Lost Among Europeans

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A couple of firsts

It was a busy weekend.

On Saturday I spent eight hours in the lab at UW (University of Washington) for my anatomy class. This was where the rubber met the road. The twelve students were divided into three groups of four, and each group got a cadaver to perform dissections on. We had to take out the lungs and the heart and study them. I had been worried about this. About not being able to stand it. I was surprised that all twelve of us seemed to handle it fine, but according to the professor, that’s usual. I’m still uneasy about the next labs: there are parts of the body that worry me more than hearts and lungs.

After the lab, I rushed home for a shower and a change of clothes, to get rid of the smell of formaldehyde, and then I drove back to Seattle, where I met my friend Urban to see my first roller derby bout. Roller derby is an American invention, a sport played between two teams of five girls, rollerskating on a circuit. Teams make points by having one of their skaters, the jammer, overtake members of the other team. Each team tries to stop the other’s jammer, and can use a variety of physical means to do it. It can get intense.

All this came about because a month ago, in my quest for good non-fiction films, I watched Blood on the Flat Track, which I recommend. It’s a fun documentary on the sport, and it turned out to be about Seattle’s volunteer league, the Rat City Rollergirls. Of course I had to check it out! These days, roller derby has received a boost from Drew Barrymore’s first film as director, Whip It, about a Texas teen who becomes a player. I decided to watch it last week in preparation, and found it decent but a bit disconnected. Anyhow, good on ya Drew Barrymore!

Ah, yes, the game was good fun, and I get a kick out of a volunteer league being played at Key Arena, where the Seattle Supersonics used to play before they were sent to Oklahoma (really, Seattleites, what’s wrong with you?). I might go again.