Goooo Ducks! (Well, if the Gators aren’t gonna get it done, I have to go with the school I’m currently taking classes at. Okay, one class. Read on.)
I’ve spent the past five days at the University of Oregon. Being on a college campus makes me ache to go back to school. Everything is so easy. So protected. I wanted to roll down my car window and shout to every student I saw: “Seriously, enjoy it. The real world isn’t all that great. Take grad school! Postpone the inevitable!” Instead, I just asked for directions.
It was sure fun remembering what life was like as a college student. Today, I even impersonated one and went to class! Although while sitting in Billiards class (that’s no typo), I became all too aware that no matter how young I think I look, I do not look as young as the students who were sitting across from me. They looked 15! I sat there thinking, “How old do they think I look? 25? 30? Oh god, do they think I look 40?!” I really wanted to ask, but the teacher (a 21-year-old senior named Dominic) asked me “not to interrupt his lesson.” (He also insisted I read Playing off the Rail and, if I’m ever in the Bay area, look up a guy called Bucktooth.) Today’s lesson: how to scratch. On purpose. This class, I could ace!
I’m in Eugene to report a story on quarterback Dennis Dixon. He graduated in June (after only 3 ½ years), but had a year of eligibility remaining, so he came back for his senior season. And is taking one class for one credit. Billiards. Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11-12. So I went with him today. I think I even learned a thing or two!
The UO campus is small, but beautiful. And unlike New York when I left, it is fall here in Eugene! The trees are gorgeous, all reds and yellows and shades of orange. Unfortunately, the weather has been very stereotypical Pacific Northwest. For example, here in Oregon, “partly sunny” means “sometimes only sprinkles.” Last evening, I returned to my room to find a piece of paper slipped under my door. It was from hotel management. Apparently a member of the staff was diagnosed with Tuberculosis. There’s a job hazard I did not foresee. A summary of the note …
Blah blah blah … Tuberculosis … Blah blah … Tuberculosis … Yadda yadda yadda … spitting, coughing, sneezing … blah blah … TB .. TB … TB … yadda blah yadda.
Awesome. Then, this afternoon, I was at Autzen stadium watching 4:00 practice when the clouds really let us have it. It’s been chilly and raining pretty consistently since Sunday. But it let up for a bit at the start of today’s practice, so I thought I could get away with a light jacket (also, I packed very poorly for this trip). Then it started raining. Really hard. Then the temperature dropped. Next came the hail. Next came me hiding in the weight room for an hour. (Forget TB. I’m going home with pneumonia.) When I came out, the SID was still taking cover somewhere, so I stood on the sideline watching quarterback drills. A few minutes later, a university employee I hadn’t met walked up to me.
“Excuse me, young lady.”
“Me?” (Dumb question. I was the only woman at practice.)
“Yes. You need a pass.”
“I don’t think so. Practices are open.”
“Well, you’re wearing Washington colors. Are you a student there?”
“Nope, just wearing a red rain coat.”
But thank you for the compliment!