Sunday, September 17, 2006

Games and Goals

It's been a busy week at the ranch Sparky. Those academics sure do like to hear themselves talk. I had to attend two retreats and two staff meetings. This coming week we have two more days of in-service and more meetings. We are always trying to fix things, but somehow, things never seem to get fixed. Strange how that works, isn't it?

At one of the retreats we played some "getting to know you" games. One was "Two Truths and A Lie" where you write down two truths and one lie about yourself. The others have to guess which one is the lie. Seeing as how we didn't know anything about anyone, it was pretty hard to guess which was the truth and which was a lie.

The other game was actually kind of interesting Sparky. It was a communication game called Replication with "lookers", "runners" and "builders". We were divided into teams of about 5 or 6. Each table had these items: a paperback book, a clothespin, a green paper napkin, a blue latex glove, a medium size rock, and a ball point pen.

In another room the items were set up in a particular design. Only the lookers of each team could go see the display. The lookers could communicate information to the runners, who could ask any question. The runners came back to the tables and could only answer yes/no to the builders' questions. Using information from the runners, the builders had to create a display and try to match the original.

The exercise really did make us think about the problems with communication and middlemen and such. Which goes back to why things never seem to get fixed around here....

Anyway, after the truths and lies section, a woman at our table said she had met all of her life's goals and now doesn't know what to work towards. She's 27 years old Sparky! Can you believe this? She's either incredibly lucky and smart or incredibly naive. Again, seeing as I don't know her, I can't determine which it is. I'll need to investigate further.

When I was 27 I was pretty much still an unshaped wad of clay. I had finished college, moved to a new city, and was in graduate school. I had been married two years and we hadn't yet figured out how to "fight fair" or create a "win-win" situation. I had no idea what I wanted to do or where I wanted to do it. I was diagnosed with lupus and my health was a mess. My one and only goal was to get my shit together Sparky, and things didn't look promising.

Now at 51 I can say that I've met most of the goals I had set for myself. I've had a stable career. I make a good salary. My lupus is under control. I have a house. The husband and I get along pretty well. I understand those holes in my life. I'm a late bloomer.

When I first realized I'd made this progress, I felt worried Sparky....I mean, if I've figured everything out, what's left? I had reached the end. I guess the next logical step is to die. It made superstitious sense. But then I realized I CAN MAKE NEW GOALS FOR MYSELF!! What a concept!



the old bag said...

Replication sounds interesting...the Two-Truths exercise is painful and has been done to cliche' around here.

And the 27 year old??






Emma Pod said...

I agree about the truths/lie game. old, old, old. But the replication was really actually interesting. And kind of fun.

The display had the book propped open like a tent with the clothespin under. The green napkin was draped over the book, with the pen leaning on top of it. The glove had a knot in it, lying under a corner of the napkin and the rock was on top of the glove...all very complicated when getting the info 3rd hand!

The 27 year old just surprised me -and made me feel old!

the old bag said...

Sounds like an interesting challenge. How'd your group do?

I like the idea of making new goals for oneself...there's always something else out there to be interested in.

Emma Pod said...

My group did pretty well. We decided ahead of time that we would work in layers, from the bottom up. The one thing we had trouble with was a knot in the end of the latex glove.

What I learned is that I often expect people to just understand what I say or explain. I don't realize that others don't have the same vision as I have (like one co-worker in particular) and I need to be patient and spend more time going over the steps. I'm a global thinker and it's hard for me to break stuff down...grrrr.