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Reflections on my First Week
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The following poem was written by Sara Carpenter '03, after one week of rugby.


Well, I'm still alive.
I was just sitting here, procrastinating,
thinking, wow it's Wednesday.
I've been taking college courses for one whole week now.
But more importantly

I've been playing rugby for one whole week now.
One week exactly.

One week ago I walked with another 'shmen,
(who quit already)
heavy with preconceived notions and inhibitions,
to Grand Union, where we got in an unfamiliar car.

Then we drove to an unfamiliar field to meet many new faces.
I lost track of the Laurens and Alisons.
I heard stories of games past, of injuries, of college life.
I tried to take it all in as an eager freshman.
I tried to imagine what it would be like to know
everyone's name, to be part of this team.

Then practice started.

We ran around, we passed.
We learned drills, and just when I finally figured out
where the heck I was supposed to go
we stopped that one--
Time for a new drill.

I thought
Hey, I can do this.
This rucking drill doesn't hurt that much.
Or was I mauling? Who came up with these words?

Then we scrimmaged.

And it was rainy and cold. Kinda muddy too.

I found myself laughing through my mouthguard.
What kind of sport is this? Is anyone else finding this humorous?
I whispered to someone
Can you really grab and pull like that?
No holding penalty?

Then it was my turn.

One week ago I got taken down by a faceless upperclassman
when I somehow got the rugby ball
by mere chance.
The hardness of grass and dirt is more profound
when you're trying to pretend that
you know what you're doing.

I thought
Hey, I can still do this.
But it kinda hurts.

Then practice was over, and I got a ride back to campus.
The fourth floor trek seemed like it was mocking me
as I huffed and puffed the whole way up.

I gallantly displayed my newly forming bruises to
my entertained roommate.
Then she showed me her crew blisters.
My war wounds were definitely cooler.

That was a week ago.

I still don't know any of the rules of rugby.

All of the freshmen that I knew dropped out.

I saw stars at practice today.

My mom seriously thinks that something is wrong with me.

But on the field this afternoon, something clicked:
Hey, I can do this.
I like it.
I'm not the fastest rookie. I don't have the best hands.
I'm definitely not the biggest.
But I like it.

I can't wait for my first game.
I'm sure that I won't really know what to do,
but at least I'm eager, even without the speed, hands, and size.
I can't wait to play and get dirty and be part of this group.

I can't wait to be part of the team.

But as an upperclassman passed me on the green tonight
and waved, what's up Sara,
I thought
Hey, just maybe--

I think I already am.