Archive for the ‘MASH’ Category


Monday, April 1st, 2013

I’ve been pretty hard on my second graders recently, and as an apology for teaching them a difficult lesson on the nuances between “hope” “wait” “expect” and “look forward to,” I’ve been teaching my students “might” and “may.” This lesson is really fun, because it’s very student-driven and slightly cultural, as I’ve been teaching them MASH.

Now for those of you that grew up under rocks, or perhaps in another country, MASH is a prediction game played mostly by middle school girls. You give someone a certain number of categories (spouse, car, number of children, career, and the place they will live) and have them choose two possibilities for each category. Then their partner chooses two possibilities for each category, leaving the original person with four possibilities. There is one final category that you do not have a say in, and that is your future living situation. This is where MASH gets its name, as you can live in a Mansion Apartment Shack or House. After choosing all of these, you make a spiral until the person whose fortune you’re predicting says “stop,” then you use the number of “lines” in the spiral (much like rings in a tree trunk) to tell the person’s future by counting and eliminating choices until you have one left in each category.

We then figured out everyone’s future and shared out answers using “may” and “might” (i.e. “I might marry __________. We may have _____ children.”)

The kids went nuts.

The girls loved it because they got to tell their own future. Almost all of them married their celebrity crushes, lived in exotic locations, and had great careers.

The boys loved it because they could mess with each other. The worst MASH fortune I saw was a student who lived in a house in the Seoul subway system with 100 children as a dancer married to an awkward comedian who drove, of all things, a Lamborghini.

Anyway, the point of this post is that it’s sometimes fun to bring back things from middle school dust them off and try them again, even if I’m STILL not married to Christian Bale, nor am I living in London (stupid middle school predictions).