A Few of My Favorite Things

Posted by Jeff Pauls on 12th May 2020

A Few of My Favorite Things

Back in February, I wrote about my 2020 goal of being present and increasing my participation. The following post is part of a sporadic series on meeting that goal.

Many of us, OK, almost all of us, alright...ALL of us, have been affected in some way or another by the pandemic that has spared no corner of the world.

However it has shown itself, it demands some kind of response. Just one result of this unceasing demand, is fatigue. Fatigue is a natural consequence of the unrelenting activity the pandemic requires. This activity takes many forms, some that don’t seem like activity--for example, staying home, which means our sphere of activity has boundaries most are not used to. While others--working to care for others or making products suddenly in higher demand than ever--can’t seem to catch a break, let alone a breath.

For those who have spent zillions or more hours surfing the internet or working harder than they ever have, we long for something else, something different, perhaps something simpler.

Remember grade school, or perhaps middle school, when, if you had a couple minutes, a piece of paper, a pen, and a friend, you could play a quick game of Dots & Boxes? Or Tic Tac Toe? Or, one of my favorites in Jr. High, Paper Football? In the 70s we had no phones to pull out of our back pocket. So, these memories may only appeal to me. And yet, I’d be willing to wager these games are remembered by young and old.

If there was ever a time to revisit them, that time is now. The pandemic is making us think about things more than we would otherwise. Games like these enable us to pause our overtaxed minds and spur fresh thoughts.

If you’ve never played these games, or if they’re part of a distant memory, give them a try. Their simplicity offers profound rewards. Here’s a chance to look at someone again, instead of at your phone...FaceTime indeed.

The title links below feature instructions, plus many more games. The other links provide history, instructions, and interesting info.

  • Dots & Boxes Did you know that this game was first published in the 19th century by French mathematician Édouard Lucas? That last link provides strategies as well as other variations of the game. Don’t want to make all those dots yourself? Click here
  • Paper Football Also called FIKI football, finger football, flick football, or tabletop football.

Other Paper-and-Pencil Game instructions and info.