Check-In: American Citizen Ophira Eisenberg Ask Me Another host Ophira Eisenberg and Jonathan Coulton discuss Ophira's new American citizenship status and how her test proctor is a fan of the show.
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Check-In: American Citizen Ophira Eisenberg

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Check-In: American Citizen Ophira Eisenberg

Check-In: American Citizen Ophira Eisenberg

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JONATHAN COULTON, BYLINE: Previously on ASK ME ANOTHER, famous Canadian Ophira Eisenberg was about to take her U.S. citizenship test.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

This is the No. 1 question on my study materials. What did the Declaration of Independence do?

COULTON: I mean, technically nothing.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: This week, the exciting conclusion.

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COULTON: From NPR and WNYC, coming to you from beautiful Brooklyn, N.Y., it's NPR's hour of puzzles, word games and trivia, ASK ME ANOTHER. I'm Jonathan Coulton. Now here's your host, Ophira Eisenberg.

EISENBERG: Hello, fellow American, Jonathan Coulton.

COULTON: Oh, come on. Really?

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

COULTON: It happened?

EISENBERG: Went this morning.

COULTON: Oh.

EISENBERG: Went this morning, and I was tested for my U.S. citizenship exam.

COULTON: And you did it.

EISENBERG: You know, you wait in line and all these things. And obviously, it's also COVID on top of that, so everyone's very distanced.

COULTON: Yeah.

EISENBERG: There's still a lot of people there, but it's less people. But it is very much a government...

COULTON: Sure.

EISENBERG: ...Process kind of feel.

COULTON: Take a ticket, and wait in line over here.

EISENBERG: Take a ticket.

COULTON: And then wait in line over here.

EISENBERG: I got a ticket, and then I got called in. And it was this guy, this man, and seemed like he - you know, he had a personality. He was kind of chatty and nice, which is great.

COULTON: That's good. That's good.

EISENBERG: The best part, I think, of the whole thing was he says, are you employed? And I said, yes. And he goes, well, what's your job? And I said, I host a public radio show. And he said, ASK ME ANOTHER?

COULTON: No. Come on.

EISENBERG: Yes. And then I...

COULTON: You got a fan?

EISENBERG: Yeah.

COULTON: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: And I said, yes. And he said, yeah, I've seen you guys at the Bell House a bunch of times.

COULTON: Oh, man.

EISENBERG: And I said, this is - so I said, now you're the quizmaster.

COULTON: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: And he said - he goes, yeah, now I'm the quizmaster. And then we went to the test, which is now computer-generated, you know? So it's - out of a hundred questions, I'm going to be asked 10. And the first question was, what did the Declaration of Independence do?

COULTON: Oh, which we were just talking about - the answer being nothing. Yeah.

EISENBERG: (Laughter) And I said, it declared that America was free from Great Britain. And he was like, yes. And then he goes, you know, what? It is a trick question. Then he said exactly what you said, Jonathan, which I said...

COULTON: See?

EISENBERG: I named you. And I said, that's what Jonathan Coulton said.

COULTON: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: He said, because the Declaration of Independence didn't actually do anything. It just declared and announced. I was like, that's what Jonathan Coulton said.

COULTON: Oh, man.

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

COULTON: I love this. I love that I made an appearance in your citizenship test.

EISENBERG: (Laughter) That's right.

COULTON: That's great.

EISENBERG: So it was - yeah, it was, like, really nice. And then he was like, OK, you're going to come back Friday morning for your swear-in ceremony.

COULTON: Oh, the swear-in ceremony.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

COULTON: That's right.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

COULTON: So it's not official. It's not official until you are actually sworn in.

EISENBERG: Right, although when I did get my paperwork for - with the exact thing written down as to when my swear-in ceremony is, the woman handing it to me said, congratulations, and welcome...

COULTON: Oh.

EISENBERG: ...To America.

COULTON: Aww (ph).

EISENBERG: I know.

COULTON: That's so great.

EISENBERG: Yeah, it feels like - yeah, something happened. It's done.

COULTON: Well, now the hard work begins because now it's time for us to do our fully American...

EISENBERG: That's right.

COULTON: ...Radio program.

EISENBERG: I know. I know. And I know who's listening, so I really want to do a good job.

COULTON: This is going to be the best show ever.

EISENBERG: (Laughter). Today's special guest is world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and this is one of my favorite interviews. He'll talk about playing cello at a COVID vaccination site, and we played a game about classical samples in pop songs. Plus, we have two chefs on the show, Sohla El-Waylly of the Web series "Ancient Recipes" and Stella Parks, author of the cookbook "BraveTart." And they'll improvise recipes based on random ingredients we found in our actual kitchens. And from "Veep," actor Timothy Simons joins us to play a game with producer Theodore Bressman. So let's do it.

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