As part of orientation, the law students had improv training from members of The Second City. We did several exercises on thinking on the spot, active listening, and speaking confidently. The coaches told us to “give yourself permission to play.”
It’s not often that such permission is given to us as adults. “Play” in its joyful, exuberant, silly fullness is something for children. Even playing sports or games has a serious edge, where “competition” and “winning” takes precedence. These things aren’t bad, but it is refreshing to play in a pure form. No props, no card decks, nothing but imagination and a willingness to look silly.
I’m glad that I got to work at Via Center with special needs students. We got to play all day, whether it be “Baby Shark” or singing “Wheels on the Bus.” I miss those times.