Field Day

Remember that time when I wrote a post called The Field Day Planning Committee? Well, that day has finally rolled around.

I went to bed at nine thirty last night so that I would be able to get out of bed on time. I really hate having to schedule myself like this because of the medicine, but a day running around in sun, playing games is worth it. I woke up at around five forty, feeling wide awake and ready to take on the day. Such a welcome change from my falling asleep in the school library at 7:45 every morning as the librarians look at me judge me from behind their desk.

After doubling back to take my medicine, I ran up three flights of stairs to one of the history rooms where we were supposed to meet. Cecelia handed me my tee shirt and I pulled it on over the one I was wearing.

I like this shirt for two reasons: one, because it is shamelessly pretentious and two, because I love Executive/Judicial so much. I may not have been able to compete with them for most of the day because I was judging, but I was able to at least physically feel that I was part of the department.

Cecelia and I walked down to the field together. It felt odd moving against the tide of bodies as everyone pushed towards the school. The air was chilled, and I thought about how a really great title for a book would be “I Should Have Worn Pants.” I mean, it would totally work for a memoir or a book about gender. I filed it away in my folder of “genius ideas” and went back to talking to Cecelia about menu planning for our beach trip. It appears that I am going to be the only meat-eater there, which puts a real damper on my hamburger and bacon eating plans.

I filled up two giant water coolers at the spigot at the bottom of the water fountain that I think is there for cleaning shoes and for dogs to drink. It took a long time, and I kept having to alternate between hands to hold the valve back. Cecelia and I carried it across the field to a table where they promptly disappeared. I know that they made their way back to the gym office this afternoon, but I have no clue where they were in the interim. Running away with 30 gallon coolers is not an easy task.

Soon enough, setting up was done, and everyone was descending on the field. Executive had won trivia and was already first in the standings. We held the boys race and the girls race, and I stood at the third corner, making sure that no one cut it. I was so close to the line that I could feel people’s shirt sleeves brush me as they ran past. Our department got second in the girls.

Relay, wheelbarrow, and three-legged races and a Beanie Baby toss followed, and I found myself desperately wishing to be with my department instead of standing on the sidelines making sure that people touched the white line before turning around. Walking around with a clipboard enforcing rules is a lot of fun, but it’s not the same as hanging out with your department and cheering people on.

Next, we had tug of war, which has always been one of my favorite Field Day events was incredibly complicated. First of all, making sure that the rope is evenly placed between both cones is tricky and nearly always leads to an argument. Second, there is no fair way to making a bracket out of nine teams. Someone will always get a by. After a lot of yelling, it was decided that three of the teams would split third place. I’m always surprised and frustrated by how much arguing it takes to get to an agreement that both parties would have found to be okay in the first place.

The more organized events were over, and it appeared like I wasn’t needed, so I skedaddled off ¬†to eat watermelon and watch Executive play soccer. I may not be a very good soccer player myself, but I make a very good enthusiastic fan. Hopping up and down on the balls of my feet, clapping my hands, and yelling “go _____” is one of my specialties. The game went on forever. Regular time became overtime which became more overtime which turned into a shootout that became sudden death which finally turned into another shoot out with the big regulation sized goal. We did not win, but I had loads of fun.

Everyone headed over to the Badminton court to watch our department win first place, and I took a few breaks to head back to our booth for a watermelon eating contest. I discovered that if you fill your mouth up with watermelon, you can partial chew it and swallow large pieces whole. Because it’s so watery and soft it goes down just as easily as a capsule.

This post will be updated with the entire story tomorrow.

In a related story, I got into the shower with my socks on and didn’t notice for a good two minutes. I like to think that this was because I don’t often wear socks and am not used to taking things off my feet before I jump in, and not because I was too preoccupied with singing “Na na na na na na BATMAN” in various accents and pitches.

The Field Day Planning Committee

When I was a sophomore and in a department called Global Action, one other person and I planned Field Day in its entirety for our politics and government small learning community. It wasn’t the most fun of processes, we kept running up against road-blocks–the administration didn’t want to let us use the field; the gym couldn’t find the rope for tug-of-war; the sacks we were going to use went missing; etc–and after all of our hard work, the event was rained out. It wasn’t pouring rain, just a light drizzle and the promise of a little bit more on the way. But rain is rain is rain, and wet turf does not a good surface for running make. We performed the department cheers in the little auditorium and there was a ridiculous dance-off. Everyone was disappointed, and I was more than a little upset.

Last year, things were a bit different. I turned all of my papers from the previous year over to my old department and let them take the reigns. All I did was show up and compete with the rest of the Executive and Judicial Branch. And it was a lot of fun not having to worry about the execution of the event. I passed out from my neurocardiogenic syncope, freaked out all the teachers, and then went to go play soccer in the blazing hot sun for about two hours. Unfortunately, the day was executed by one person again. Lola put loads of hours in, planning for the thing, and when the day came, she did almost all of the setting up and all of the cleaning up by herself.

But this year is going to be different. All of the departments are planning Field Day by electing to people to a committee. You’ll never guess who the representatives are from the Executive and Judicial Branch. That’s right, Lola, who is now in Executive, and I. We volunteered ourselves for the role because we knew that a) we have the experience needed and b) we weren’t entirely sure that the others could pull it off. It’s not that we don’t have faith in the community, we just don’t have faith in 18 kids’ ability to stop arguing and get work done. Plus, we’re masochistic idiots who actually really enjoy the event.

When I walked into the meeting today, I looked around at the people gathered there and though, You know, I think that this could actually work. And then, we tried to start. There was the typical arguing, too much talking over one another, everybody desperate for their oh-so-important point to be heard. But Lola stepped up to the white-board and started writing last year’s itinerary. When she was done and I was nearly done copying down what she had written, so we’d have notes, she turned around and said, “Let’s go through this event by event and make a list of new ideas.” And you know what? We were able to do exactly that. Group yoga was ruled out, because the school wouldn’t allow it for “insurance reasons,” but back-to-back races were in.

It really did work. People were interested, engaged, and really did seem up for the amount of work that the event would require. Even the sophomores who had never attended a Field Day before were shouting out ideas and calmly debating the legitimacy of and improvements to the old ones. One of the other girls volunteered to type up my notes, so that we could distribute copies to all the departments on Monday, and when we were done, Lola came over to breathe a sigh of relief and comment that she didn’t think that things would go as well as they did.

Guess what. I’m actually really excited about all of this, because I just know that everything will turn out really well if the good Lord’s willing, and the creek don’t rise.

(Note: This statement might be subject to change as we get closer to late May.)