I had a friend in DC who was studying to become an American citizen and his boyfriend claimed that the stuff on the exam was too hard even for natives. To prove his point, they brought a bunch of the prep material to the bar where we all met every Friday. Let me tell you, if you’ve never seen a bunch of college-educated 20-somethings arguing drunkenly in a bar over American history facts… well then I know you weren’t ever at the Saloon on U Street NW in the early 2000s.
Anyway, we all got really into the game, even drawing maps of the US on paper place maps and filling them in. (I got all of New England but forgot both Dakotas which still annoys me). The highlight of the night (for me) was when I out-knowledged everyone (except Jorge who was taking the test) by knowing that the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776, but that the Constitution was signed in 1787. I will never forget either of these facts because I was a bicentennial baby and because when I was ten years old, a guy came to our music class at school and helped us write a song. The first verse went like this:
In 1787, two hundred years ago
We signed a Constitution, for freedom we all know
So we can vote and worship
And have our liberty
Speak our minds and live our lives as people who are free
The rest of the song was something about American topography but I think I only sang the first verse and then pretended the rest of the time so I don’t remember it.
Those Schoolhouse Rock! guys knew what they were up to. Learning facts set to music makes an indelible impression on children. Also, I take trivia very seriously.