Play-off: basketball on the American high school
It was just another March´s Saturday morning, snowing outside and I was reading email from my weekend school saying that it´s a snow day. Snow days in the US are days when it´s snowing and that´s the reason why you´re not going to school! It is not any victory for the parents or kids. Do you think it doesn´t make any sense? So the US schools you don´t have an exact date of the last day of school. Since kids can have a lot of snow days their teacher can´t finish the school plan on time. Sound familiar right? So by each snow day the beginning of summer vacation moves for later. But during the whole year each school can use only 5 snow days. And are you wondering what will happen if school uses all of their snow days but it´s still snowing? Well the class will start 5 minutes earlier and finish 5 minutes later! I hope it make sense to you as well…
What does a snow day mean for me? Free time on Saturday… and a lot of homework because I still have to do my assignments and study the lectures…
As I was sitting in the kitchen making a research about race intolerance in Boston from the previous century my HD came to me asking if I want to go to check out high school basketball game. He said that the team from Scituate made it to the play-off and they will play against Hanover. I asked him if I can take Nikola with me. He said of course. And so, two hours later we all were sitting in the car: HD, me and “our” four kids (L, H, M and C). With Nikola we made a deal that we´ll meet at the school.
As we came to school I saw something I wasn´t thinking can happen: the school parking lot was fully occupied and we couldn´t find any parking space. HD decided to drop us off to go in and buy the tickets meanwhile he will try to find a parking space. Soon after we entered the school there was another surprise – a long line full of parents and kids waiting for the tickets (children were for $5 and adults for $7). After we finally got our tickets and made it into the gym full of people we sat down on the floor at the wall (because there wasn´t any other place to go)!
In a few minutes it started. First the cheerleaders came. I was disappointed because they didn´t do anything acrobatic as you can see in typical American movies. They were just welcoming the basketball players. After a short workout by shooting on the cage M gave me an important look and said: “Lucy, get up!”
Everyone stood up and M was still watching me with her important face because Lucy didn´t know what was going on and then she said: “Lucy turn to the flag and put your hand on your heart!”
Correct it was American anthem time. There is nothing surprising about that. Surprising is that in the US you will find their flags literally everywhere: in the gym, at the pool, on houses, in restaurants, shopping malls… Well American patriotism is everywhere. I felt like a country betrayal at this point and a small accident happened to me…
However I was sick again (since I came to the US it´s been like 6th time already) I was coughing and of course during this important moment I got a cough attack. I didn´t want to cough aloud so I tried to hold it. And as I was trying to hold it, it got even worse. And so my face ended up covered by tears (I am pretty sure some people thought it was because of the anthem). But I couldn´t hold this for a long time. At the beginning of the second strophe I was barely breathing and I started coughing so loud that the whole gym could hear me. But! I was lucky because I was the first out of few more people who started coughing straight after me! So I wasn´t suffering alone!! I felt so much better. It´s just one of those moments when there has to be somebody to start doing something and then the others will join you. I was the bravest one!
Then the game started. Parents, cheerleaders and people were cheering for their team. People were supporting their teams so much that I was wishing to be one of the players. But still – the game started, I was there with my four kids, HD was nowhere and Nikola wasn´t there yet either. I took out my phone and found there a text message from my HD: “Tickets are sold out, they don´t want to let me in.” Then he added that he´ll try to get in somehow. And he is a high school teacher of three of the basketball players (from Scituate). At the end they let him in but only because he had to explain them that he has his kids with the au pair in the gym…
I took out my phone again and sadly texted to Nikola asking her where was she and that the tickets are already sold out. She said she was parking. Then she texted me that she was standing in front of the gym with group of people and that there is a police officer and he doesn´t let anyone in. So like if you left the gym but forgot to take your ticket with you, he wouldn´t let you go in! I left the gym and borrowed my ticket to Nikola so she could go in and check it out (even police officer saw it and he didn´t care, he just wouldn´t let both of us to go in). Well, next time we have to buy all the tickets in advance. But who´d expect such a rules and a police officer there?
After about 90minutes the game was over, Scituate won and I was still disappointed that the cheerleaders didn´t do anything acrobatic.
And so we left to the fast food 99 for a dinner.
– Tip: More disgusting chicken wings I have never had. And my tastes since I came to the US got pretty used to the local food. For example: back home I wouldn´t eat pasta. But here I eat it almost every day (because I don´t have any other option…).
– Review: if you want to drink a beer try Bud Light, Budweiser or Samuel Adams.
– What I´ve learnt today: if you have one beer and three vodka shots you´ll pay about $30. Yes, getting drunk in the US is very expensive…
At the end I just have to say that I think I´ve seen movie High School Musical too many times and that was the reason why I was disappointed. But the experience was amazing! Like seriously can you imagine a better way of procrastinating?
PS: At the end one of the students donated us one more ticket so we both made it in!