The big finish.
About three years ago (or was it four...could it have been four? Wow), my ex-wife came up with a really unusual idea for the tutoring center she was running.
On weekends, after the conclusion of regular classes, the students would work on their creative writing, problem solving, and language skills by playing a Role-Playing Game. Basically, incorporating RPGs into a fun after class event in which the kids didn't know they were still learning, but they were.
To make this work, she needed someone with, as Liam Neeson once said, 'a particular set of skills'. They needed to be good with children, not afraid, or embarrassed to stand up in front of a large group of them, understand RPGs, write well, and who she knew well, and could trust (it was still a business after all).
She called me, and I accepted.
That was a while ago now, and although we no longer do the RPG program there, I am still a regular member of the Sunday teaching staff, occasionally coming in a few Saturdays as well. During the Summer months, I run my own Sunday creative writing class all by my lonesome.
What started as a pay-to-GM-for-kids gig, has turned in a teaching/tutoring job. Better yet, I get to work with, and trade ideas with one of the most intelligent, kind, talented, and truly special people I have ever known, my ex-wife.
I've also gotten to know some truly fantastic kids, watched them grow up, and seen them achieve so much. One young man went from barely speaking English to getting into a high school program for robotics in just three years!
Just last weekend, I helped teach two of my students to swim. One needs to past a swimming test to get into Brooklyn Tech High School, the other is overcoming a genuine fear of the water.
Role-Playing Games gave me this opportunity, and I can't thank them enough. The real thanks goes to my ex-wife though, who also loves RPGs, loves her kids, and being a teacher, and who had faith in me that I could make this work.
Man, what a good feeling to end the challenge on.
See you soon everybody!