Every time I play Bridge, something grips me insistently. Like a dripping tap, there is a constant reminder that I must be on guard.
But on guard for what?
Of course! – I must be on guard to Bridge’s strict rules of etiquette. They keep me on my toes. I am always aware of them, like a little creature sitting on my shoulder, urging me to do right by my partner and my opponents.
I used to think that in some ways, these rules were a bit old-fashioned – that they harkened back to a bygone era where being a gent was about being a “good sportsman”; a man that was “true to his word” and of morally sound judgement and conduct.
In this way, one might think of Bridge as being like the “gentlemanly” sports of golf and cricket.
Of course, golf and cricket are “token” gentlemanly sports.
Perhaps, once upon a time, when batmen knicked the cricket ball, they would walk BEFORE the umpire raised his finger to indicate they were out. But not anymore. Changing attitudes, larger financial rewards and pressures have changed all that… but not yet in Bridge.
Of course, all is not quite so sweet in Bridge: Cheating is rife, because it is invisible (when it works) and when it is obvious it is just ridiculously childish and embarrassing!
Why childish though?
In some ways, Bridge has something very special in the way it makes us relate to others, in the way it makes us think about our partner and our opponents, in the way it makes it necessary for us to communicate with one another. Perhaps to ‘not be childish’ and to become an adult, is to learn about good conduct both in the manner we think and in the way we choose to behave…
This is video blog number 4 in a series on the use of Mini-Bridge in the classroom to assess and moderate behavioural problems. This weeks posting is all about the Five Key Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning and how they relate to Bridge.
The Five Key Social and Emotional Aspects to Learning
Tell me what your thoughts are below. How could Bridge help to transform childish and troublesome behaviour?