This Mystery Monday my group of three Rand, Rachel, and I (Amber) ventured out to reveal our real negotiating skills. The challenge was based off of the game “Bigger or better” in which we were shown a story of a man who started off with a red paper clip and negotiated his way up to a house! Yes I said it a house! Now we were to each take a red paper clip and implement this same idea within two hours and see what we came up with.

 At first, we didn’t know how to word it to store owners without looking crazy asking for something better than a paper clip. But it quickly came to us and we got into the flow flow. We went from a Red paper clip to a pink highlighter, which was traded for a green bracelet. After we got the bracelet, it was off to the pawnshop we went! They traded us a light saver in which we traded for a cheetah car seat cover. Then a generous leather store owner, traded the cover for a sixty dollar brand new leather purse. We were Shocked!  

 After much thought and various connections, we decided to pull out our phones and make calls to people that lived in the area we knew. We proceeded to trade our sixty-dollar leather purse, for a seventy-dollar blender in which traded into a vintage looking beautiful swivel mirror. We estimated it's worth to be quite a good sum of money, so we drove around to different used car dealerships and were bargaining......almost persuading one of the owners to give in but as time was running out we decided a practical joke would be best. After realizing the significance of negotiation we decided it was time to have fun. We called our lovely Director's wife, Kaitlin, to whom traded us a lovely “Renee” painting. It was off her living room wall, and is a beach scene her husband adored. Running in the door five minutes late, the scream that came out of Adam was priceless! Apparently the mural was his prize possession and he thought it was forever given away by his wife. Little did he know we intended on giving it right back.

 Long story short we won the game with flying colors and a free sonic drink at that. As for the mirror, well it is going to be a great new accent to Rachel’s room and the painting went back to Adam. Reflecting upon the day, I realize it was a great way to really get out of our comfort zones and ask for something you wouldn’t normally ask for. The fellowship with random strangers, growing stronger in friendships, Adam's priceless reaction and the mirror all made for a great day. Overall it was quite an adventurous and victorious Mystery Monday, I’d say my favorite one yet!


- Amber Katynski



 Hey everybody, this is Alex Young. Nice to meet you. This week’s mystery Monday was really cool and interesting. We are learning about managing our time, selves, and finances this week. After dividing into groups, we were each given one red paper clip. Our task was to go around city of Branson and trade our paper clip for whatever we could, and keep trading up for 3 hours to try to get the most valuable item possible. This was definitely a challenge and a stretching exercise for some of us; it brought out the inner salesmen in everyone!

 My group went to a few different thrift shops and traded our paper clip for a coated penny, which we traded for a toy football, which we traded for a drawing of Dale Earnhardt Jr., which we traded for a “Deal or No Deal” interactive tv game, which we finally traded for a metal poster with a tractor on it that was selling for $15.00 in a local shop. So in 3 hours, we went from owning a seemingly “worthless” red paper clip to owning a $15.00 item that is now hanging in a group member’s dorm room. And one group traded up for a working color printer worth about $120.00; another group traded up for a lawn mower. Pretty cool.

This exercise was awesome….one of the best Mystery Mondays thus far. Some of us are actually planning on continuing with our trading until we get a car. Wish us luck!