I attended an Ultraspeaking live class over Zoom today, one with a practice element. I say "with a practice element" – that part was supposed to be a discussion, I think, based on the prompt before we hit the breakout rooms and what I heard from the other rooms when we came back. When I got into the breakout room I was with one other person. He asked if I'd attended the other classes and I said I hadn't. I think he had, and the last one had been practical. He thought this one should be too. We used the time to go through and play each of the Ultraspeaking practice games one by one. We got 7 of the 10 games in the time we had, not bad at all.
I think it was a misunderstanding but worked great for me. It didn't matter to me, in that I was happy to practice and it was useful to get the reps in. It was interesting and I think helpful to go through a game or two I hadn't played before. It was interesting to notice, as he pointed out, that there were games listed as different things that in practice seemed very similar in how they worked. I hadn't noticed it and he was completely right. There were two pairs like that. It makes me think of death of the author (here: coach). The intent was irrelevant, we got something useful out of it even if it wasn't what was intended, and that's fine.
I'm finding this a lot more accessible lately than it used to be. I used to be very rigid about How Things Are Supposed To Go. I wouldn't have wanted to go along with this other participant. I would have wanted to resist and argue about how it's not what we're supposed to be doing, you misunderstood, actually we're supposed to be discussing blah blah blah. And it would have been pointless, just fuming for the sake of this abstract idea.
It feels good to be more flexible. It feels good to notice that I can actually benefit from this alternative activity just as well as the discussion, and be able to go with that, rather than trying to resist because it's Not What We're Supposed To Do. I'm glad I went with it.