On a hot, breezy day in October, the Concordia High School Student Ambassador members went to Concordia Academy, a nearby elementary school. It was the Board Game Night, and I volunteered to help teach and play the board games with the academy students because this would earn me some volunteer points. I also had another motive. Personally, I was curious to know about the new games that children play these days. I had chosen the game called Peek-A-Doodle-Doo! a few days before to be prepared to teach the students how to play. It had a picture of mildly surprised chicken with 10 cute chicken figures on an egg carton. It looked unassuming and pretty easy to learn, so I chose it.
On my way, I was reminiscing about the games I used to play in my childhood, such as Monopoly, Uno, Clue, chess, checkers, mancala. I was addicted to board games. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I even played by myself when there was nobody to play with. On one boring day, I begged my older sister’s friend who was visiting our house to play “Jangi,” an Asian form of chess with me, and in order to impress my sister, he conceded. The structure of the game is similar to Western style of chess. I think I liked board games because I was a shy kid with few words to say. It always felt awkward to open up to anyone with conversation of my choice. I couldn’t be sure whether what I would say would please the listener. But in board games, I could connect with others without having to overthink the conversation. I can connect with with people of all ages and all genders through a game because for that moment we are in a fair playground where our ages, maturity, and sex don’t matter. It also feels good when I win the game.
Upon my arrival, I set up my board game on a table. The young students walked around shopping for the game to play and would sit down on a table of their choice. My game was quite popular and a total of 5 students sat to play.
One student was a little Korean boy who wasn’t a native English speaker. He looked nervous and was circling around my table. It was obvious he wanted to play, so I invited him to join and take a seat. When I gave instructions in English, he did not understand right away, but he soon learned from his ‘gamemates’. His puzzled looks started to vanish and was replaced with more confident face as he became good at the game. He was no longer a shy boy whose English wasn’t good. He was now a game player at an equal level with other students in the playing field of Peek-A-Doodle-Doo.”
After a few more games, it was time to wrap up. Several students came up to me and said “Thank you for playing board game with me.” I only spared a few hours this night but it seems to mean a lot to these students.
Concordia Jr/Sr High School
Keuntae Kim email@example.com
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