Yesterday, over half of our volunteer staff couldn’t make it to our Big-Brained Superheroes Club meeting. And being the small group that we are, we missed them severely. However, the shortage gave us a great opportunity to exercise our Adaptability superpower, and the way in which we exercised our Adaptability superpower brings us to Part 3 of X of our Big-Brained Superheroes’ Handbook…
Rule #3: Playin’ for keeps is still playin’. (Thank you, Gambit.) As you may have noticed by now, The Big-Brained Superheroes Club has very little use for somber. Sincere surely. Subtle sporadically. But somber scarcely. The truth is that we Big-Brained Superheroes take our responsibilities so seriously that we simply can’t afford somber. Somber carries far too many opportunity costs.
The calculation is simple: How many hours in our lives are any of us going to be able/willing to sit somberly learning? Now, how many hours are there in our lives? If we can agree that the answer to the first question is a small subset of the answer to the second question, we can start to see the cost of somber. We can frequently do the sitting; we can frequently do the learning; we just can’t frequently do the somber. And if we, consciously or unconsciously, start to equate the learning with the somber, then, well, we’re losing countless opportunities.
So, when we ventured forth yesterday with 3/7ths of our volunteer staff, we chose to seek our learning opportunities on the basketball court, where somber isn’t even an option. And where the generally established rules and goals of the game would kindly supplement the boundaries and sense of purpose that our volunteer crew typically brings to club meetings. But, first, homework. With the added incentive of the impending basketball game, we finished our homework in record time yesterday. Before our club meeting was scheduled to start even. (Which, once again, indicates that our usual challenges are less connected to ability than they are to motivation.) And now that that’s over with…
Because The BBSC doesn’t have its own basketball and the community center was all out of them, some kids already on the court got to exercise their own Kindness and Teamwork superpowers and invite us to play with them. In fact, it wasn’t even a question—they wanted us in their game. (Challenge: How can we make The BBSC lab more like the basketball court in this respect? Maybe our young BBSes can help with this problem.) And once we started the game, the words “Teamwork” and “Leadership” frequently flew out of our mouths. “Sense of Adventure” even made several appearances. If we Big-Brained Superheroes spend a bit more time learning this game, the opportunities for articulating and exercising our superpowers appear almost limitless. Instead of exercising our superpowers while shooting hoops, we can be shooting hoops while exercising our superpowers. Opportunities, opportunities, opportunities.
Speaking of opportunities, when one of our young Big-Brained Superheroes spent her break time reading the gym’s Maximum Occupancy sign…opportunity! First, we divided 456 (it’s a fairly large gym) by two and then by three. Next time, we’ll discuss it in terms of halves, thirds, and maybe even halves of halves or fourths. Maybe then, we’ll discuss it relative to the number of people in the gym at the time. And maybe after that even more opportunities will arise.
But we digress (such is one problem with learning)…Going back to Rule #3: If we here at The Big-Brained Superheroes Club had to create a slogan, it would never be “We make learning fun!”; it would be more along the lines of “We don’t make learning not fun!”. (Which is, of course, why we’ll never make for good slogan-makers.) Because, like Gambit, we see our very serious work for what it is—just another opportunity for some very serious play. And so it naturally follows that we see our very serious play as just another opportunity for some very serious work.