Wednesday, September 22, 2021

It's Homecoming Week

At my new school, there's a tradition called dodgeball. The girls (it's an all-girls' school) dress up in their house colors and then try to obliterate one another in dodgeball. 

It's the traditional dodgeball where people run to the center of the gym, retrieve balls, and whip them at one another while showing no mercy.

The whole tournament was slightly terrifying to me. First, you have to consider the noise. It was constant roaring. It was girls in tutus maybe experiencing catharsis through screaming, which reverberated from the gym rafters.

Second, there were the cheating accusations. Just imagining someone coming after me with their finger out, yelling about how I'd broken a rule--to be honest, it made my heart beat fast and sparked an urge to cower.

Third, I was struck by the contrast of the school's stated values and DODGEBALL. We're about kindness and gentleness and optimism, and apparently also about annihilation and humiliation. 

Perhaps more suprising than all of this was the girls' demonstrated affection for the tradition. I polled my afternoon classes about how they'd rank dodgeball on a scale of 1-5, with five being "awesome." I'd say the average score was 4.

So, there you have it. Watch out for the flying balls. It's possible I just don't understand. Yet.

1 comment:

LH said...

Dodgeball scares me. I always think of Rip Torn throwing the wrenches at the dodgeball team during practice.

But I like that your school explores contradictions.