Wedding Pop-Quiz

Based on the weddings we had attended, we suspected that we wouldn't be able spend as much time individually with everyone as we would like to... Since our guests were the most interesting and fun people we know, it seemed like a waste to not make use of the time to let them get to know each other better! Since between the two of us we've spent so much time in school, it seemed natural to do this with a pop quiz!

Of course, this was completely optional! Our challenge was to chat with (and ferret out information from!) other guests and try to answer the following questions, and turn it their page towards the end of the event. Many questions had more than one good answer and different people who could serve as sources of information. Both correct and "interesting" answers got full credit, and teaming-up and stylish non-blatant cheating were even encouraged!

Grand Prize: a multi-course dinner in Davis by Mark & Chen-Nee!
Consolation prize for individual "best" answer: Special cake delivery from Masse's pastry shop or Konditerei!

Quiz Results:

We have fun correcting while waiting at the Sacramento INS office!! In fact, we learned things about ourselves through people's answers that we ourselves hadn't thought of! 20 teams/individuals competed for the grand prize, and no one failed. It turned out to be a tight race! Three people (Karen Thomas, Belinda Young, and SzuWei Hsieh) answered 14 out of 17 questions correctly, and the tie-breaker was the closest answer to Question 16: How many emails have we exchanged?

The Grand Prize winner was: SzuWei!!! Congratulations!

The correct and best answers are listed below for your amusement. Scroll down to find out the consolation prize winners for individual questions!

Questions & Answers:

1. What was Mark's favorite activity between the ages of 1 and 5?

  • Dropping/throwing objects into water!
  • Playing with his train set and/or cars/airplanes also got full credit

2. What color did Mark dye his hair, when, and why (that color)?

  • Mark tried to dye his hair blonde because he was always curious about what he would look like blond, but he got worried about going too far, and didn't leave the solution in long enough! Thus, it stopped halfway at orange!
  • Sorry, nothing to do with the dilbert comic from Accom, but it's included below since it's funny.
  • Best Answer:
      "Mark dyed his hair a golden hue,
      it made his eyes a different blue -
      but hey! it changed orange what a HIT,
      it was a color that didn't fit"
      ~~~ Belinda Young

3. How would you describe Mark before he met Chen-Nee?

  • We gave credit for: "fun to be with, but lost", "unfulfilled", incomplete

  • No credit for:
    • "single," "Master's student" (too easy!)
    • "Obnoxious!" :( :( :(

  • Best Answers:
    • "Living like life ends at 30" ~~~Sharad Agarwal:
      (MDS: this is very true, I never thought I'd get this far/old!!!)
    • Haiku by Belinda Young:
        Mark before Chen-Nee
        was incomplete, searching life,
        has wife, now husband

4. What is the most critical thing in Mark's life? (other than Chen-Nee, family, and friends, of course!) - i.e., if you take it away from him, he'll cry & be a fish out of the water...

  • Computer/laptop was what we were thinking of. "Network card" was accepted :)
  • "Knife" - okay, we gave credit for that.
  • No credit for:
    • "Chocolate": surprisingly, Mark is not a fish out of water without chocolate, he can still survive as long as he has ice cream and whipped cream or other sweets! (for a while...)
    • "His bike" - close, but not quite...
  • Best Answer:
      "Berkeley" ~~~ Randy Chou
      - may be, you guys give us lots to think about...

5. What is Mark's trademark dress style (for at least the past 5 years)?

  • Shorts/Hawaiian shirt/sandals/knife
  • No credit for "North face" --- only the past 1-2 years or so...

6. How would you describe Mark in high school? (circle all that apply)
a. Shy b. Outgoing c. Rowdy d. Studious e. Care-free f. Talkative g. Focused

  • Shy, studious, focused
  • No credit for "Teenager" - cute :), but too easy!

7. What was Chen-Nee obsessed with between the ages of 3 and 5? (hint: look at the photo board!)

  • Modeling, posing with different dresses, very "vain"
  • No credit for
    • "Kicking legs in air" - nope, sorry! :)
    • "Being a cowgirl" - nope, not until in the US :)

8. Chen-Nee is often called "nenek" by her high school friends; why?

  • Nenek means "grandmother" in Malay; she was very good advice dispenser, and nagged a lot.

