My phone rang unexpectedly at noon this Friday – it was a gorgeous 82 degrees outside and there were already a few dozen people spread out on the hill with towels, laptops and bio books. I was planning to join them, and then…
“Hey, Rosie, what are you doing right now?”
My friend spoke with some urgency, so I recoiled a little. “Um, nothing. What’s up?”
“We need you to come play softball!”
I’m a terrible softball player. My last season of Little League (do Californians play Little League? In the Midwest, it’s just a summer baseball/softball league for elementary and middle-school kids.) ended when I turned nine, and now I’m a golfer, so swinging a baseball bat seemed like a pretty wild idea. I explained all this, but she cut me off.
“But our game against Annenberg House is about to start and we need a second baseman!”
My friends on our Catholic Center team didn’t mind my lack of experience, of course. I changed shoes and threw on a Trojans t-shirt, then jogged to McAlister Field on Hoover and 29th to warm up. By 12:15, I was wearing a baseball glove.
One of my favorite things about campus is the spontaneity it allows: even without a bike, I can be just about anywhere in less than fifteen minutes. If a friend calls me about grabbing lunch or playing an impromptu softball game, it’s totally doable. If we’re hanging out late one night at someone’s apartment off campus, Campus Cruiser will come pick me up at that address whenever I call them and drive me back to my own residence hall. Leavey Library has a huge film repository, so when my floormates realize I’ve never seen The Mummy, we can check it out for free (true story). Sometimes, someone settles into my res hall’s lounge with his or her guitar or sits down at our piano and starts picking out a Jason Mraz song, and then I wander in on the way back from a meeting and text a few friends to sing along with me. There’s always something to do, and it’s never difficult to get there.
We ended up losing the softball game 10-5 to the team from Annenberg House (who actually had their own team t-shirts and baseball caps – incredibly legit). I missed what was almost a wild double-play catch and got a little sunburned, but scored my first run since third grade and spent the afternoon with some of my good friends. All in all, we’ll call this one – excuse the poor pun – a ball.