Saturday, September 14, 2013

Line Calls, Liars, and Life

Sorry I haven't posted so much.  School.  Public school.  And education's greatest--or worst--invention time-eater-upper: homework.  I've had a lot of homework.  Or maybe I just make it a lot of homework, because honestly I hate doing it?  So I kindasortamaybesometimes stall, just a little bit, sometimes?  I hope I won't bore you with the details.  Let's just say I don't like homework, and leave it at that (usually I try to make excuses for school-related things that other kids complain about, but ehk ehk ehk homework).  

Oh--let me say that I love my Language Arts Honors teacher.  And my Biology Honors teacher.  I like my Spanish teacher and my Health/Careers teacher.  I kind of like my honors geometry teacher, but sometimes it feels like she assigns us homework that we don't know how to do, and then goes over it the next day in class.  Which means I force myself to redo it.  Which takes up even more time.  Ugh.  

The upside stereotypes of public school?  We live in a nice area, so we're pretty OK.  I don't really think there's any bullying (at any rate, nobody's tried to bully me).  The girls don't gaggle about boys all the time (We're weird instead.  One time we were waiting for class to start and we stood there rubbing the tips of our collarbones with our second and third fingers simultaneously, and comparing whose stuck out more).  When they do talk about boys, I just sit there thinking, Hello?  Anyone else think this is pointless?  No need to comment--it's not going to stop them anyway.

But just yesterday I had an experience that you kind of have to expect to happen.  Here goes...

As you know, I'm on the JV tennis team.  (I feel really suave when I say that.  Oh, I'm just on the junior varsity tennis team.  No biggie.)  And when you play in a simple tennis league like ours, you go by the honor system.  Specifically saying, when the opponent hits the ball to your side, and you either call it in or out.  In or out.  Sometimes in, sometimes out.  SOMETIMES you don't know if it's in or out.

I got jolted up from number three doubles to number three singles.  For those of you who don't know, there are three singles players and three doubles pairs.  Every singles player plays one set against every singles player on the other team (So, it really doesn't matter if you're number three or number one.  You play one set against everyone, unless the coach decides to substitute you).  It's the same thing for doubles.

YesterdayI played two sets, because the other team wanted to do four singles players and four doubles pairs and two rounds.  We let them.  It was a non-league match, which means it doesn't count in the books.

If you want the whole tennis scoring-and-planning such, Google it.  And if you didn't get what I was just saying, pretend like you do.  It doesn't really matter.

The first set I played was against the other number-three singles player.  Eh.  I lost, 3-6.  I bet I could have won.  But the part of the problem was that my entire family--parents, siblings, and imaginary friends--was watching, and everybody knows that you don't perform as well with your family watching.  At least, I don't.  

The girl didn't have good groundstrokes, and she didn't come up to the net once, but she did have a killer serve, which she only got in a couple times.  But the main thing was that she didn't double fault.  

Me?  I double faulted my entire set away.
I'm not naturally athletic, so my forehand and serve are kind of traveling on a long journey.  My old coach obsessed over my stinking forehand (however, it's gotten much better), and now it's my serve.  For some reason my backhand was always pretty good.  

My forehand is in a winding forest path with plenty of water and shade, while my serve is in the Sahara with its sand dunes--the type where you climb one step and slide back two.  

So that's probably the main reason why I lost.  

The second set is the one I want to really tell you about.

I was playing the number four singles player.  To be honest, she just patted the ball back, and only sometimes she got it in.  Her serve was the most stable thing about her game (unlike mine).  

I told myself from the start, I'm going to win this.  I can win it.  I knew I could.

(It was more like an inspirational moment than an arrogant, self-absorbed moment.  I think.)

I took the first game.  Then she took the second (my fantabulously failing disgusting serve).  I don't know what happened, but for some reason, she called one of my balls out when I thought it was in.   I know she called one or two of my serves out that I thought were in.  And my dad, who was watching, told me that one of the balls wasn't even touching the line, and she called it out.

