I’m starting to conquer the Advanced Writing listening assignment I dreaded so much. I found a group of moms who sit on the bleachers at the Mizzou Rec Pool while their kids are at swim practice. The kids practice six days a week for at least 2 hours a day. Most parents drop off and pick up, but some of the moms stay the whole time to relax and chat. They use it as a break from the craziness of life. This is ideal because I know exactly where they’ll be and when, and now they know who I am. I just sat myself right down and introduced myself and told them what I wanted to do. They thought it was a little strange at first so I just chatted with them for a while til they got to like me. Now that they’re used to me I can go back and hopefully capture some good dialogue.
Lori talked to me the most, but Lisa dominated the conversation between the two of them. They talked about pretty typical woman stuff, but it was still interesting. A second Lisa came on the scene halfway through and started a husband-bashing session. Lori turned to me and said, “It’s group therapy.” Lisa’s husband had freaked on out her for not having dinner ready after the last swim meet. He was home from a long day at work and hungry. She wanted to know if he had all his fingers and toes intact and why he wasn’t capable of finding his own food. I haven’t gotten their last names and phone numbers yet. I’ll try that tonight now that they’re used to me. Hopefully they won’t mind.
Two hours a day six days a week is a lot of practice for 10- to 12-year-old kids. I wonder if the kids like competitive swimming, or if it’s one of those things their parents push them into. They were talking about Michael Phelps coming to the Missouri Grand Prix swim meet this weekend. I wonder if they are trying to make their kids famous. That might be an interesting story, but it’s not my assignment. I asked the ladies some questions to get them comfortable and get some background information. But now I’m just supposed to listen and see what comes out. Should be interesting.
I’m heading back to the bowling alley where I used to work tonight. Another girl in my Advanced Writing class is doing the listening assignment at the bowling alley and she’s having trouble. They won’t let her come in during league and nothing much happens the rest of the time. I’m going to try to sweet talk the managers into letting her hang out with the league players. I’m sure there are some of them who wouldn’t mind and she’ll get some really colorful dialogue. Those guys are crazy. I’m a little nervous. Hopefully they still like me up at the bowling alley. At the end of last year, they begged me to come back after Colorado. I told them I would so they’d hold my spot, but I changed my mind. People come and go pretty regularly at jobs like that, so hopefully they won’t hold it against me. I had issues with the way the manager messed up my schedule all the time and I got tired of being constantly hit on by the league guys. I hope I can get the girl in.
I’m so tired, but I still have a lot to do tonight. Hopefully I can help her out and then leave and go sit with my swim moms for a while, then work on my creative nonfiction essay that’s due Thursday and look at my mag design project for Monday. Somewhere in there I might eat dinner. All I want to do is sleep. That’s the prize I’m working toward.