Friday Fun! (MIT Mystery Hunt)
Hello my lovely readers! Sorry I missed Friday Fun last week. Since nothing that exciting happened last weekend or this week, I thought I’d tell you about the MIT Mystery Hunt I participated in the weekend before. That was the original plan for last week’s Friday Fun anyway.
Team Unicorn friends Jeremy and Amy invited me to participate in their team in this year’s MIT Mystery Hunt. Basically, every January a bunch of groups of nerdy people get together and solve a series of mystery puzzles in a competition to win the coin and the hunt. That winning team then wins the privilege of designing the next year’s puzzle. It lasts from Friday mid-day to sometime on Sunday. I was pretty nervous going in, because I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into. Also I’d heard the people who participate are brilliant, and while I consider myself to be intelligent, I never claimed to be a genius. ;-) Plus, the teams are fairly large (I think there are 30ish members? Correct me if I’m wrong, Amy and Jeremy), and I only knew two team members going in….so yeah. I was nervous. But I was also excited!
I arrived after work on Friday and walked into a room full of tables of groups of people crowded around their laptops, as well as a few people at chalkboards and a table of food in the corner. I delayered from coming in from outside, tossed my bag of chips onto the communal pile, and kind of hesitated for a second. A gal I didn’t know immediately started talking to me and invited me to join the puzzle she and a couple of other gals were working on. It turned out that the puzzle had to do with musicals, and well, none of them knew much about musicals. You guys. Musicals have been my forte since I was 5 years old. So I jumped right in and started learning how the puzzling goes about.
A burrito run, some chit-chat, and some solving later, and I found myself totally engrossed in the world of puzzling. Not only were the puzzles really challenging, but the way they’re designed you need a group of people to work on them. A combination of everyone’s strengths. It naturally leads to group work in a way I never experienced in the classroom. Plus, everyone I met on the team was super-nice, friendly, and welcoming. They were funny and fun to hang out with. Shortly I found myself talking off-topic with one of the gals and found out we live in the same general area of Boston. We hit it right off discussing zombies and True Blood, and I felt right at home. I wound up showing up for each day of the puzzling, even though at first I wasn’t sure if I’d like it enough to. I also may have ordered a team tshirt and promised to come next year as well.
It was a real blast, and I encourage any nerds to participate. You can participate from a distance via internet connection if you want, so you don’t have to be local to play. Thanks a bunch, Amy and Jeremy, for encouraging me to come play! It was one of my best weekends I’ve had in Boston.