Magic The Gathering Helped Me As A Shy Teen

Before getting hooked on plastic and scale models, I was once hooked on the cardboard paper flavor of Magic the Gathering.

It started with me watching my drama club teacher. We’ll call him Mr. A for privacy’s sake (people are weird on the internet, what can I say?).

Mr. A was a great guy who put up with a lot from a gaggle of teens who participated in drama club. (Bless his heart, I was an awkward teen). I don’t quite recall what was going on that day and why we had free time, but I remember watching him play against another kid on the stage. The kid had walked up and demanded a duel. He complied.

My old deck box that’s beat up from being rattled around in a backpack.

They were seated at this clumsy little table that got abused daily. Our class was really into aggressively tossing it off the stage during improv skits.

So, I found myself standing around the table watching him. The other kid had a standard elven deck, and I can’t quite remember what Mr. A was playing. There was just an overall feeling of awe that freshman me felt.

Dragons? Wizards? Goblins? Sign me up!

Some of my favorite deck cards I still have in the same old Ultrapro sleeves.

I skipped buying lunch for a few days (two weeks in reality, I’d sneak leftovers to school) to pool enough money aside to get an MTG 2014 fat pack from Walmart and slapped together a little piss-poor deck. I marched into our Friday Night Magic afterschool club hosted by Mr. A with a gusto of energy and promptly lost every match I played.

It didn’t discourage me. If anything, I had a stronger drive to improve. The earnings from my very first job at the local elderly watering hole were put towards new packs, new decks, and new accessories. I’m a sucker for gaming dice.

Friday Night Magic became a long-standing tradition for the next two years. Matches during lunch or during class when we had finished our work (with gratitude to the teachers who let us). It was enriching for a kid like me.

Towards the end of high school, I amassed quite a collection. Unfortunately, I had moved to an area during my senior where no one I knew played which led me to sell all of it except for my mono-white angelic life-gain deck to rent textbooks when I started college. Biology textbooks are expensive, and my new farm job only paid nine dollars an hour.

I don’t know which was worse at the time, selling it off or realizing how much I spent on it originally when I got the cashback from selling it.

Eventually, time passed to the present day, and I regret that I stopped playing Magic. I’m not even sure if I could remember how to play my angel deck, despite the wear and tear put on it. Even if I did, my passion for models keeps me at my workbench when I have free time.

Angels galore!
Looking back

I owe a lot to Mr. A and Magic the Gathering. It’s hard being a kid who never had a place to hang out and express myself. Friday night magic was where I could bond with other kids and an adult who I could trust to be around and that didn’t ignore me. Mr. A didn’t care about our grades or our GPA (unless we were in his drama class), but he cared about us enough to show up to this and geek out with a bunch of teens.

Not a lot of adults do this. Especially on a Friday. It’s a holy day teacher.

It created core memories for me along with helping skill development. It improved both my mental math and critical thinking skills.

There was this one Friday where like ten of us were having this huge game. I went to play winds of wrath or something like that and I remember him snatching that card up as soon as I put it down and telling me :

“No, J. That’s a bad move. Do this instead.”

And it made more sense! Like I hadn’t even thought that. Moments like that seem minute but it’s crucial.

board wipes!

Coming from a unique opinion, magic helped with my speech disability. Often back then I had a hard time articulating what I wanted to say because I had to speak very carefully so that people could understand what I was saying. It was tough because I’m a rapid-fire speaker at times.

It made me slow down and carefully enunciate what I was doing during my turn. If I spoke fast then it would be a knot of words no one could understand especially some of these card names!

Ray of Revelation or Seraph of the Sword. Not an easy feat for someone who couldn’t pronounce their s or r sounds.

What does my future hold with Magic? I’m not entirely sure. I’d like to get back into the community and see what has been up in my absence. I know there was that whole ordeal with Hasbro and over-printing. Maybe I’ll try to get the scoop on that. Til then I’ll just look fondly at my last remaining deck until I can play it again.

I hope you found this post enjoyable. Have any questions or opinions? If so share them in the comments.

Happy thursday everyone!


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