Well, I’m now convinced that I have light fixture poltergeists, because after flickering out of commission two nights ago, my bathroom light turned itself back on overnight and continued to function perfectly fine for a day before dying again.
It is Easter Weekend in Bulgaria, a holiday that seems to be in some ways the equivalent of Thanksgiving in U.S. – we get a 4-day weekend, the markets are packed, and traffic is terrible as everyone goes home to spend time with family. I briefly entertained the idea of cobbling together last-minute travel plans, but inertia won out in the end and I’m happy to be enjoying a lazy weekend at home, giving me the opportunity to – among other things – catch up on some blog posts.
With the warmer weather and a lightening workload thanks to the seniors being almost done (YAY), I’ve been getting out more to watch our school’s various football teams (there are the school’s official varsity and JV team equivalents, and then a whole slew of intramural teams which include the teachers’ team). Yesterday I watched a 12th grade IM team play an 11th grade IM team and was impressed anew at just how good the boys are. These boys aren’t even on the varsity team, but they play fast and hard and elegant, beautiful ball control and foot placement, with lots of headers and precise aerial ball management. It truly is a joy to watch them (and funny when they start throwing absolute FITS when they lose).
By contrast, I watched the girls’ JV team playing another Sofia school in a tournament our school was hosting this past week, and man, I’m sorry to say it, but they are terrible. They are wonderful kids and they are putting in a lot of effort, but it’s pretty woeful. (To be fair, the other school’s team was equally bad.) I watched them for about 15 minutes and surmised that they would get their asses handed to them by any halfway decent American high school’s girls’ soccer team. For one thing, there was a lot of flailing: actual contact between foot and football seemed to be entirely a matter of chance rather than skill, and it was rare that the ball was actually struck with purpose and direction. Running and field coverage were poor – some of the girls didn’t seem to know where they should be. But most of all, the girls were completely lacking in aggression. They didn’t get in each other’s faces, they were unassured in their ball possessions, they didn’t defend, they didn’t attack. No one seemed to really want the ball – or the win. It was night and day from the boys’ fast-paced, thrilling, aggressive game.
I started wondering why this would be so. Why would the girls in a football-crazy country, where even the boys who play casually are really good, be so vastly inferior to the girls in a country that generally couldn’t care less about professional soccer and hero-worships figures from the OTHER football? Continue reading