Wednesday, October 29, 2008

An interruption post about volleyball

I know I'm behind on National Holiday and my subsequent trip to Shanghai, but today was amazing and deserves its own post while I'm still reveling in it.

The Chinese language department had a volleyball tournament between all the classes over the last couple weeks, and my class had been doing pretty well. I always went home right after class so I never checked it out, but today Leanna had another class so I agreed to step in for her just for the first half hour because the rules stated every team needed at least two females.

Well turns out one of my classmates is actually a volleyball coach, and three other students (two Korean and one Russian) were also really good. I played on a team for two years, but that was like five years ago, so only basic skills like underhand serving and passing/setting really remain. I was more backup; but the coach and one of the tall Korean guys set up a set and spike almost every single volley, I was very impressed with our reaction times and strategic movement.

Our first two games we beat the other team 25-21 and 25-23, then the next two they beat us 25-18 and 25-20 (or something close to that). So going into the last game the refs (just young Chinese students) said we were only playing to 15 points...we ended up neck and neck the entire way, and the game finally ended with a tense 19-17. In all the games I played on a team I never was so into a game, nor did I enjoy winning a game so much. We ended up winning the Final as well after that, though it wasn't as much of a challenge.

It was fun as well because they mixed rules; you could use any part of your body- meaning you could kick the ball, bounce it off your head, etc...I made an incredible save by bouncing one off my shoulder.

I was impressed, I think every one of my classmates made it out to see the match by the end. So I got to interact with them outside of the classroom, and am now fully convinced we are the best class ever, we have the greatest personality and energy. They were all waving around trash bags making noise and the most enthusiastic la la dui (cheerleading squad), even when it started to drizzle and the sky started darkening at 4:30. My listening and intensive reading teacher even showed up. I'm so glad I decided to stay and experience the Chinese university life for once instead of going back to my apartment and lounging about on my laptop like I always do.

Four hours after we'd started, we finally finished taking pictures, getting our prizes (giant 'premium containers' of Nescafe) and congratulating each other, and we all went our separate ways...but I still get to see them tomorrow morning! As if leaving Dalian in two months weren't hard enough, now I'm in love with my class....

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