Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Name Game

Today was the second day of my Concepts of Fitness class. We are active in this class, and since it's helps to all know one another, we played the name game today.

I hate the name game.

In case you've never had the fortune of playing, the name game can take many forms. The idea is to learn the names of each person in a newly formed group by forcing everyone to do it all at once and on the spot through some kind of activity. Ours involved forming a circle and throwing a ball to someone as you call their name.

The reason I hate the name game is simple: I have a terrible memory. This makes me terrible with names. I have trouble remembering a single person's name who just introduced themselves to me two seconds ago. Now I have 19 people whose names I have to learn all at once. The pressure!

It reminds me of something one of our camp pastors, David Rhodes, said at a youth camp one year. After informing us youth pastors that he is a serious introvert, he quipped, "If I don't speak to you, it's not because I don't want to. It's just that I'm afraid of you."

I'm proud of myself, though, because I actually did quite well at the name game today. I memorized everyone's name and called a person the wrong name out loud in front of the entire group only once. There is hope for me yet. Now I am thankful, because it really does make the class much more enjoyable when you know everyone's name and a little about them. Social situations greatly improve if you are proactive from the beginning. The longer you wait, the harder it is to get to know people. You can't bring brownies to your new neighbor after they've been living next door to you for six months. But once you take a deep breath and get over that hump, the rest of the ride is quite enjoyable. Introverts like me have to work hard to learn this lesson. Until then, there's always the name game.

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