The Awkward and Anxious Boy Keeps Learning by Finally Taking Action – will she say “yes”?
Back at OneThing15, we left a young boy awkwardly trying to ask the demure Jane – his Mental Model of the ask circling in his head: representing elements of the ask, simulating various outcomes in his imagination, only to modify the Elements included in his Mental Model. And so it would go again, a recursive, subversive playing and replaying that likely meant he did not sleep.
At some point, he knew he had to ask, to make a decision. At some point in this iterative process, he had accumulated enough reasonable outcomes that he was confident enough to ask her.
In the taking action portion of this model, we can see that the taking action also drives the setting in motion flow as ramifications begin to enter the story, slowing building up over time. The dashed, curving line returning to selecting tells us that, over time, the ramifications of this boy’s decision to ask Jane out will impact any future thinking about asking: if it goes poorly, he will select different elements of the situation; if it goes well, he will be able to limit his selection process since he knows what works. Either way, he is learning how to ask out a girl.
For a boy, not many things are more important, except maybe to learn how to drive a car. Or change a diaper. But those are both a long way off for this nervous young man.
And so it comes to pass, Jane walks down the hall at school, her Pre-Cal book pulled in closely to her sweater, as if she were Lady Liberty clutching her tablet. Her curls bounce as she stops at her locker, spins the tumbler of her lock once, and feels a tap on her shoulder.
“Jane?” Our young boy, one last time, replays the sequence in his head.
Jane turns to him, looks up, and blushes. With a single finger flick, she pushes a brunette curl away from her brow. “Oh, hi . . . um . . . ”
“Uh . . . um . . . Jane?” For a moment, the stalwart mental model in his head teeters. Her eyes make his knees quake, but he gathers his strength. “Will you go to the prom with me?”
Far down the hallway, half a dozen girls see that Jane has turned to talk with a boy. “Who’s Jane talking to?” Then, Jane hugs him.