I thought I would be walking through the Toy Fair at the Jacob Javits Center , with my selfie stick learning about licensing, games, and posting on Instagram. At the suggestion of wise women who have attended in the past, I wore comfortable clothes, shoes, and took water. I sat in on part of Licensing 101 and learned how licensing has dramatically increased the reach of Sesame Street's brand. I found the games area of the fair (and realized how incredibly huge the fair is). I spoke with numerous and varied designers, producers, and organization reps. And, then I came home. No selfies today (although there are a number of large creatures moving through.)
On January 26, 2017, as I was driving to Ann Arbor, I dropped an OPTION PLAY ed. 1 game off for Mr. Wright, at Huron High School. I followed up with Mr. Wright and he invited me to watch some of his students play today, February 10, 2017. I have just finished watching two groups of eight, junior and senior high school students, play one round. The feedback I received about Edition 1 has consistently included frustration with the number and relevancy of answer cards, periodic wordiness of scenario cards, and inability to pick up more answer cards, and this case was no different.
Once players figured out how to play the game the amount of discussion increased, and Mr. Wright began to easily guide the group during the play. The first group suggested putting an additional direction inviting players to just use the scenario cards, and then come up with their own answers. The second group commented that players were invested in playing the game, and it seemed that keeping the characters in the scenarios general allowed for discussion about not just gender but also sexual orientation. The players made both a diverse looking group, and a diverse personality group. I wonder if it is easier or harder to play with friends, or just peers?
I loved hearing students say they wanted to play Edition 2!!
Thank you Mr. Wright, for your willingness to share OPTION PLAY, and give me a window to observe through!
Returning to the Residential College to share the game I have created, the backstory of its creation, and knowing it will provide an opportunity for new students to more effectively use such an awesome experience as coming to the Residential College was breathtaking in a way. I had planned this meeting, and was looking at it as business-as-usual. Then, during the great conversation I had with Logan, the significance hit me. I have come full circle.
Just before my meeting I met a current freshman. I asked him what would have been helpful to know as a new college student and he said knowing he was responsible for the condition of his room would have been very helpful. Hey, I have a scenario for that!
On January 25th I used OPTION PLAY Ed. 2 with 10 RAs during their training. The group, some new RAs and some returning, will work with approximately 300 freshman, as well as upperclassmen. The group illustrated that some players care about points, and some do not. Some players commented that some scenarios were exactly what they were dealing with, that the game was like CCNY 101, and that OP would be applicable to any college or university because of that. Great comments at the end! Thank you CCNY at The Towers for your enthusiastic play!
I began January 27 by driving to Skyline High School. The photo didn’t do the complex justice! I felt like I was walking to the land of Oz. However, instead of green people I found helpful, friendly, and committed people throughout my visit. After finding the central office and signing in, I made my way to The Cube and Ms. Haller. Over the next 2 ½ hours I played two “short” OP Ed. 2 games with high school seniors, and watched Ms. Haller meet with two vendors, students who needed help with a variety of college application issues, promote a coach who supports girl power, develop how OP will fulfill student needs, and a transition plan. She didn’t break stride, or lose her firm but positive attitude. This is a very clear, concrete reason why I am on this journey – to help amazing people have even more tools in the pile they pull from to help students successfully go to college.
Today is the day! January 26, 2017! I flew from Laguardia to Metro, got my rental car and headed to Ann Arbor. On Monday, I will visit Concordia University and while scoping out the location realized I was driving past Huron High School. In the wet snow I made my way in to the "central" office and dropped off an OP Ed.1, postcard and business card. The lovely secretary gave me the phone number to contact the counselor. Later, at the suggestion of my son, visited Community High School. I met Mr. Williams, a counselor who looked through OP Ed. 1 enthusiastically, and asked for a price for OP Ed.2! Then, I went to East Quad...
On Thursday, January 26th, I will be meeting with a lovely person in the admissions office of the Residential College at U of M, to share a copy of OPTION PLAY and visit the RC. This is where I arrived as a first generation college student a few years back....it is a truly thrilling moment to come full circle.
Genevieve Griffin will introduce OPTION PLAY on Friday, January 27th to The CUBE at Skyline High School and the Guidance Department at Dexter High School. She is looking forward to enthusiastic discussions about transitioning from high school to college, the special needs of international high school students who attend Dexter schools, and how OPTION PLAY can assist.
I am looking forward to sharing OPTION PLAY with one of the great residential life teams at City College this week. Some of these team members played the prototype version of OP, and now I will unveil Edition 2!
Okay, so it wasn't that dramatic. These very nice people were my knights in shining armor because they picked me up, picked my stuff up at the minivan and delivered everything to its correct place. I am still smiling.
It got dramatic when I realized the large bag with EVERYTHING was still sitting in the foyer. After a freakout Emma made the trek to the Staten Island Ferry with said large bag. She wins the award for saving my day!
My day was filled with lots and lots of enthusiastic and nice people. The challenge was that they were enthusiastic about a whole list of things that have nothing to do with me. Some of them did get excited when I told them about my games or they played. However, my fellow exhibitors in our off the beaten pathway room were very engaged and had much experience to share with me. That made me smile a lot. Best idea shared: A descriptive card that looks like one the OPTION PLAY cards. Guess what! Susanne, the Diva, already had the idea. It is great to have the acknowledgement from independent sources. My shining moment: walking out into the hallway and redirecting attendees into my room, and toward my games and fellow exhibitors. My worst moment: after my exciting morning skipping lunch and ending up with a blood sugar so screwed up that I felt cross-eyed. Eventually, I just went and bought a sandwich and I have just devoured Reese's PB cups and M&Ms from the vending machine. Tomorrow will be better!
One of the scenarios I shared today was about the noisy next door neighbor. Everyone has a story, and one man said he had lived with several other people and the noise in his room/suite? drove him to the library. Boundaries were a topic through much of the day--is it okay to say I'm not having it or should one try to compromise? It makes for a good discussion, and that is what I am hoping for.