I shook it off.  Because the girl before her had called a couple bad ones, and I'd promised myself that if this girl exceeded the limit--3--I would call a line judge.

She called a third out when it looked suspiciously in.  I told myself, Four.  After another bad call, I'll call a line judge.  

The truth is, I'm not a big fan of getting people offended.  I don't usually offend people.  Okay, maybe once or twice people thought I was a complete ickadoodle maniac, but usually I'm on good terms with pretty much everybody.  I try hard not to offend anyone, even though sometimes I probably get on people's nerves.

The bad part about calling a line judge is the fact that you will probably offend the opponent.  It's like walking up to them and telling them in the face, Hey, you're being dishonest.  I want somebody else to come in.  

I played my game.  And she called another I-think-the-it-was-in ball out.

I walked over to her.  I can't tell you what I was thinking at the moment, but it was something along the lines of, How do you tell a person you want a line judge and not offend them?

I know I rambled.  I know I talked fast.  But somehow I got the point across and she offered, "Do you just want to replay the point?"

In my personal opinion, it sounded like a replacement offer.  Something like, We replay the point, and you don't call a line judge.

I took a short pause.  I can't tell you what I was thinking there, either--they weren't any conscious thoughts--but logic told me, First off, if you're really confident in your calls, you wouldn't try to "make up for it" by offering to replay the point.  Second off, you've already called four balls out that seemed in to me.  Third off, I'm serious, and I'm calling a line judge.

We got two people, one from my team and one from the other team, to come line judge (I later learned that 1, you have to inform both coaches that you want a line judge, and 2, if you're not too mad, you usually don't call a line judge until a changeover.  Assume that I disregarded both etiquette rules out of ignorance).  

I was winning, something like 5-3.  Then she won a game (something like that).  5-4.  I knew that if she won that game, we'd have to play two more games (you have to win a set by two games) and I didn't want to do that.  

It was my serve. 

My fantastically terrible serve.

I was cool and collected for some weird reason.  All I knew was that if she had been purposely calling the in balls out, she wouldn't try it now, not with two line judges out on the court (my dad tells me that she called one ball out, but I don't know.  Ick, it's just a tennis match).  

I proceeded to serve four straight balls in, and proceeded to win four straight points.  Game, set, (technically I can't say match, because it was only a set, but...ack!) match.

We shook hands, and I told her I wished my serve was as consistent as hers. Which was true.

Heaven's sake, there are plenty of reasons why she called those four balls out.

1) Not sure if it was in or out.  That's a legit reason.  I called two balls out the first set that I wasn't sure about, and it plagued me a lot during the first set, which I lost.  I wondered if I was becoming a liar.  

She could have been unsure, but my dad said some of the balls weren't even touching the line.  Only God knows.

2) Bad eyesight.  My eyesight is so bad I need contacts all the time.  But some lucky people wear glasses (cute-looking nerd glasses, unlike mine) to school, and take them off for tennis matches.  Maybe she was one of them.  Maybe she couldn't see the ball.

3) She lied.  Nothing else needs to be said.

4) I was wrong.  Maybe I was wrong, maybe I was right.  Maybe my eyes played tricks on me.  

Hopefully I didn't come down to hard on her here.  (I hope she isn't reading this post right now and taking things the wrong way)  There could be a million reasons why she miscalled those balls.  I only listed four of them.  But after all, if someone seems like they're making a couple bad calls, I need to make sure they're responding with accountability.

That was a messy job, calling a line judge.  Especially because people can take it wrong.  

What would I do if someone called a line judge on me?  I'd probably be relieved.  Every set, I try my hardest to call accurate balls.  I make mistakes many times.  So if a line judge is called, I'd probably be glad, to rely on someone else's perspective on if the ball was in or out.

And if you think about it--when you use someone else's perspective, it causes you to look at something in a whole other way.  Narrowmindedness comes from looking through your view, not somebody else's.

But, sometimes, looking from someone else's eyes, somebody else's POV, that's refreshing once in a while.  It helps you look at things differently.  It helps you understand life.

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