At our second-to-last regular class of the season at Marcy, we opened class with a school-themed game called Tennis Academy in honor of the first week of school. The objective of Tennis Academy is to graduate through a series of levels of education by successfully performing various tennis drills. When you've completed all of your education, you're eligible to become President.
Marcy's Tennis Academy curriculum looked like this:
- Elementary School: Hit one forehand
- Middle School: Hit one backhand
- High School: Rally against the wall for five groundstrokes
- College: Rally against a volunteer for five groundstrokes
- Master's Degree: Hit two forehand volleys and two backhand volleys
- PhD: Hit two forehand volleys, two backhand volleys, and an overhead
- President: Rally against a volunteer for 10 groundstrokes
After all of the students graduated from Tennis Academy, Gary conducted an off-court discussion about the start of the school year. As usual, the conversation prompts mixed emotions from the students, who are happy to be reunited with friends, but less than thrilled by the demands of studying and homework. Despite the range of attitudes expressed, the talk provided the kids with the freedom to talk candidly about their returns to the classroom and their goals for another school year.
Class concluded with one round of Breakout followed by a game called Three Strikes, which was new for the Marcy kids. Slightly different from Breakout, Three Strikes requires participants to act honestly and to consider risk versus reward. The ending to class was definitely a change-up from prior weeks but it was well-received, and helped the kids practice their form and precision in preparation for the September 26 Jamboree.