The Answer to Your Question Before You Ask It

Yesterday, I sat in my senior seminar class thoroughly debating a question I get (exhaustingly) commonly asked. This question, while fair and reasonable, makes me sick to my very core.

“Ashley, what do you plan to do with your chess project when you graduate high school?”

Let’s break apart this sentence and annotate it as writers typically do. Firstly, it is not a “project.” Project, to me, indicates a short term collaborative goal and finished product. My chess organization is a non-profit that will forever impact the lives of Pittsburghers and hopefully, in time, citizens of the U.S. It is not finished or short term.

Secondly, graduating high school is just one step in my journey. When attending college, I will gain the skills and tools I need to make my chess business an even greater success. This chess business is no small thing in my playbook. It is the basis for the rest of my life.

Thirdly, for those who know me personally, I always have a plan. I don’t start something I cannot finish.

“I plan to do what I’m doing right now: play, teach, and continue to promote chess as an educational tool and portable classroom” is what I should say.

What I really say? “Ask me that in five years from now.” 

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