An MIT degree confers instant credibility, even if you’re trying to become a game show host, like I was some years ago. I was auditioning to host a show in Washington, DC called It’s Academic. It’s basically Jeopardy for high school students.
During my audition a question arose as to whether “chlorine” or “chloride” was the halogen’s elemental form. My answer card was wrong—it said “chloride.”
“I’m pretty sure it’s chlorine,” I said. The judges knew I was from MIT, so they trusted me and overruled the card.
The whole experience was pretty ridiculous. The student contestants knew I was auditioning so they decided to haze me. I was supposed to banter with each contestant for a moment. It ending up going like this:
“Welcome to It’s Academic. Let’s meet today’s contestants. So Johnny, how did you spend your summer vacation?”
“I had a demon exorcised from my body.”
“Super. I’m glad that worked out for ya. Peter, how about you?”
“Let’s see: I hacked into the Los Alamos computer system and I lost my virginity in the backseat of a ‘93 Ford Probe.”
“That’s swell, Peter. Julie, do you have anything you’d like to share?”
“Yeah. You stink. I like the other host better.”
“Excellent. Let’s begin the game, shall we?”