What it feels like when you’re the slow student: Bridge Edition

Have you ever had a student who seems lost, truly lost, and you wonder what is going on inside hir head?

Now I have my answer. Because recently I tried to learn Bridge.[1]Grand Slam

I knew the game was supposed to be fun, even addicting, if E.F. Benson is to be believed. I couldn’t wait to see what the fuss was about.


I don’t know if it’s because I have little experience with card games, or a brain that isn’t wired the right way, or some combination, but I wasn’t getting it.  My tablemates tried to explain unfamiliar terms to me, using other, equally unfamiliar terms and concepts.

One individual (whose personal value system apparently ranks honesty above kindness) opined that I needed to be placed into the remedial class.

There’s been a trend recently toward getting rid of remedial classes at the college level. It’s not hard to see why. Remediation is expensive, and barely moves the needle.

But I’m not sure tossing students into the deep end is the best approach. Being that far behind everyone else can be pretty demotivating.  I  still had a delightful evening, but most college classrooms don’t offer the option of giving up and heading for the bar.

[1] Many thanks to Leslie and Robin for their hospitality and patience!

One thought on “What it feels like when you’re the slow student: Bridge Edition

  1. It is absolutely because you had little experience with this sort of card. That is at least 85% of the reason, as I have always found it to be the case that anyone who has not played “trick” taking games with “trumps” rarely grasps the concept in one evening. You are absolutely and totally normal. Those are both difficult concepts to master without a little practice, and everyone else already knew those things. Thus, everyone else had a different knowledge set. You absolutely could learn it once you understood the basic concepts, but I don’t think you want to! Thanks for coming and giving it a whirl!

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