Monday, November 29, 2010

Trou Du Cul

This summer the kids learned a French card game while at summer camp. It is called President and it has the particular characteristics that, after each round, the person who came in last in the previous round, the Trou Du Cul, must give his two best cards to the person who came in first, the President. In return he gets the President's two worst cards. The person who came in second-to-last, the Vice Trou Du Cul, gives his best card to the Vice President, in exchange he gets the VP's worst card.

We were playing this game over Thanksgiving break and I told the kids the game reminds me of many situations in life in which those who get ahead have an easier time staying ahead, while those who fall behind have a harder time catching up. Some examples? Almost in any profession, if you are involved with a successful project you are more likely to have the opportunity to work on good projects in the future - even if you just happened to be lucky about being involved with the initial successful project. Or take school: do well during the first day of the year and the teachers will assume you are a good student and cut you some slack in the future. On the flip side, do poorly and they might asume the contrary... And one a more personal (and physical) example, start a sailboat race ahead and you block the wind from the boats behind. You can stay ahead even with a slightly slower boat.

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