Share the following scenario with your students:
It's late afternoon on a Thursday, and the only thing between Josh and the weekend is a big biology test at 10:00 a.m. on Friday. There's a lot at stake on this test: It will count for one-third of his final grade. His cell phone rings. It's Susie with an invitation. "A group of us are planning to go out tonight. We thought about an early dinner and a movie. We won't be late," she says. The last time Josh went out on a night before a big test, he came home late. This time he is committed to coming home by 9:00 p.m. to review for the test. Josh goes out with Susie and her friends. He is having a wonderful time, and every time he thinks about going home, he says to himself, "Just a little longer and I will go." Before he knows it, it's 2:00 a.m., and the test is only eight hours away. Josh is exhausted and stressed. He has to decide whether he should sleep a few hours or pull an all-nighter to pass the test. He decides to sleep. He sets the alarm for 4:00 a.m., when he wakes up groggy and out of sorts. Josh starts to study, but his roommate's alarm goes off at 6:00 a.m. His roommate keeps hitting snooze, so the alarm goes off every 15 minutes. Josh is annoyed. He doesn't want to leave the room, but he has to concentrate. He complains, "I'm trying to study. Will you please be quiet!" His stress is getting worse, and now it's 8:30 a.m. His cell phone rings. It's Josh's mother reminding him about his grandmother's birthday. He snaps, "Mom, please don't bother me now. I am studying." He quickly hangs up; he has had it. This is his worst nightmare. He is stressed, on edge, and exhausted, and he feels a big headache coming up.
Divide the class into groups of four or five. Ask the groups to spend 15 or 20 minutes discussing the following questions. Have each group to report its responses to the entire class for discussion.
- If you were in Josh's place, what would you have done?
- How would you evaluate Josh's emotional intelligence?
- What could he have done differently?
- What competencies does he need to improve?