running for the bell
as i was paying for a load of chocolate treats the other day, the cashier remarked on my healthy choice (3 bags of little Cadbury chocolate eggs & 3 small Lindt bunnies) I explained the delights were for my student. the obvious question–what grade are they in. well these treats were not for a kindergarten or grade school class, they were for college students…yep…for my Marketing class. he kinda of smiled and gave a half laugh clearly surprised. i shared with him my philosophy…we are never too old for fun and games.
10 minutes later i entered the classroom and felt the tiniest fission of nervous energy dancing in the air. it was presentation night and my students had stepped it up a notch– a few blazers, collared shirts and an air of sophistication. presentations began and an hour and a half later they filed out for a much deserved break.
when they came back in the room there was a wide open space. 1 table stood at the front of the room, graced by a lone bell and 3 chocolate bunnies. a sense of relief and an edge of anticipation zinged through the room..
it was trivia night with a few simple rules:
1> work in your teams
2> when you have the answer ‘ring the bell’
3> first team to ring it gets to answer
4> the points. CORRECT- 1 point & a chocolate Cadbury egg
WRONG – minus a point (ouch!)
the first few questions were answered tentatively and walk to the bell was a bit cautious… but towards the end of the game shoes had been changed, tables pushed back, vantage points defined and a race to ring the bell was on–there was even a little body contact. infused by a little chocolate and sugar, a healthy competition was under way. this was learning at its finest.
every correct answer was delivered triumphantly–even paired with persuasion and rational. as they went for it physically and mentally sparks of energy criss-crossed the room. my students rocked, they got into the game and made it happen.
as i drove home after class i reflected on how great that days work had been. not all days are awesome, not all are pages of inspiration but every now and then we get a glimpse of what great is…and i am always striving for better.
the lesson i learned that night…we should never be too serious, too lofty, or set in our ways. there is a lot to be learned from fun and games–anything that makes us laugh and learn collectively is a good thing. i’m keeping that lesson close to my heart.
i think George Bernard Shaw had it right when he said “we don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
when was the last time you ‘played?’ if it wasn’t today, make it happen tomorrow.