Create Conversations

The Question Game

The idea for Do You Mind? was born on Heifer Hill in Brattleboro, Vermont.  Our friends Scott and Cynthia had invited my wife, MaryJean, and me to their place for dinner.  They lived in a converted barn, a rustic home overlooking a rolling hill where cattle roamed the grassy slope and farmers gathered hay.  Our friends Ed and Lisa were there, too.  In the barn’s loft Cynthia set up an old wooden table with a lace tablecloth, wildflowers, candles, and an array of mismatched antique silverware and plates. As we enjoyed dinner with our friends, we felt as if we were sojourning 19th century Vermont, free of our daily distractions and worries. 

After dinner Scott and Cynthia suggested we play the Question Game.  One person at the table would offer a question for all of us to consider; then, we’d takes turns answering the question. Soon we were immersed in lively conversation and eagerly creating more questions, not wanting the evening’s creative fun to end.  

In many ways Do You Mind? recreates that Vermont atmosphere of good friends gathered around a dinner table. All of your distractions — television, iPads, computers, cell phones, Twitter, texting — give way to creating engaging questions and great stories.

As a teacher, I’ve posed Do You Mind? questions to my high school English and humanities students as part of an ongoing journal process designed to develop a deeper sense of curiosity and imagination.  Students anticipate each new question and look forward to sharing their responses from their Do You Mind? journals.  Not only do they learn a lot about themselves, but they also listen for insights from their classmates.  

If you lead a group of young adults, Do You Mind? will help them develop more flexible and dynamic minds, helping them to work better together on projects and solving problems.  With appropriate guidance, many of the Do You Mind?  questions would work well for younger children, too.