03 August 2012

Funnyquote Friday

As you may know, I've been heading up the Chess instruction at the Smart Moves Strategy Board Game Summer Camp at the University of the West Indies open campus this past week.  This morning I return for day 5 with the 20+ 10-12 year old kids from the greater Basseterre, and pray that I don't lose my voice from all of the talking, whispering, and shouting that I've done over the last five days.  And despite the kids' anticipated rambunctiousness, I've found that, on average,
  • 50% of the students really love the game of Chess, get excited about learning something new, and look forward to Chess class every day
  • 25% look on it as more than a game: the allure of the deeper meanings in Chess and the desire to become a stronger player is in their eyes
  • and 25% are more or less ambivalent, content to come to class and play with the others, but not particularly enthralled about the advent of Chess as a hobby
A funny practical offshoot of dealing everyday with all three groups of students (usually in the same class) is that they all relate to me differently.  The top-performing 25% hang on my every word, and often seek out my attention for things that only loosely require it.  Furthermore, when a student from this subgroup happens to be a girl, (recall, this is the 10-12 year old range) they are oftentimes unabashedly seeking my attention more fervently than is, perhaps, appropriate.  Take, for example, when one girl took notice of my hair, and at one point reached out, uninvited, and grasped my (now relatively long) goatee, saying "I like your hair and all –

"But this... this has to go."

It's been a very rewarding week for me, as you might expect, and equally exhausting.  Even as I write this in anticipation of the day's events, I can't fathom yet another 8 hours with the students.  That said, I have been duly blessed by their cooperation and buy-in to my Chess teachings, particularly the ones that have taken off on their own and seek to challenge themselves further.  I look forward to trying out a possible mini-tournament, every hour on the hour for the four students at a time that I am hosting in the Chess classroom.  I'll let the readers know how that goes with my post next week.

Well, it must be hurricane season again, because we're already starting to get alerts for possible hazardous storm systems coming up from the Atlantic.  The first big one that is approaching is predicted to pass South of us, though as we know oftentimes the storms tend to gravitate North when they approach the chain of Lesser Antilles.  Still, as I was telling others, I would welcome the excitement of a little mini-hurricane: it would be the first one I've experienced since living in my own apartment.  But I don't want to jinx myself either, of course.

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