National Consumers League

League interns love LifeSmarts


By Seth Woods, LifeSmarts Outreach Coordinator It’s been quite hot in Washington this summer, and it’s just as hot in our office. No, the air conditioning is working just fine…I’m talking about LifeSmarts, the ultimate consumer challenge! The interns at the National Consumers League this summer are experiencing a full slate of interesting work experiences: attending Congressional hearings, researching consumer policies, having their work published online, and (my favorite) writing new questions for LifeSmarts. There was only one small problem: how can you write the questions if you’ve never seen the game? Luckily for us, we found an old set of buzzers and a time that worked for everyone. We even had a few staff members serve as the officials (special shout out to question master Teresa Green, judge Michell McIntyre, and “8th man” Reid Maki).  The competition started out slowly. It took some time for the players to get the hang of the rules—like giving away the answer when it was the other team’s turn—but as we went along, everyone got the hang of it. You could feel the competition heat up each time the score was announced: 20 to 15, then 30 – 30, and right before the Challenge round it was 70 – 59. The players were getting a little more confident in their answers as well: teammates had to confer before deciding that “wood’s not a fossil fuel,” but had no problem explaining the differences between legitimate and fraudulent business opportunities. Actually, I was quite impressed. Even though they had just seen the content, between the two teams, 15 of the 20 Challenge questions were answered correctly! To make things even more climactic, the final score was about as dramatic as possible: 140 to 139. After dozens of questions, it came down to a single point. Although everyone had fun playing, the main purpose of this game was to help our interns better understand the program while they’re preparing questions for next year’s competition.  Of course, you can also help us write questions as well. Check out our guidelines. Who knows? Your questions could be used next!