Longest Mah Jongg Day

Today is annually my longest Mah Jongg day. For the last five or six years I have taught Mah Jongg at the Coral Bay Club. They are such lovely hosts to me. I am lucky that my friend Kate let’s me come to her place on the beach and be with her while I am teaching.

Since it is only three hours from home I got up this morning at five and drove down, arriving 15 minutes before my first beginner class. I had two beginner classes, back to back today. The first day of beginner Mah Jongg is the absolute hardest one to teach. I have to impart a lot of knowledge and try and keep everyone on the same train and the same track.

People learn in so many different ways and I try and break up the lecture parts of the first day with hands-on activities to help people learn. I had one woman who came to me in the break of the first class and say, “I can’t do this. I don’t understand anything.” I asked her to stay with me at least through tomorrow. By the end of class today she was making hands.

I always start beginner Mah Jongg with the same warning. “Don’t judge if you like this game by the first day’s class. It takes three days to learn and you won’t know enough after the first class to see if you like it or not.” No matter how many different ways I say that, some people are impatient.

You can learn Mah Jongg in three days. It will still take 12 months to get good and years to become a shark. The big thing to keep in mind is if you are playing with four people three of you are going to lose and maybe four of you will lose if it is a wall game.

After having 24 students in six hours of class today, after such an early long drive, I am exhausted. Thank goodness Kate was up for dinner on the early side. We still made time to do some practice hands so she can work on her shark badge. I know I am going to sleep well tonight.

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