Thursday, May 30, 2013

Crossing The Road

It's been a pretty busy week for TigerBlog, what with the NCAA lacrosse championships and then a short week leading up to tonight's Princeton Varsity Club awards banquet.

And then tomorrow there's a meeting all morning, and of course Reunions are kicking off all over campus.

As a result, TigerBlog has been rushing to finish projects like the senior athlete video and the script for the program and a few items for tomorrow's meeting.

TB knows he had weeks to get these projects done. It's just not his style.

Maybe it's his newspaper background. Maybe it's ingrained in him, dating back to his time getting papers done for school at the last minute.

He remembers one time when he had to write back-to-back 25 page papers, one on FCC regulation of commercial television (which would be a radically different paper today) and the other on the origins of the Cold War, and he hadn't started either two days before they were due. He got them done. On a  typewriter, no less.

Anyway, despite how frantic the last few days have been, TB can still stop and appreciate something that is, well, he's not quite sure what it is.

TB is afraid of geese. They're mean. When you get near them, they hiss. And not in a friendly, inviting way. No, in a get-away-from-me-or-you'll-regret-it way.

If you've ever walked near a goose who has the little geese all scattered around, then they really get protective. They spread their wings. They'll even chase after you.

That's if you're walking near them. If you're driving and they're crossing the road, they could care less that you're barreling in on them. They take their sweet time.

No other non-human crossing a road would ever dream of doing this. Every other animal scurries away at the first hint that a car is coming, even if that means running directly into that car or another one.

Not geese. They just take their sweet time.

TB saw this picture of geese as they waddled across a road and was struck by a chicken/egg type question.

Is the sign with the geese there because that's where the geese always cross or did the geese see the sign and figure they were supposed to cross there?

Anyway, now that TB has that off his chest, he can talk about the banquet.

As always, TB would like to point out that there are only two times when the entire athletic class gets together with only the other athletes in that class, and that is freshman student-athlete orientation and the PVC banquet.

And the distance between the two flies by. At least that's what every soon-to-be graduate will say tonight.

TB has always been fascinated by that dynamic.

He's there for both.

At every freshman athlete orientation, he looks around the room and wonders what will happen for each of them, what kind of individual experience each will have, and ultimately whose bios will he be including for the Roper and von Kienbusch Awards.

The Class of 2013 has accomplished some amazing things together, and the number of award winners will reflect that. Some of the best athletes ever to play their sports at Princeton are members of this class, and that is no exaggeration.

There is so much that goes into the collective experience of an athletic class.

They come to Princeton from all over the country and in some cases the world, and they are thrown together under the heading of "Princeton Athletics."

And then they go down their own paths. They cross their own roads, much like the geese, only without a sign that tells each one of them where they're supposed to be.

And then the reach the other side.

Tonight is a chance for them to look back across the road that they traveled to reach the Grad College, in advance of graduation and with their college athletic careers behind them (except for a handful of track and field athletes and rowers, whose careers extend another week).

As for TB, he always has the same sense when he's at a PVC banquet, and that is that he can't believe another year has come and gone.

For the athletes, none of them ever believe that their four years have come and gone.

Tonight is a celebration of those four years, for the class of 2013.

It's been quite a class, and quite a four years.

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