9. What does Chen-Nee do when she is stressed?

  • Laughs (hysterically);
  • "Works harder & longer" - certainly true.
  • No credit for "Bites on her pens/pencils" -> Negative point!
  • Best Answers:
    • "Take it out on Mark" ~~~ SzuWei Hsieh
    • "Beat up Mark" ~~~ Randy Chou

10. How would you describe Chen-Nee before she met Mark?

  • We gave credit for "work more, play less", "less adventurous" (now she hikes and camps!)
  • No credit for "stressed" - some things don't change!
  • Best Answer: "unMarked" ~~~Table 8
    (Table 8: John Heck & Uthara Srinivasan, Chee Whye Chin, Wendy Kang,
    Niny Khor, and Theen-Theen Tan)

11. How would you describe Chen-Nee in high school? (circle all that apply)
a. Shy b. Outgoing c. Rowdy d. Studious e. Care-free f. Talkative g. Focused

  • Shy, studious, focused
  • "Talkative" - only when you ask about schoolwork!

12. What do Mark & Chen-Nee like most about instant messaging?

  • Hello Kitty IMVironment! We also gave credit for "speed of response".
  • No credit for
    • "Chen-Nee can ask Mark to buy Chinese take out" - amusing, but actually not correct
    • "Web cam" - but it's only one way, only mark has one!

13. Name Mark & Chen-Nee's two favorite sports/activities

  • Any two of the following: hiking, camping, badminton, cooking, eating desserts, traveling

14. Who (Mark or Chen-Nee) is a better cook & why?

  • Trick question. The correct answer is: BOTH, together! They are each best at their own specialties: Chen-Nee is better at preparing Asian "meals", or whipping up something using left-over ingredients w/ lots of spices.... while Mark is better at cutting/chopping, making waffles/breakfasts, desserts, American dishes. But they are most successful with new recipes when they work together.

15. Name 3 foreign countries that Mark & Chen-Nee have been to together.

  • Any 3 of the following: England, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan, Sweden, Norway, Singapore
    (that's it for now, definitely hope more to come!)

16. How many emails have Mark & Chen-Nee exchanged? (You can give either total data transferred in MBytes, or rough # of actual email messages).

  • We went back to our archive and counted: 14,543 messages (~35MB) from Apr 98 - Oct 6 2002. This is a lower bound since not all of the "tiny" messages got archived, so could be maybe ~10% higher.
    This covers roughly 4.5 years, ~1642 days, =~ 8.8 emails/day.
    Actually, the pattern is more that we send each other a LOT of email on days we're not together, and not as much on days we are...
  • Closest answers:
    • "15,249" ~~~Tom Zambito III/Yatin Chawathe
      (!!!! Next time you want to buy a lottery ticket, go ask them!)
    • "4yrs*360*10 = 14000" ~~~ Katja/Christian
    • "20,000" ~~~ Sharad Agarwal
    • "6000, add another '0' ->60,000" ~~~ SzuWei Hsieh
  • Cutest Answer:
    • "Whatever, give us the cake!" ~~~ Claudio Pinello & Alessandra Nardi

17. Extra-Super-Bonus Question: Write a Haiku about Mark & Chen-Nee (5,7,5 syllables).

  • Thanks to our guests, now we have our own collection of haikus! See the Haiku Page


This question wasn't on the quiz, but it should have been - it was definitely the most-asked question of the day!!!"

At some point early in our relationship, one of us asked the other the question "what animal do you think you are most like?" Mark has always identified with bears (no, he does NOT break into cars to get food! Some people have said that their first impression of Mark was "huggable"...), but finding the right totem for Chen-Nee was more challenging... After much thought, we decided that she was a raccoon princess (ask Mark some time about how we got to this :).

So, when it came to choosing a domain name for our web site, it felt natural to find something to do with bears or raccoons... But names like "" or "" just felt too unwieldy, and Chen-Nee didn't like Mark's suggestions of or We settled for, since we're both Cal Bears who really wish we could hibernate in winter in our cozy lair.