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March 26, 2017

You Paid for Your Tickets, So Why Not Use Them?

By Dr. Richard Boyum

I recently utilized the following strategic technique to help a student who has a tendency to skip classes and then catastrophize in such a way that they miss even more classes. I provided them with colored paper, one color to represent each class that they have. I then asked them to cut the paper to create enough squares (tickets) for each time a class meets. They then are to write the day the time and the name of the class on each ticket until they have a pile of tickets representing all of their classes. I told the student that these tickets have already been paid for. The payment is called tuition. The idea is to use the tickets one at a time on the day the class is held. Each time a ticket is used in its proper fashion (the student attends), the ticket is to be placed in a receptacle for used tickets. Each time the ticket is not used in its proper fashion (the student does not attend class), the ticket is to be placed in a receptacle that says unused tickets. The goal at the end of the semester is to have the vast majority of the tickets in the used container. This technique is also helpful in realizing that when a student misses one class they still have many tickets yet that they can cash in. This helps the individual not catastrophize and overreact to missing the use of one ticket at a designated time. You might want to see in terms of time management or class attendance whether this technique might not work with some students you work with.