Jumping Through Life Ten Centimeters At A Time

, , , , , | Right | March 25, 2020

(I’m at an Olympic Museum in Germany, as a tourist. The museum encourages people to try out a lot of things. I spot a girl, three to four years old, ready to try the long jump — an event where you run toward the white line and jump as far as you can. I don’t speak German, but this was very easy to understand.)

Little Girl: “Four, three, two, one… Get ready, set… Go!”

(She ran as fast as her little legs could, showing concentration. She reached the white line and… stopped. She gathered her strength and jumped as far as she could! It was about ten centimeters. The girl threw her hands into the air and started cheering. I couldn’t help but applaud the little girl.)

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On The Fence About The Club Presidency

, , , , , , | Learning | March 24, 2020

This happened in fencing club at our boarding school. We’re rather laid-back and relaxed, but at some point, another school challenged us to a match, which required us to send a student representative with the coach to help settle the details. So, the coach brought it up in a fencing lesson, stating that he needed someone to become the “club president” and help him with the details.

Our boarding school has a quirk where we call the Year Twelves “Juniors” and the Year Thirteens “Seniors.”

Someone proposed that there be an election, which prompted me to cast my vote for my enthusiastic junior. But that idea was shot down as the strongest fencer in the group decided that we should have a tournament with the club captainship as the prize, which was an even more popular idea.

Then, just when we were putting on our gear and preparing for the tournament, one of my fellow seniors argued that as we seniors were preparing to go to university, club captainship should fall to us as we needed it more on our personal statements than the juniors did. They could have their turn as club captain next year, when they themselves became seniors.

Somehow, they convinced the coach, mostly because other clubs in school had a similar precedent. I wasn’t very happy with the decision, as I considered it childish and the two seniors vying for the club captain position were basically people who joined the club at the same time as the juniors. In fact, they never even held a sword until they joined the club, unlike half of the juniors, who were veteran fencers in their previous schools. They just wanted the position to burnish their personal statements and make themselves more attractive to universities.

Regardless, the coach did not seem to notice that those two were blatantly after the position for selfish reasons and named the only other senior in the club president: me. 

He was backed unanimously by the juniors, leaving the two other seniors stunned. They then tried to argue against my appointment, but the coach shot them down. I was the last member of last year’s team, the oldest and seniormost student and the one with the most attendance, and although I wasn’t the best fencer, I was the only veteran fencer among the three seniors.

I didn’t really want the position, but I could not deny being greatly amused at the way my fellow seniors’ faces fell. Still, I offered the two of them the opportunity to claim club captainship in a mini-tournament between the three of us. Two easy victories later and I was crowned club captain. Somehow they never really came back to the club during my captainship.

The coach used a balloon sword he picked up from a fencing shop to “knight” me and offered it to me as my “sword of office.” After I stepped down as captain after the year, I was allowed to keep the sword as a farewell gift.

According to my juniors, it has now become a tradition for the coach to “knight” new club captains with such balloon swords and that they’re allowed to keep the blade after they retire.

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Timing Was Not Their Chief Concern

, , , , | Right | February 3, 2020

(Because we’re in Eastern Kansas, it’s quite a big deal when the Kansas City Chiefs win the playoffs and go to the Super Bowl. My store gets a lot of merchandise in which sells very quickly. This happens the day of the game. Kickoff is at 5:30 pm. This occurs at 5:25 pm.)

Customer: “Where are all of your Chiefs shirts? Surely you have them?”

Me: “Sorry, we’ve sold out.”

Customer: “How can you be out?”

Me: “They sold like that.” *snaps my fingers*

Customer: “I don’t need Super Bowl stuff. Just the older stuff is fine.”

Me: “Sorry, we’ve sold out of that, too.”

(The customer settled for a plain red shirt. It’s not my fault she waited until literally five minutes before kickoff to buy a shirt.)

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Really Getting Into The Chemistry Of The Game

, , , , , , | Related | December 12, 2019

(My dad, sister, and I are watching football on TV. One of my dad’s pet peeves is when a sportscaster describes someone as a “really physical player.”)

Dad: “A ‘physical player’? What else is he supposed to be, a chemical player?!”

Sister: “Well, if he throws a Hail Mary pass, he could be a spiritual player!”

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Can’t Duel A Man Who Duals

, , , , , | Learning | December 6, 2019

(This is a conversation I had with my friend and our senior over dinner. We are discussing hobbies and [Senior] mentions that he likes playing badminton.)

Friend: “Why aren’t you part of the badminton club if you play every week?”

Senior: “They wouldn’t let me in.”

Me: “Why not? Did you ask them?”

Senior: “I didn’t bother. I know they won’t.”

(I’m a bit puzzled as the badminton club isn’t competitive or anything. It’s more for learning how to play.)

Me: “Why not?”

Senior: “The thing is, back when I was a kid, I had this weirdo for a badminton coach and she taught me to play badminton completely wrongly.”

Me: “Wrongly? What did she do?”

(I’m thinking that my senior was maybe taught to hold the racquet wrongly or something minor like that.)

Senior: *looking slightly embarrassed* “Well… let’s just say I only found out last– Oh, wait. Two years ago now — that you were only supposed to use one racquet in badminton.”

(I trade incredulous looks with [Friend] and simply say the first thing that comes to my mind.)

Me: “What?”

Senior: “I’m serious.”

Me: *struggling to comprehend* “So… you play by dual-wielding racquets?”

Senior: “Yes.”

Friend: “I’ve seen him play. He’s actually really good.”

Me: “But– but two racquets?”

Senior: “Yeah. I hold the right one in reverse grip and hold the left one normally.”

(I’m completely and totally befuddled at what he told me, my mind struggling to comprehend what I have been told. Incidentally, my friend is still completely fine and not weirded out.)

Friend: “Have you tried using just one?”

Senior: “Yeah, but I always wind up slapping the shuttlecock with my other hand. Muscle memory.”

Me: *somewhat absently* “Ah, yeah. That’s understandable.”

(I’m wondering how the h*** his badminton coach became a coach in the first place, how the h*** she got hired by my senior’s parents, and how the h*** my senior, a straight-A, highly intelligent, mature, and sensible eighteen-year-old, didn’t notice that badminton was meant to be played with only one racquet until he was sixteen. When I asked him on a later date his answers were, “I’ll tell you when I find out,” “She was a family friend,” and, “I’m an idiot.” respectively.)

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