Day 2: Bridge + Learning from Teaching

Our first day at sea and I lose track of time mid-day, somewhere between the champagne and B52s with Faye and her father and the free mimosas at the Captain’s Ball. (We did not dress up.) Still, the words of a former stranger, now recent Bridge opponent, echo throughout my day. “Isn’t it amazing what we learn from teaching?”

When I was in high school, I wanted to be a teacher. My guidance counselor told me I was too young. (For many years, I thought he meant in age since I was the youngest in my class, graduating at 17.) By the time I’d be teaching high school, somewhere during my 4 year pursuit of a college degree, I’d be the same age as my older students. This, he posited, would be a challenge for establishing trust and respect. Live life first and teach from experience led me away from teaching as I had a lot of life to experience first.

On a hunt for bridge!

On a hunt for bridge – my final Facebook post before embarking on the cruise.

Of the many activities circled on our Princess Patter, I was most excited about ScholarShip@Sea: Bridge Play1 Having come alone with no Duplicate Bridge experience, I was easily coaxed into playing Party Bridge with an opinionated, head strong woman from Quincy, California, a meek risk taker from the Bay Area and a newbie from Sacramento. I was indeed the youngest, by 25 or more years, though age only mattered when my references to my childhood “Book It” program fell on deaf ears. There were no cries of “Pizza Hut!” when making books. 2

We played the first hand with our cards face up on the table and played 2 hours without scoring, focusing instead on teaching the newbie, coaching myself and swapping stories. At one point, the woman to my left proclaimed: isn’t it amazing what we learn through teaching others? I had nodded in agreement, trying to figure out what I was learning at the moment beyond the importance of finesse. I needed my concentration for the game, however, so shook off the pondering for a later moment.

During those later moments, I flashed on my recent and very brief mentorship with some female students at Portland Code School, supporting my girlfriend through her learning of my profession, the role of teacher in project management and passing on the passion of photography. Surely there will be time in the next 8 days to give all of this more thought.

Notes, just like we used to pass in class:

  1. The Princess Patter was our daily ‘paper’ listing the activities on the ship for the day, including the day’s date, day of the week, temperature and location information. Little did I anticipate that this would become my only insight into how much time had passed since we departed. (back)
  2. A book is equal to 6 tricks. When bidding, you declare how many tricks you will win beyond the book. As such, my fellow Bridge City Bridge Club players enjoy yelling Pizza Hut! upon the completion of booking our first 6 tricks.  (back)

Extra: Today* is Day 26, Post 22 of my 30 day blog challenge. Click ‘Follow’ at the bottom of the page to receive weekly updates in your inbox or follow me on Tumblr if that’s your scene.

* Living on a boat for 10 days, I had limited access to the internet so post-dating my entries for the date written (vs the date actually uploaded).