My first column in the newsletter I called “Snap!”.  There’s a story behind it.  The College has a running joke that Northern Irish students are invited over for “International Freshers Week”.  The idea behind International Freshers week is to give students from different and varying cultural backgrounds a chance to acclimatise a little to the way of life in England.  I think it’s a pretty good idea.  Northern Irish students obviously don’t actually need this, but it’s a very inclusive form of mockery.

During this week I played a card game that I call “Snap” with a couple of Continental European freshers.  The deck is shuffled and dealt between all players.  Players take turns to quickly throw a single card into the centre of all players.  If the two most recent cards on the pile are a pair then you slap your hand down on the pile and the pile is yours.  The winner is whoever wins all of the cards or is the last person to retain cards in their hand, depending on the variation.  Now, since childhood I have played this game with the rule that you must shout “SNAP!” to claim the cards.  It makes it more fun for kids; loud noises and that.  However, my European counterparts seem to play it as a much more serious game and played it in deadly silence, with concentration etched on their faces as the watched for a pair to appear.  Except, of course, every time I instinctively screamed “Snap!” at the top of my lungs.  Then the room descended into laughter.  And I couldn’t stop doing it, either.  I called the column this as a little nod to my fellow card sharks.


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