October 13, 2017
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October is the month for retreating in New England. This week I’m in between two retreats to New Hampshire, my 11th and 12th fall retreats there in my six years of grad school — I’ve gone to all six math department retreats, four with my church, and two with the Graduate Christian Fellowship.
Retreats in grad school have provided what frisbee tournaments in college and sightseeing across the Western US in my childhood did: Long car or bus rides. When I’m not sleeping, getting to know or catching up with people, or just pontificating on society in general together, it’s often the right context to play some kind of game with the other passengers.
But given the moving environment and constrained seating positions, such rides don’t easily lend themselves to nearly any of the board games in our collection. Card games like Hanabi or A Game for Good Christians probably come closest but often those need some kind of surface to play onto. Growing up, my siblings and I would keep a wooden tray under one of the seats in our mini-van, which we would then place on the armrests of the two captain’s chairs for such a surface on which to play card games, but that was always a bit imperfect as cards would slide around whenever we went around a windy mountain road.
In this post, though, I want to focus on games that don’t require any advance preparation or equipment. Many of these games typically spread by word-of-mouth, but I’m hoping that by articulating them in a blog post, we can speed up that process. They aren’t all “new” per se, but unless you spend a lot of time around me, I can almost guarantee you haven’t heard of half of these. Without further ado, here are the categories:
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