I just got a new gig, and I’m not minding it at all. It is, after all, writing in some form, and I learn all sorts of new things.

Bird Talk has a website called “Bird Channel.” It’s a big site with a lot to offer and a ton of information. One of the features under a top tab on the home page is labeled, “Fun and Games.”  That is where my little corner which contains the Quizzes is located. I’m now writing them and one of the things I try to do is make them fun and interesting.

I’m unsure who wrote the quizzes before, but they did a great job and I learned some new things about birds by taking them. But as things move on in the publishing industry, the staff out at Bow Tie Inc. probably got snowed under with work and gave them to me to write. I couldn’t be happier.

At first, I was a little concerned because I have to write one quiz a week. Bird Channel changes them out that often, or at least they plan to. I loathe deadlines and have always tried to get my stuff in earlier than required. My columns for “Memo to Parker and Pepper” has been filed until the end of the year, and I have enough columns banked to get me through November of 2011. (I hate sweating it out and the only pressure I like to work under is the pressure I create for myself.)

So naturally, when I took this responsibility on, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to scrape up enough ideas and information to actually get the job done every week.

“Well, that sounds easy!” (Okay, which one of you said that?)

Oh sure! It sounds easy enough. Just find some basic facts; some scientific or interesting aspect of Aviculture and create a quiz around that information. Try it and you’ll see that it’s not as easy as it looks.

Well, once you get past diet, the different species quizzes, trivia quizzes and the obvious stuff, you’re not left with much. This, my Gentle Readers, is where the creativity comes in.

So when I took a look at what was already written, I used a fresh approach. (Read: smarty-pants approach…) I chose to take a concept or idea which is the base of the quiz and I didn’t make it entirely about birds. For instance, I wrote a quiz titled “Wish Bones.” Only two of the questions are actually about the “wish bone” in a bird. The rest are just fun, but they apply to the words “wish bone.”

Some of the wrong answers in my quizzes are more fun than the right ones and while I want people to learn from them, I also want them to have fun and occasionally get a laugh while taking them. For instance, one of the quiz questions asks about what a bird’s diet needs more of in a particular situation. One of the wrong answers for this  as-of-yet unpublished quiz question is: “More Cowbell.” Here’s why:

http://www.gofastvideo.com/video/876/Christopher-Walken-More-Cowbell–Classic-SNL

I’m a big believer in entertaining while you are teaching something or attempting to get a point across. If it’s fun and interesting, you don’t realize you’re learning. I’ve always appreciated that whenever I was trying to learn something, so why should the quizzes I create be any different? I just don’t think learning has to be painful or a chore.

So if you get a chance, stop in to “The Bird Channel” and take a quiz. My first quiz is titled, “Vitamins For Your Bird and You.” Then let me know what you think. If anyone has any great ideas for subject matter on a quiz, I’d love to hear what you come up with. It can be any old thing or any new thing, just as long as it’s not something that’s already been done. The more creative, the better.

Thanks for stopping by!



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