Thursday, October 6, 2011

Adventures in Volleyball

A Journey Way Outside My Comfort Zone
I can't stand volleyball.  I just don't like anything abou it.  For starters, it's a sport that involves a flying ball, which is scary and could hurt you.  On top of that, volleyball is usually played by girls dressed in the same amount of fabric required to keep a large cat warm, and these girls, are, in my experience, the preppiest members of any given student body.  If this weren't bad enough, it seems the rest of the world simply can't get enough of it, making volleyball the most overrated sport ever.

Unfortunately, the wise woman who wrote the above paragraph was  not around when I was asked at lunch if I knew how to play volleyball.

"Yes" I replied, which was only partly a lie.  I knew, in theory how volleyball was played.  Twice, I had even played the game myself, Once was in a swimming pool, but that is irrelevant.

"The volley ball club is meeting in the garden soon, you should come if you like playing volley ball."

Yes, I attended that meeting, and came to two conclusions.

First, the whole "all volleyball players are preppy" thing is absolutley true, even/especially in Turkey.

Second, our first practice was going to be on Thursday, and I was going to be there.

After chasing down Selin to confirm that, in fact, "Persembe" did tranlate to "Thursday" and that was, in fact,  the day we were meeting and not just a random word I had picked up from what the coach was saying, I resolved to Google some basic volleyball tips so I wouldn't look like a complete salak (idiot) come Thursday.

What I hadn't taken into account was gym class on Tuesday, taught by the same woman who coaches the volleyball team.  What did we do in gym class you ask? *surprise* we played volleyball.  Have I mentioned I can't stand volley ball?

Regardless, I was determined to make  a good impression, so I carefully watched the other girls as we passed the ball around the circle.  Each time the ball came my way I managed to both not catch it and serve it incorrectly.

So much for good impressions. The coach to pity on me and took me aside for some non-verbal coaching.

I rejoined the circle, and was still probably still the worst payer in class. Being the exchange student, I was passed the ball twice as much as everyone else, and failed misreably three or four times as much as everyone else, but, slowly, I got better.

Gym class is an hour and a half, and it didn't take nearly that long for the other girls to start getting tired, it didn't help that most everyone is sick. One by one, my class mates left the circle and went to sit with our teacher at the bench. Evenutally I was left playing with only one other girl, one of my best friends, who was only still playing because she took pity on me. (a common theme it seems)

I may not have shocked my coach with amazing skills, but I think she noticed that I am willing to push myself and work hard. The meeting on Thursday was postponed, so maybe me playing volleyball wasn't meant to be.  On the other hand, I might end up being super preppy and loving volleyball. Hmmm..... I think I could use another pair of spandex shorts.....

In other news, in case you aren't a sports fan

1. I am recovering from a fever which, apparently, was caused by being bare foot in the house and not wearing my sweater. While I'm not convinced, I have promised my host mum to cover up from now on *looks down and realises she is barefoot and wearing shorts and a t-shirt* I'll start tomorrow :-)

2. Today I walked myself home from school for the second time, thus proving to the locals that I am mostly insane. On the way,  I met a fine young gentleman whose name I can't remember. He has consumed kangaroo before, though, so I think he's cool. (This sounds worse than it actually was, I knew him before from school and his dad is actually on the Rotary Youth exchange board and one of school principles)

3. I attended my first Turkish birthday party, and learned that no one finds it awkward when teachers join you at  a restaurant, even if everyone is drinking and legally underage to do so.

4. It should also be mentioned I have kept my room more-or-less clean the whole time I've been here. I know, I don't believe it either :-D

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