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The Dungeons and Dragons club is a place where anything is possible

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The Dungeons and Dragons club is a place where anything is possible

As soon as the clock hits 2:45, the monotone bell rings out to students as a signal to rush home or to head to practice. But for members of the Dungeons and Dragons club, the bell means that a whole new world will be opening, and suddenly, every single decision made is determined by the roll of a twenty-sided die. Advising it all is student-teacher Sean Briggs.

“It’s just such a great way to meet weekly with friends,” Briggs said, “and some of the dumb stuff people try to do in the game is just so funny. You’d be amazed at [how], at the roll of the die, someone tries to do something really stupid, but [then] they roll a twenty, which means they succeed automatically.”

While there’s a certain stereotype that surrounds Dungeons and Dragons players, the group that meets together is actually fairly diverse. When they meet in the lecture hall, it’s hard to place this group of people into one category. Every player seems to come from different cliques, and not everyone is the same, which is something everyone greatly appreciates.

“The coolest thing I saw [was] on Thursday,” Briggs said. “In that room, and I’m sure a lot of these kids didn’t think they had very much in common, we had football players, we had band kids, we had kids who may have never been in a club before all coming into a room to play a game. They were all interested in that same game.”

The welcoming atmosphere is what makes the Dungeons and Dragons club so attractive to the members. As the leader of the club, Briggs makes it inviting and a good experience for everyone who enters.

“The thing I like most about it is it brings people from different backgrounds into this fun game,” Briggs said. “It’s supposed to be an open, fun way for kids to express themselves, and when you shut people’s creativity down, that’s not what Dungeons and Dragons is.”

Briggs started this club because of his passion for the game; he has played it for about six years. He meets up weekly with his friends to direct the game and monthly to play along with his family. The idea all began with a classroom discussion on the students’ interest in the game.

“I talked to other kids about [Dungeons and Dragons] in my U.S. History classes, and I heard some interest,” Briggs said. “I said, okay, I’m going to just cast a net and see how many kids would come. I think we ended up with somewhere around thirty to forty kids [who] came Thursday; it was bigger than I expected.”

From this, he gained encouragement from history teacher Brad Anderson, his teacher. Anderson saw it as an opportunity for connection between students and teachers to reach out to other certain segments of the student body.

“He asked me my thoughts on [setting up the Dungeons and Dragons club],” Anderson said, “and I said ‘yeah, go for it’ because you’re going to connect with kids anytime you are starting a club, coaching a team, or working with student council. That’s just another avenue to connect with students.”

Anderson has been Briggs’s teacher in student teaching for the fall season. Because of this, Briggs was inspired to bring new types of hands-on projects to the table 

“I like the fact that I’m having a hand in perhaps another teacher that’s going out into the world that’s going to interact with other students,” Anderson said, “and I get to help them during their last stages of becoming a teacher.”

Anderson is well known for hands-on learning; from Age of Empires and the big battle at the end, it’s hard to miss the unique style of learning.

“Just the active learning that we’ve done,” Briggs said, “[like] we’ve had the trench warfare simulation, so instead of me standing up and telling kids how the trench warfare was fought, [we] tip the desks over and get kids behind throwing paper wads at each other. It’s more entertaining. The project-based stuff is really going to stay with me [and] just seeing the creativity come out.”

Project-based learning has been very influential for students in his classes. It’s a way for students to gain interest in the subject, especially for junior Jack Walls.

“[Briggs] is a good student teacher,” Jack said. “I think he teaches stuff well, and every couple of weeks, he has a cool activity for us to work on and integrates his students to do the activity really well.”

Not only has Jack gained interest from project activities, but he’s also gained interest in the club.

“It feels just like a little community,” Jack said. “Everyone is there for the same reason. It’s not really a popularity contest. It’s just everyone coming together and being nerds.”

In the future, Briggs plans on teaching in Idaho and also plans on bringing what he learned with him. He wants to continue the hands-on learning experience and the inviting warmth of the Dungeons and Dragons club.

“If I were here, I would love to continue with these kids in Dungeons and Dragons,” Briggs said, “So overseeing a club, I’m definitely going to do that in the future. Wherever I go, [I’ll] try and do something to get kids involved in the game.”

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The Dungeons and Dragons club is a place where anything is possible