Lauren's Diary

"So this is the foundation for my
internet diary - searching for the
truth and seeing what else comes
along on the way."
05.19.99 diary entry

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Funny Story #6: Extra Credit
Saturday, 11.06.04

Quote of the Day:
�Evie: This is the coffin of this is where they put Voldemort.�
�The Mummy� Hand Puppet Movie Theater

When I was a freshman in high school we were required to take physical education (PE) and it wasn�t always the best experience. Having to change into smelly gym clothes, do ridiculously outdated calisthenics, and play sports you knew nothing about could be absolute torture. The coaches wanted to expose us to as many sports as possible, as long as they involved readily available equipment, so every few weeks we were forced to try something new.

Softball was the easiest for me since I had been playing since I was ten years old. That doesn�t mean I was very good at it, but I least I knew the rules and basic principles of the game. Hitting the ball over the heads of all the boys wasn�t bad either. They never expected any female to be able to hit and somehow every time I went up to bat they forgot that I could. Their powers of retention left something to be desired. Our coach wasn�t any brighter and managed to apply the same amount of chauvinism when dealing with the girls in his classes. He was the designated pitcher when we played softball and asked the boys if they wanted a �moon ball� (slow) or a �rocket fire� (fast) pitch when they came up to bat. For the girls he just assumed that we could only hit slow pitches so there was no need to ask. That always bothered me, even though his assumption was correct in my case. I still would have liked the coach to have the courtesy to give the girls a choice.

But the story I want to relate here involves soccer rather than softball. Both sports were played on the same large empty field, however. When old goals were placed at ends it became a soccer field. Unlike softball, I knew almost nothing about soccer so it wasn�t nearly as much fun to play in class. I spent most of the time running up and down the field trying to look like I knew what was going on. I usually kept my distance from the ball because the people who did know how to play would do anything to take possession of it. Injury was quite common, but the aftermath sometimes turned out to be rather amusing.

One day when we were playing soccer I found myself in the midst of the action and not sure what to do. I was rarely in that situation and was fairly ignorant about soccer, but I did know I was supposed to try and get possession of the ball for my team. Not that I had any idea which people were on my team, but I went for the ball anyway. However, one of the boys had other plans so he tripped me to make sure I couldn�t get to the ball before he did. I fell to the ground, scraping my knees, and was nearly trampled by the scuffle for the soccer ball. Suddenly the booming voice of our coach rang out from across the field as he yelled, �EXTRA CREDIT!� Apparently the fact that I fell down demonstrated that I was eagerly participating in the game and deserved recognition for it. Even though my knees were bleeding, it was still funny to hear him say that.

Our coach often shouted like that. He liked to give EXTRA CREDIT to people who contributed to the game, but he also liked to give CREDIT REDUCTION to people who caused injury to others. Like the guy who tripped me playing soccer. To this day I can still hear his voice shouting �EXTRA CREDIT� or �CREDIT REDUCTION� when I remember those days in freshman PE. It still makes me laugh.

-Lauren Gleason