April 2018

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Summer #5: Who's cheering for the refs?

Summer #5: Last night we watched our Seattle Storm beat the San Antonio Silver Stars by over 20 points--without our superstar point guard Sue Bird, who was out with a back injury. We have great seats and generally have a great time. We sit by the woman in charge of security, but there's a man in the next section over who yells at the refs the whole game. I asked the woman who sits next to me if she could have him arrested, but she just laughed. I don't think he's from Texas as I don't hear his accent, but I think he's a Texas-wanna-be. He wears a straw cowboy hat and has a bit of a paunch and really shouts at the refs the whole time. I don't know how he finds so much to complain about. I prefer to cheer when someone does something amazing, which happens all the time as these women are amazing athletes.

When I was in college, I noticed a woman older than students looking a bit lost on campus. I went to Davidson, which is small, so if you're lost you've definitely not been there before. She said she was going to the basketball game, and since I was headed there as well I offered to walk her over. Attempting to be Southern friendly, I asked which team she would be cheering for. "Neither team," she said, "I'm dating one of the refs."

I'd never thought about refs having fans before as I suspect they tend to have a small cheering section and no cheerleaders. I cheered for the refs that night, too. Now hollering at the refs is one of my pet peeves. After all, refs are people, too, and all that negative energy must get to them.

Another pet peeve is being interrupted, something I posted in my classroom when I was teaching. This pet peeve  I learned to advertise to my teenager students because I didn't want to be grumpy all day. I once conducted a "Student-led Conference," a conference with one of my advisees, her mother and myself to discuss the student's academic progress and goals. This student struggled in school, and twice her mom upset her, and the student walked out of the conference, slamming the door behind her and pacing about to calm down. This was unusual, but not crazy. The unusual thing was that the mother would also get frustrated, walk out of the room, and slam the door. It was quite an afternoon. When all three of us were finally in our seats, I said something, and the mother interrupted me. Then, seeing the sign on the wall behind me about my pet peeve being to be interrupted, she apologized. But she didn't stop. That was kind of like Hamlet's uncle praying for forgiveness for killing the king, while at the same time keeping the wife and the crown. "My words fly up. My thoughts remain below. Words without deeds never to heaven go." I did not mention this parallel to my student's mother.

My third pet peeve is having people holler at me from another room. I feel if you are going to talk to someone, you should be able to see them. (Don't even ask about cell phones and texting.) As a general rule, I can't understand someone when they bellow from another room, and I've stopped trying. Now I just bellow back, "I can't hear you!" I'm curious to see how this works on my father at the beach in a few weeks. I'm guessing there will be no change in his behavior, but you never know.

So should we get to go to a Storm game together, cheer on the refs, don't interrupt me, and don't bellow at me from another section, and we'll have a grand time. Oh, you have rules, too? Mary

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