by Natalie Polsky, Temple Sholom

On January 9, we met with comedian Pam Schuller who talked about her organization, Project Here Now, and how it plans events for teens like “failure graduations” that celebrate messing up. These events can help madrichim and song leaders understand that a slip of the tongue during a lesson or a wrong chord isn’t the end of the world. They could also help teens learn how to reassure children who have difficulty getting over failure.

Pam also discussed how humor about her conditions helps herself and others accept themselves more and even lets them open up about their experiences. Humor is a great tool to get kids to warm up to madrichim. It also lets them know that other people have problems or quirks and can still go through life with a smile on their face.

Finally, we played This or That and thought about how we would help kids who have trouble talking, typing, or making decisions play. This tied it back to the main goal of TAP and was a fun and thought-provoking way to end the session. Overall, it was an engaging virtual meeting that taught me how to help kids in meaningful ways.