Saturday, February 5, 2011

It's all in the game

Today I played Carcassonne, a tile-placing game. My opponent really enjoyed the game and was excited to win (144 to 116). I was thrilled. This is the second time I've met this young man, who is one of my clients. He is in sixth grade and in foster care. The first time we met, I could barely coax a full sentence out of him, even just talking about his wrestling matches and what he likes to do on weekends. At the end of that session, I asked him to promise to give me a chance; he grudgingly agreed. I didn't actually expect any better rapport when I went to meet him today, but when I showed him the game he agreed to play and within a few turns was happily chatting away about his strategy. When I left, he asked me to bring the game back next time so we can play a more complicated version of it. Yes, playing a board game counts as "billable time." You see, his skill-building goal is to demonstrate decision-making skills, which he did every turn of the game. I love that my job encourages creativity!

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