Voices

Indentified unflying objects

By the

April 26, 2001


The recent spat of nice weather has invited many Hoyas to enjoy the outdoors again. One could hardly cross Healy or Copley lawnsthis weekend without stepping on a sunbather or dodging a volleyball. What better generic college activities perfect for pictures in the viewbook or for prospective students to see than lots of happy students studying away outdoors with smiles a-plenty? I like to think most people realize that college life is not simply lounging around and teasing cancer by absorbing extra UV rays and lying on freshly-fertilized grass. But I don’t really harbor ill will for those who don’t. Instead, another group of people earns my disdain: Frisbee players.

For as long as I can remember, I have sucked at Frisbee and, as such, harbor resentment at all who play it. I have just never been able to get that magically elusive flick of the wrist that sends the disc smoothly flying through the air to its intended target, be it another person, a tree or a dog. I find this extremely frustrating.

Now, a lack of trying has not prevented me from achieving flying disc greatness. I have vivid memories of physical education class in elementary school when our coaches introduced the exciting game of Frisbee golf. We started with short lobs between two partners. The goal was to master pointing our index fingers where we wanted the Frisbee to go, placing our thumbs on top, letting the disc rest lightly on the tips of our other fingers and then throwing it. Who the hell can think about so many things at once? Such a task was far too complicated for me. Instead, I made some sort of convulsive spasm with my arm that launched the Frisbee in a completely random direction and forced my partner to run after it. The damn thing wobbled about in the air like a drunkard with an ear infection on a tightrope?when all I longed for was a smooth slice through the air like in the opening scenes of Flight of the Navigator.

By the second day word had spread about how bad I was and nobody wanted to be my partner. When we started actually playing Frisbee golf, the other members of my team groaned when they found out that I was playing with them. As though my own internal shame weren’t enough …

Since then, I have pretty much been able to avoid Frisbees. The few friends that I have had who enjoy Frisbee sports are usually understanding when I lie and say that my recent elbow surgery prevents me from participating. I managed to keep said friends by offering up a Frisbee from my collection, that is possible because every company on Earth thinks Frisbees are a great marketing ploy.

As I think about it, I have a lot of trouble with complex arm-hand-eye-index finger-brain tasks, not limited solely to Frisbees. I took a really long time to learn how to tie my shoes?that bunny running around the loop or whatever didn’t do much for me. I failed at my summer-camp attempts at archery, often creating a safety hazard with the sharp arrows we used. And I took so long learning how to shuffle cards that when I finally figured out how, I was so excited that I continuously shuffled the same deck for two hours, almost driving my mother crazy.

Now while I’ve succeeded at conquering most of these feats, I have yet to learn how to make a good Frisbee throw. For the most part, I still get by in life. But when spring comes and people decide to play outside, the Frisbees inevitably come out, along with the reminder of my failure. I often pause as I walk along, sigh to myself that I can’t demonstrate similar talent and move on to my destination a little dejected. I guess I can’t be good at everything, and I’m sure those guys who can whisk the Frisbee from White-Gravenor to Lauinger are bad at something, but it would be really nice if we were able to choose our strengths and weaknesses ourselves. If we could, I’d definitely be walking around with my shoelaces untied all of the time and always deferring to someone else to deal at poker.



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