The National Association of Scholars, the good guys in academia, have conjured up a quiz to conjoin final exam time and Christmastime. Try it.

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Otto Kubel. Illustration from O Schoene herrliche weinachtszeit,(Oh beautiful magnificent Christmas time) by A Jaserg, c. 1920s-30s, published in Nuremberg.

CHRISTMAS POP CULTURE
1. All of the following British actors have portrayed perennial sourpuss and miser Ebenezer Scrooge. Which one also had a distinguished academic career?
A. Reginald Owen
B. Patrick Stewart
C. Albert Finney
D. Alistair Sim

2. Which of the following jazz pianists composed the theme and incidental music for the 1965 TV classic, A Charlie Brown Christmas?

A. Billy Taylor
B. Vince Guaraldi
C. Ramsey Lewis
D. Dick Wellstood

3. Who was the American basso profundo who sang Youre a Mean One, Mr. Grinch for the 1966 cartoon version of Dr. Suesss How the Grinch Stole Christmas?

A. Thurl Ravenscroft
B. James Earl Jones
C. Tim Riley
D. Larry Hooper

4. Which popular country and western singer produced a hit Christmas album in the 1950s, on which Here We Go AWassailing was a huge favorite?

A. Tex Ritter
B. Hank Williams
C. Tennessee Ernie Ford
D. Charlie Pride

5. Which actress was given a co-starring role at age 9 in the 1947 film Miracle on 34th Street?

A. Debbie Reynolds
B. Anne Bancroft
C. Natalie Wood
D. Tippi Hedren

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Anonymous. 19 C. Christmas card.

CONFESSIONS

1. In Book VIII of St. Augustines autobiographical Confessions, he tells the story of his conversion. He was sitting in a garden when he heard a childs voice saying, take up and read. Augustine reaches for a Bible and reads the passage that it opens to. What is that passage?

A. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16, RSV)
B. Let us conduct ourselves becomingly as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. (Romans 13:13-14, RSV)
C. I can do all things in him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13, RSV)
D. None of the above.

2. In Petrarchs Ascent of Mont Ventoux, the poet recounts the progress of his climb. As he stood at the top, he pulled St. Augustines Confessions from his pocket and read the first passage that it opened to. What is that passage?

A. You have formed us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in You.
B. Too late did I love You, O Fairness, so ancient, and yet so new! Too late did I love You! For behold, You were within, and I without, and there did I seek You.
C. And men go forth to wonder at the heights of mountains, the huge waves of the sea, the broad flow of the rivers, the extent of the ocean, and the courses of the stars, and omit to wonder at themselves.
D. None of the above.

3. In Book VIII of Rousseaus autobiographical Confessions, he tells the story of his conversion. As he walked from Paris to Vincennes to visit Diderot, he read an essay which was to be published in the Mercure de France. He read a question which, he said, caused him to become another man. What was that question?

A. Has the progress of the sciences and arts done more to corrupt morals or improve them?
B. What is the general will of Man?
C. What is the origin of inequality?
D. None of the above.

4. In 2004, pop singer Usher released Confessions, which sold nearly 1.1 million copies in its first week. What was the central theme of the record?

A. A late-modern re-reading of St. Augustines Confessions in the context of the dancefloor.
B. His argument that parallels between Augustines and Rousseaus Confessions were not strategically planned by Rousseau but were purely accidental.
C. His breakup with TLCs Chili.
D. All of the above

5. Never confess! Never, never! This advice came from

A. Stanley Fish
B. Joseph Conrad
C. Charles Dawson
D. None of the above

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Anonymous. Christmas greeting card (c. 1870)

CHRISTMAS MUSIC

1. Which of the following contains an acrostic based on the first letter of each verse?

A. Adeste Fidelis
B. The O Antiphons of Advent
C. Puer Natus Est
D. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

2. Who composed the Concerto Grosso in G minor, subtitled “The Christmas Concerto”?

A. Antonio Vivaldi
B.J.S. Bach
C. Archangelo Corelli
D.Jean-Baptiste Lully

3. Which of the following popular Christmas carol tunes was originally titled Tempus Adest Floridum , and was used for springtime activities?

A. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
B. Good King Wenceslas
C. Angels We Have Heard on High
D. The Coventry Carol

4. Which of the following motets was composed for the Advent season, but also contained a coded political message that could have landed the author in serious difficulty?

A. Vigilate by William Byrd
B. Laudate Dominum by G.P. Palestrina
C. Hodie, Christus Natus Est by Jan Sweelinck
D. Saul, Saul, Was verfolgst du mich ? byHeinrich Schutz

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Jessie Wilcox Smith. Children of Dickens. A Calendar for 1912 illustrating Tiny Tim and Bob Cratchit on Christmas Day.

NAS offers this morose entry :

Thoreau writes in Walden, ” The mass of men live lives of quiet desperation.” Which of the following is not true:

A. Quiet Desperation is a flavor of Ben & Jerry’s vanilla ice cream with fudge-covered waffle cone pieces and a caramel swirl.

B. The New York Times misquoted Thoreau’s sentence, adding “and die with their song still inside them.”

C. Quiet Desperation is the name of a surrealist reality show chronicling the struggle of a manic-depressive comedian in Boston.

D. Among the many novels, memoirs, and self-help books that make use of Thoreau’s phrase, Quiet Desperation is the title of a Conan Doyle-H.P. Lovecraft mash-up in which Sherlock Holmes battles various Elder demons.

Note : More quizzes more of everything worthwhile at the NAS website here .

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