their confidence in having the right answer.
Questions tested people’s knowledge of the hierarchy of a bee colony, distinctions between types of angles, the completion date of Mount Rushmore and even Ray Charles versus Otis Redding.
The Covered Bridge Crew’s educational background worked in its favor. Maxwell is a retired teacher from Chicago and former library researcher here in Elizabethton. Morton was an instructor at Appalachian State University, and Booker works at Sycamore Shoals Hospital.
They said they studied a little by watching episodes of Jeopardy, but with all that wealth of knowledge, they did not have to prepare for hours to win.
“I would be up a creek without Jena and Melinda,” Maxwell said halfway through the competition. “I thought the questions would be different, and they seem harder this time.”
Apparently her sense of “doing OK” and”surviving” was just enough to win.
Sponsors were Blue Cross Blue Shield and Sycamore Shoals Assisted Living Facility.

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