Friday, February 28, 2014

16 On Saturday

TigerBlog went to the eye doctor yesterday.

He likes his eye doctor, except for when she's putting those eye drops in his eyes, the ones that make his pupils gigantic - and burn like crazy.

By the way, did you hear about the cyclops teacher? Only had one pupil.

Anyway, the trip to the eye doctor was like every other one. A check of his vision, which deteriorates a little bit year-by-year. And then the drops, followed by the torturous part.

It starts with his chin on the little gadget that holds his head in place, so that his eye doctor can check him for glaucoma and some other things that eye doctors look for. And how does she do this? By shining extremely bright lights in his eyes from extraordinarily close distances.

The worst is the one with the sharp blue light on the end of a metal rod, which basically comes up to almost flush on his eyeball before stopping. That's always good for a few yucks.

Then there's the 15 minute wait until his pupils become completely dilated for one last check for something else, during which time TB has to pick out his new glasses. In loyalty to Princeton's official apparel provider, he only goes with the Nike brand glasses, and he gets the same basic frames each time.

Of course, once he's picked out essentially the same thing he's always had, he tries on the other ones, like the big black Buddy Holly framed ones. Then he realizes he'll always have the same glasses and goes with the Nike ones.

His eye doctor is an interesting woman. It seems like every time he's there, she and her husband are getting ready for some majorly wild trip, someplace like the Galapagos Islands or Fiji or something like that. This time they're heading out to Utah to go skiing, because as she said, Utah has the best snow.

Once TB leaves the eye doctor, it takes about three or four hours for his pupils to go back to normal. In the meantime, the light is just blinding.

All in all, it's a fun experience. At least it's only once a year. The drops alone would be nightmarish more than once a year.

So now he doesn't have to go back until at least February 2015. March of 2014 begins tomorrow, and it does so with a huge weekend for Princeton athletics.

How huge?

There are 16 teams that will compete tomorrow. Sixteen? That's insane.

Among the events are the Heps track and field championships (at Dartmouth), the men's Ivy League swimming and diving championships, the individual squash national championships and the ECAC women's hockey playoffs (best of three at Cornell).

There is also early-season men's and women's lacrosse, and of course the season-opening weekend for baseball (in California) and softball (in Florida).

There's also the end of the regular season in men's hockey and two basketball games against Brown, after the teams play Yale tonight, with the men home and the women on the road.

The Yale men desperately need to stay within a game of Harvard before their showdown next Friday in New Haven, and so the Bulldogs must win tonight at Princeton and tomorrow at Penn. 

As for the women, they are at Yale and Brown after a wildly successful weekend trip to New England last weekend. The Tigers are now 8-1 in the Ivy League, one game up on Penn (7-2). Harvard is 7-3 and needs a lot of help to get back to the top.

To have 16 teams play on one day is not something that happens too many times. There are some schools that don't even field 16 teams total, let alone 16 that can play all at once.

It's easy to look at the schedule the way it is and forget everything that goes into putting that many teams into competition at the same time. It takes so many different people from all over the athletic department, and actually every office in the department plays an active role in getting these teams to where they need to be.

Hey, there are 14 events today, and that pales in comparison to tomorrow.

It's something unique to the Ivy League, and it's one of the best parts of being at Princeton.

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