When Special K woke from a four-hour afternoon nap the other day she went right to her computer, turned it on and started looking for an online spades tournament. Now Special K and I met online – we were both hosts in a backgammon tournament website. It didn’t pay anything, but it kept us off the streets and helped keep the gaming site alive.
It was a good way to meet other people too, though I always had a bit of trouble believing that the people that I was playing against or hosting for were actually real.
Sometimes another player will asked the question “A-S-L?” (Age-Sex-Location). It seemed such a silly question, having nothing to do with the backgammon game – what difference would it make if I was male or female.
But then maybe the other person was playing a game other than backgammon and, if so, it probably did matter – at least in their imagination.
But then again if they were running on imagination, why couldn’t they just imagine me to be whatever they wanted me to be?
But I digress – this was about Special K trying to find an online spades tournament.
She wasn’t having much success either and, to tell the truth, she’d woken up just a bit cranky.
She was looking at a chart that listed the tournament schedule in columns – the leftmost column had clickable links to the online “tournament room”, then – across the graph were listed the format, followed by the host’s name and, finally, the time that the tournament started.
The list was sorted by the time of day given in that last column, so all she had to do was browse down the column until she hit the time she was looking for. But she must have left half of her brain back in bed because she looked at the schedule and said she couldn’t understand it at all.
It turns out she was trying to read the page from the top-left like you’d read a book and I had to direct her attention over to the tournament time column.
But she was still having trouble.
“How come there’s no tournament listed for 6:30 a.m.,” she asked me?
I thought the question irrelevant considering it was half past six in the afternoon. But she insisted that there should be one at 6:30 a.m.
I just gave up on her at that point. As far as I was concerned maybe she was right and there should have been one at 6:30 a.m. – but it certainly didn’t matter now. So I just went back to my happy place.
When dinner was served at 7:45 that night (not that I am complaining, I know where the pantry and the frying pan are too) but when dinner was finally served that night she admitted to me that she’d been confused and thought she’d slept the night through and that it was morning.
One of the most popular recent postings on Ted Talks is an 8-minute presentation by Rita Pierson, a teacher for 40 years, who once heard a colleague say, “They don’t pay me to like the kids.” Her response: “Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.’”
Her talk is called Rita Pierson: Every kid needs a champion. Look it up!
Her talk is inspiring – and it has inspired me to say, as the school year comes to a close, thank you to the many fine teachers our local schools are blessed to have.