*****Casino Night was a fundraiser for Junior Achievement of Central Ohio and no actual money was used or exchanged during the evening****
This week I learned how to play Blackjack. I learned how to play Blackjack at the Fourth Annual Casino Night benefiting Junior Achievement of Central Ohio. This event was put on by Pepper Construction Company, and donated $45,000 to Junior Achievement Columbus. Awesome.
Over the weekend, I realized that my experience with this fellowship and my experience learning Blackjack have many parallels.
When I sat down at a table with a few other JA staff members, we did not know what we were getting ourselves into. Our (very patient) card dealer explained the rules of the game to us, and gave us a few pointers to start with. However, for the most part she let us jump into the experience of the game. I soon realized that it would be a challenge, every new piece of information came bundled with multiple new questions, but I was determined to learn the game.
Just like those first few hands of Blackjack, my first couple weeks at Biztown have been exciting and filled with lessons each day. Every day I learn more about the organization, the work, and my own professional development, but every day I also leave realizing how much more I have to learn. As my JA supervisors do, our card dealer answered our questions with the absolute highest level of patience.
We progressed through the hands (losing and gaining some chips along the way), every once in a while our dealer would throw us a hint or two; but overall she held a straight face and allowed us learn from our mistakes and successes. Sometimes I had no idea what call to make. These are moments that I know to go back and ask for help from the dealer. In a real casino, a dealer may not be quite as willing to offer advice, but this game was a learning experience – as is my fellowship.
My tablemates, who came in with various levels of Blackjack experience, made the challenging (and sometimes embarrassing) experience of learning a game enjoyable. Some of the more experienced players would offer tips throughout the game; others would simply cheer on successes.
The staff and other interns at Junior Achievement have kept me enjoying my time as a fellow. They offer advice and support when necessary, which has been interesting because everyone comes from a variety of backgrounds. No matter whether we are playing Blackjack or working within BizTown, we are always laughing and enjoying the journey.
In a lot of ways, Junior Achievement of Central Ohio has been my own personal Blackjack dealer. In three weeks, I have already learned so much from the mentors here and I am so excited to see how much more I will learn.