All kinds of players – young and old, experienced and beginner, friends and strangers – can have fun playing Mah Jongg together. Today’s blog asks for your help on an issue that is not so very uncommon…
Our friends, Donna and Boots, from out in sunny California (I almost don’t remember what a sunny day must be like) sent me the following message and are asking for advice. I sent them my answer quite a while ago but now let’s see what you have to say:
It’s been great fun to read about all of your travels for your book promotion. If we were closer we would surely attend one. Perhaps one of these days you will be on the West Coast! I’m sure you have sold a lot of books! Do you get asked some really interesting questions?
Now, we hope that perhaps you and your wonderful readers can help us with our dilemma and give us some ideas. This regular group of mostly very experienced players meets twice a month. We are about 25 players. I have been giving lessons on a regularly scheduled basis in another room at the same facility for the past 6 weeks, with 5 people in this beginning class. The goal is to move these new, but great players into the same main room as the larger group and to have people mix together. If you just continue to play with the same 5 beginning players you are never going to gain more experience. Also, they’re likely to continue some bad habits and without guidance, will never correct them. Realizing that everyone was a “beginner at some time in their life” we have asked the others for “patience and understanding”. These new players are not exceedingly slow, but may need some extra moments. Some of the experienced players are “grumbling” about not wanting to play with “newer players”. We don’t want to discourage anyone from coming and participating and having a great afternoon, but we want everyone to be as comfortable as possible.
When we have 25 people in the room there is one “floater” who takes the place of East as soon as the table is finished. Where there is no “floater”, we just exchange “Easts” with another table when two tables have finished at about the same time. I have thought about designating one side of the room for “newer players” and for those experienced players willing to rotate through those tables but I’m afraid I won’t get enough people to want to do that.
Any suggestions you or your wonderful readers could offer would be very welcome as we want to keep old players happy, but want to be able to welcome new players. We play at a city Sr. Center and there is no cost to us and it is “open to the public”.
Thank you so much for your wonderful blog that has such useful information.
Donna and Boots