It’s about that time. As everyone is in the midst of midterms these days, I thought I’d get on the train and give out some grades myself, because giving out grades is much better than receiving them. Here’s a look at how my teachers and I are doing according to the rigorous standards I maintain:

Charlotte Scatliffe (Beginning Tennis)

Charlotte, as we call her, is the best of the bunch. Having been a student as recently as a few years ago, she knows college students are the most A.D.D. of any demographic in the world and she deals with them better than any other ESS teacher I’ve had. Class is usually divided into four activities, and you rotate with your group to each of them throughout the 50-minute period. There’s everything from competitive games to practicing ground strokes with the ball machine. Always active, always having fun. Scatliffe has all kinds of funny stories about her tennis-nazi father to keep us entertained, and when she instructs us on how to do something, she’s patient and thorough. Plus, she wins bonus points for knowing my name.

Kathy Gregory (Beginning Volleyball)

Kathy embodies “Legend of the Dome” in every way possible. I wake up Mondays and Wednesdays knowing I’m about to sweat more than in any other class because at least half of every period is dedicated to running, lunging and jumping drills. Honestly, I think I’ve upped my vertical from about six inches to at least eight. Naturally, I would rather be playing volleyball the whole time because I’m tall and it’s fun to spike it in people’s faces like in Meet the Parents, but I appreciate the exercise it gives me. When we are not doing the drills, we are playing a somewhat intense group game of rotating six-on-six. One thing I love about Kathy is that she has expectations of her students. When she gets that intense Kathy-look in her eyes, like she’s coaching her D-I team, you know shit is about to go down. And when we are not trying, we get yelled at and, frankly, I like it.

Mircea Badulescu (Beginning Soccer)

I kid you not; I had to look up his name on GOLD before typing this up. That’s the hands-off approach he takes, and it isn’t necessarily an insult. With an accent that awesome, you don’t need to talk quite so much. Soccer is called “The Beautiful Game” for a reason. It’s simple to pick up and it flows well, even if the talent level is not high. In class, this translates to playing soccer every time for the whole time. While it’s fun, I’m not learning how to do anything other than lose gracefully to really good players and that is not why I signed up for the class. I have already complained about the fools that ruin class with their superior talent, but no matter how you cut it, running around the grass for a solid 40 minutes is good cardio. At least I’m getting that.


I still don’t have washboard abs and I still get winded when I have to outrun the police on weekends, but I am getting better. An hour of soccer preceding an hour of tennis used to be brutal for me, but now I leave the latter wishing I could stay out there instead of going to class. I can carry a 30-rack all the way home from International without having to pretend it doesn’t burn and the activity in my school life has spilled over into my personal life, where I play squash with friends just for fun. The results might not be in my body just yet, but they are definitely in my head. For me, the fact that I can notice a difference at all is success enough at this point. There is definitely still a ways to go, but I can confidently say I’ve crested the hill of “fatassery.” The view from the top of Mt. Average Health is a beautiful one.