Basket Ball, Bac Blanc, and Bunnies

I know its been ages (more than a month to be specific) since I've blogged, and honestly I have no excuses. I've had subjects to write about (as you can probably tell from the title of this blog) and while I've had more homework than usual I've still had the time. Really I think it all comes back to the fact that I'm a terrible correspondent, I just can't always work up the courage to express myself in writing, I'm not good at writing letters, or journals, and I guess I'm not good at blogging either, I'm just too quick to drop the pen (or close the laptop I guess), and too long in coming back. Okay, enough analyses for one day, back to blogging.
My first subject is basket ball (feel free to laugh, yes I do mean the game with the large ball that requires acute hand-eye-coordination). The 'Jeux Europeens' or the European Games is a festival of sorts between several highschools from various European countries: France, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Each high school takes a turn hosting and it rotates every year. Last year it was hosted right here at Notre Dame Des Anges a Saint Amand Les Euax, but this year its in Dietrich, Luxembourg. Its meant to be a friendly competition between neighboring countries to show sportsman ship and the spirit of a united Europe. There are competitions in all sorts of sports such as karate, soccer, swimming, ping pong, etc. but also 'cultural activities' such as dance, theatre, and music. Because the games are hosted in another country this year there is a limited number of spaces available. Each sport is designated a certain number of spots and then the students are chosen or petition for the spots. They fill up very quickly. My host family thought I ought to participate, since I'm an exchange student and the whole point of the games is to bring students of different nationalities together in a common activity. The problem is I don't really play any sports. Well, that was the obvious problem, the real underlying problem was that I had no idea how the games really worked. Everyone kept talking about them, so I'd get hints here and there, but I had no idea for example that you could go sign up if you weren't enrolled in an after school club with NDA all year long (NDA is my high school. NDA is a tiny bit shorter to say than Notre Dame des Anges a Saint Amand les Eaux, but hey if you want to attempt the full name, then I say go for the gold). It turns out however, that you can sign up for just about anything you think you can pul off, provided there's still space. Unfortunately, by the time I'd gained this enlightening information, all the spots were full. About two weeks after I'd given up all hope of attending the games Monsieur Marcant found me on my way to class and asked i fI would like to go to the games. I said yes of course, though I admit I was a bit confused, not to mention wary, because I was afraid going to the games might include participating in some embarrassing and public spectacle in the name of sportsmanship, but he followed up quickly by telling me he thought I could go for dance. Wonderful I thought, though of course I'd already tried to sign up for dance but it was full, still I figured he's the director of the school he can probably pull some strings. Gilles and Isabelle were thrilled as they were hoping to get all three of us (Sarah, Thomas, and I) to go, as they have a business trip the same weekend. Near the end of the following week I hadn't heard anything more about the games, and Thomas and I had tried several times to contact the teacher in charge of dance, but our schedules were too different and we never got a chance to talk. Then, Friday in study a nice woman with a very large folder and a nice long list found me and asked if I was indeed Emma, l'americaine and if I was interested in the games. "Yes, that's me," I said
"Oh good, how do you feel about singing a solo,"
"I'm sorry!?"
"Singing, a solo, are you interested, there's one spot left."
"Um, no, I'm sorry, that's definitely not the spot for me, thank you, but I'm afraid I can't do that."
"Oh, ok. Well, can you play chess by any chance? There's space on the chess team."
"Oh, no I can't play chess either, oh well..."
Well, I thought thats that. Of course this simple thought took three more meetings, several telephone calls and an entire weekend to take on the weight of a veritable fact, due to a couple misunderstandings and a few straggling last hopes, but by Wednesday afternoon it was certain. Just when I'd resigned myself to a weekend at a friends house with Sarah (because while Sarah really does play sports, she only plays popular sports and as she's only in 8th grade all the spots were given by priority to the older students), My swimming coach, with whom I'd been discussing my drama, came up during break and happily announced they'd found a slot for the games, would I like it?
"Why yes, what sport?"
"Basket ball!"
I'm sure the shock, disgust, fear, disapointment, and utter horror that I experienced at that precise moment must have been slapped on my face like clown paint, because everyone started laughing, including me, and the coach.
"Um, oh...I can't really play basket ball, but thanks anyway."
"Well you don't have to be good, the coach said it really doesn't matter. They just lost a player and they need a substitute. Have you ever played before?"
"I played in P.E. with school, a few times...?!"
"Thats fine, I mean you might as wel, try, and then you get to the games."
"Would I have to play a real game?!"
"Uh, ... well yes if you go to the games,...?"
"Oh, ok, well, I guess I could ... try...?"
"Great, there's a practice tonight but as you don't have your stuff then I guess you won't go, but if you could find the coach and talk to him some time today."
And that was that. I ran around like an idiot the rest of the day, trying to find the coach, and get all the papers. At 5:30 on Friday I was standing in the gym with a signed permission slip, a check for 30 euros, a basket ball, and two teams full (boys and girls) of trained athletes. Let me tell you it was a terrifying experience, but I've already had two practice sessions and there's only one left before the games, and I think I can fake it, provided they stop trying to pass me the ball!!!! We leave friday, April 23 at 8:30 in the morning for Dietrich and then we compete I suppose until Sunday when we will return, in time to be home around 5:30. THere is apparently I very fun, international party Saturday night, and pretty much all of my friends are going to one thing or another, so I'm excited despite the discouraging fact that I faced the wrong direction the entire first scrimmage I played.


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