A Mental Health Day & Minecraft

I took the day off.  Not a general practice for me.  I’m pretty healthy, don’t take a lot of vacation during work, enjoy my job immensely.

Honestly, I had already planned to take today off.  With school ramping up (students on the 21st) and enrollment giving me a stomach ache, I had the forethought to keep myself healthy and loving my job by stepping away for a day.

Then my father-in-law died.

My poor husband.  As he’s leaving work early to get in the car to attend his aunt’s funeral, he gets the call about his dad.  God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.  Deep breath, Haugens.

Like most families, we have a lot going even on a slow day.  But this, right now, just seemed cruel.  So I fluffed up my agreeable, supportive wife-self and got ready to be flexible and accommodating.

Don’t worry, we’re coming to the Minecraft connection.

Helped pick out a tie, laid out a few scenarios for travel, got the husband on the road, researched flights to Fargo (yes, my father-in-law lives in Fargo), had quality time last night with my boys talking grandpas and Heaven.

So I’ve arrived at today.  Decided to be a real mom and get the boys playing with some friends.  Jacob is off with a buddy and Josh is here with a buddy.  Josh & Jack are playing Minecraft in the living room, and I’m totally eavesdropping.

At #edcampsfbay, I joined a session on minecraft.edu with Diane Main (@dowbiggin).  Listening to these boys (both going into 6th grade) makes me rethink my placement of minecraft.edu in secondary.  The level of negotiation, discussion, trial & error, laughter and brainstorming is AMAZING.  This is high quality conversation from two 11 year old boys.  Really.

I wish I had been recording some of it to quote directly.  Summary will have to suffice.  They’ve debated resources to use, location of buildings, lighting that may or may not be necessary, why animals should be near or distant from the living quarters, the amount of food to store… With an occasional, “Where’s the house?  I think I’m lost.”  “I got some arrows, I’ll drop them in your chest.”  “Uh-oh, the pigs got out.”  And lots of laughter.  Lots.

So how would this living room vignette expand to a classroom of students?  Easily, I think.  Who is this willing, daring teacher I seek?  Or maybe it’s me?

It’s perfect for my Mental Health Day–lots of laughter and learning mixed with sadness and home.


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