Thursday, April 26, 2007

Freshman Year - Part 13, Badminton

During the week, I had signed up to take Badminton for a half a physical education credit. I was thinking, how rigorous could badminton be? I mean, running around the court with little racquets after shuttlecocks sounds like a light work out to me. The first day, I showed up to the field house in my little shorts and it was a good sized class. We all sat on the padded flooring of the indoor track in the center of the field where four nets were set for four courts and each of us had our racquets. There were two instructors.

The instructors introduced themselves and then said, “Okay ladies; give us a mile with your racquets!” I thought, holy fuck! They have to be kidding us. But, I got up. At least I could run it without any problem. I was in good enough shape, but some of the women I had my doubts about. The instructors had to shepherd many of the stragglers onto the seventh of a mile track. On one of my laps I noticed Dwayne, the tall African American guy I had met when I was with Colleen. He looked up at me and said, “Yo, Sue has legs!”

I was embarrassed by what he said, and how loudly he said it. After the mile, we broke into playing pairs for the semester. I was fortunate and paired well. It was a good thing because our grade was based on how well we played.

Unfortunately, he was not available to pair with.

We were taught the correct way to do all of the essentials of badminton. Different kinds of serves and shots (drive, drop, feint, kill, net, push and smash). Then we found out that we would be graded on how many birdies we could serve and shoot into a hula hoop on the other side of the net out of ten. Egad! So, if you could drive 10 of 10 birdies in between a rope that was no more than 2 feet over the net and into a hula hoop where ever the instructors decided to place it, you would get an A+. Nine of 10 would be an A, 8 of 10 would be a B, 7 of 10 would be a C, etc. This was just plain old too hard and unfair. But this was done for all of the types of serves and shots to determine our grades.

But what ever I thought, I did pretty well, and was getting a B after the hula hoop determinations. The final way to influence the grade was to play with your partner against the teachers. If your pair prevailed you could add a half a grade to your final. My pair battled mightily and in overtime prevailed against the instructors. Boy were they pissed. I couldn’t believe we won. So, I got a B+ and my partner got an A. Hooray!

Late one evening I was surprised to get a call from Colleen. She had taken the semester off to regroup after our trauma last year. She told me that she had arranged to room with two very nice young women from New York City in the next fall semester in a four man suite in the Twin Towers Dorm on campus and they were looking for a fourth. Would I like to be their fourth? I said with relief that absolutely I would. Now I was excited about that and relieved that I didn’t have to worry about making arrangements for next year. It was all settled and somehow I had a really good feeling about it. I thanked Colleen profusely and rang off. It was so nice to hear a friendly voice again.

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