Monday, January 23, 2006
Seven Sisters - An Adventure South
Late last night, I returned to my cozy little dorm room after an exhausting and amusing team trip to a squash tournament in Pennsylvania. It was the annual Seven Sisters squash tournament, hosted by Haverford College. The Seven Sisters originated when the Ivy League schools were all male, and each had an affiliated women's college. Only five of the original colleges remain, three of which are still women's colleges (Smith, Wellesley, and Mt. Holyoke). I believe that Smith was Yale's sister school, although I am not certain.
One of my side motives for playing on the squash team is the travelling component - I love visiting universities. Having never been further south than Conneticut, the longish drive down was spent mostly gazing out the window. I got to see the Hudson river, along with lots of traffic! Haverford College was beautiful, as was Villanova University, which we passed by several times. I continue to be impressed by the American colleges I've visited, and the money that supports them.
Friday night we visited one of the largest malls in America. I normally hate malls, but this was an experience! I saw stores for things I've only read about, like Versace, Burberry... it was a little intimidating. I was accosted by a saleswoman who wanted to teach me how to "do my nails", when she saw they weren't fake. Even the food court was fancy!
Team events are always interesting as well - my teammates are wonderful, funny, talented people, and travelling with them exposes me to different aspects of university life. My two roomates decided to climb out the window onto the hotel roof, and systematically scare every person who came into our room. Unfortunately, our team was plagued by injuries and illness this weekend - after every pre-game high five, our team would run to wash our hands. I was playing at ladder position seven, which constantly challenges me. Needless to say, I lost all of my matches.
Saturday night we attended a banquet in the Great Founders Hall, where each team performed a short skit. Ours was a parody on a dating show, called "Next", which involved finding a date for one of the top squash players in the world (he's also Canadian!). Each contestant was from one of the sister colleges, and upon introducing them we played up the school's steryotype. For example: "Our next contestant is from Wellesley. She enjoys wearing pearls and bows in her hair, and recently broke up with her MIT boyfriend because she refused to get drunk." Or, " Our next contestant is from Smith. She drives a purple truck, loves Melissa Ethridge, and plays rugby..."
We returned safe, exhausted and sore (but only after getting lost in New Jersey). I love getting to see different states, but travelling always reminds me of Canada's beauty and how much I appreciate my home country.