min/mil vs triple word
This is not a food related blog entry, but it is an entry for travel of the mind. The day was March 17, the day of my favorite foot race, the Tom King 1/2 marathon. Last year I missed it because of a sore ankle, and then severe back pain that continued on for 9 months. This year, 2 weeks ago, I pulled a calf muscle, limped around in pain, and my hopes of running the Tom King again were over. What was I going to do for a diversion for all the newly found time I have? Go visit the Scrabble Club of Nashville of course!
In the summer of last year, a friend and I saw a poster for a Scrabble competition fundraiser being held at the library. You see, my friend plays Scrabble with his family a lot, he reads a lot, he plays with words a lot, and he always gets 7 letter words every game. I am more about 3 letter words like cow, hop, see, etc. Anyway, for a good cause, we were going to go the fundraiser. Our fun was dashed when we got an email a few days before the event. We were told it was cancelled due to lack of interest, and we were basically the only ones to sign up. Since then, I have been on the Scabble Club of Nashville's monthly email list.
The Scrabble Club of Nashville meets, usually the 1st Saturday of the month in a room at Meigs Magnet Middle School in East Nashville. The Saturday may switch depending on what is going on at the school. Lucky for me, this March, the meeting switched to the 17th. For nearly a year, for one reason or another, something much more compelling had come during the 1st Saturday for me. There were business travel, meeting people for a long run, the flu, out of town guests, helping friends move here from Boston, etc. This year, it was going to be running the Tom King 1/2 Marathon that was going to keep me from attending the club again. After months of not being able to go, I was taking it as a sign that I am not meant to go to play with the Scrabble Club. With my painful and swollen calf muscle, I took it as a sign that this was the right day to play Scrabble. Off I went to find Meigs and play.
As I approached Meigs Magnet School, I got nervous, so I called my friend who plays for fun a lot. I told him where I was going, and that if all the people in the Scrabble Club were like the Comic Book Store Guy from the Simpsons, ya know the know-it-all who makes new comers feel small, I was leaving and never to return. Remember I am the 3 letter word kind of player, like cat, dog, esh, etc. To my surprise, there were a few other new people who are very nice, and the standard people there ranged from age of 11 through post-retirement, there were boys, girls, men and women, and there was a good racial mix of people. The best part was that Alvin, who leads the club, was Not At All the Comic Book Store Guy. In reality, he is a math teacher at the magnet school, and has all the dynamic energy of wanting his students and Scrabble Club members to have fun and learn something along the way. Alvin seems to still have that special pixie dust thing that is important to have as an effective school teacher. He donates his personal time to the Meigs Magent School's Scrabble Club and the Scrabble Club of Nashville. In the photo below, you can see that Meigs Magnet Cavs are the 2002 State Champs. Go Cavs!
I would like to point out my opponents Bingo, or 7 letter word she played. She is pointing to INCLINED, and it was worth 80 pts. Yes, she got that on her 2nd play, and I was at about 20 pts total with the words DINGO and DUE, as I am the master of the 3 letter common word.
What happened to me? Well, I played 3 games, and got 2 butt kickings. Ouch. The last game I won. The play here is by the official rules, meaning it is timed to 50 min total play time, and no looking in the dictionary during play. At home during Scrabble play, I look in the dictionary all the time in hopes of learning new words, or trying to spell the words correctly. Auto-Correct in the MSWord program really has screwed my spelling. The timer made me nervous. At home we have no timer, we can take our time at strategy of blocking, not leaving a triple word open, or finding the biggest and best place to put our tiles. I will be going back to the Scrabble Club as schedule permits. I do hope to be injury free to run more on the weekends, so I will have to weigh the running with the Scrabble, as both are excellent pursuits.
If anyone wants to get a monthly email from the Scrabble Club, or get directions to the meeting place, or get the offical rules, or just to say hi, you can email Alvin at mmmsteacher (at) Comcast (dot) Net and he can tie you in.
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Scrabble Club of Nashville