Everybody knows how the game Bingo works. You get a card with a unique set of numbers on it and whenever the announcer draws your number your heart skips a beat as you cross off a box. The first to create a line wins.
Take the same game but put a twist on it: Group Project Bingo. The rules are the same, except this time you have 13 weeks to play and the numbers become the phrases you will hear in one of your many booked GSRs.
A quick look at the graphic below and you may already have several winning lines. You might have even crossed off a box multiple times in one meeting.
There are phrases that reveal pet peeves.
“Guys I’m running late.”
“Anyone got charger?”
“We meeting tomorrow?”
“Can send the link?”
On the other hand, there are transition phrases that drive meetings forward.
“When’s the deadline?” “What do y’all think?”
“Fill up When2Meet by ___!”
“What’s the agenda?”
Group projects (at least those pre-assigned) and Bingo are both lotteries. Within the five or so members, you never know what bunch of personalities you get. You will have groupmates who are natural leaders. They like to facilitate meetings in a rush to end hopefully earlier than booked. There are groupmates who are thinkers and brainstorming machines, spouting feasible after infeasible after feasible idea for the group to choose. There are many kinds of groupmates and over the course of the term, you learn to work together.
There’s a flaw in Group Project Bingo: There are too many winners. Strictly by Bingo mechanics, the goal would then be to lessen the chances of winning. Which box do we then choose to remove? Shall we have less tardiness and less forgetfulness? Would the solution be to bring more markers? At the end of the day, there are too many variables and removing each box represents a different time-consuming approach. There’s a dead end here, so we go back and question the flaw. Is having too many winners a bad thing?
Something yet to be introduced is the prize. With group projects, there are many to be won. The twist with this special Bingo is that the participant determines the prize. While scoring well is an obvious answer, there are many lessons to be learned from group projects like patience, empathy, thoughtfulness and initiative. These values are learned the hard way and perhaps each groupmate, through their own quirks, can help you improve these values.
We go back to the question, “Is having too many winners a bad thing?” This is where Bingo and Group Project Bingo differ. While you can’t control which boxes you get, you can influence your chances of winning by having an open mind and appreciating the silver linings. The next time you hear one of these 24 phrases, take out your marker, cross off that box and decide your prize.