“Fairness is man’s ability to rise above his prejudices.”

The sun has returned this morning so I finished my second cup of coffee on the deck. It was cold out, but I didn’t care. I wasn’t going to waste any sunlight. It’s been so cloudy and rainy the last few days the solar lights in my yard were dark last night.

The flowers and herbs except for two small pots of mint are planted. Later this morning I’ll plant the mint in the backyard where it can spread. I bought only a few flowers this first trip as my garden center was still fairly empty. Most of the flowers need a bit more warmth than the cold nights we’ve been having. The zinnias for my window boxes won’t be in for a few more weeks, and I’ll have to let the possum know the tomatoes haven’t been planted yet.

When I was in the seventh and eighth grades, I played CYO basketball. That was when the rules in girls’ basketball stated you could only dribble twice and hold the ball three seconds before passing. Guards played one half of the court and forwards the other. Guards never shot, even after being fouled. A forward took the shot. My scoring average at the end of every season was 0.00. We had practice every Saturday morning, but we wanted more. In school, at recess, the boys hogged all the basketball courts while we girls were supposed to stand and chat or jump rope. I went and asked if one court could be designated for girls so we could practice. That request horrified the power that was, sister superior, and we were told no. I was livid. My teacher at the time, Mrs. Corchoran, we had nuns only every other year back then, squatted beside my desk and quietly explained why it was an inappropriate request. She asked first if I had had my friend. I didn’t know which friend she meant. That gave her the answer. She went on to explain that girls cannot play strenuous sports, and I would learn why in due time. I had no idea what in the heck that woman was talking about.

It’s strange but I remember every bit of that incident. I was two desks from the back of the room  and can still see, in my mind’s eye, Mrs. Corchoran squatting and then whispering to me. She was facing the back of the room. Afterwards, I was a bit stunned. It made no sense to me that my being a girl was reason enough to say no.

It was the beginning of awareness for me, a belief in fairness and equality. It was the start of rebellion.

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8 Comments on ““Fairness is man’s ability to rise above his prejudices.””

  1. Christer Says:

    We´ve gotten rain today, nice silent spring rain. It was almost nice to be outside in it 🙂 It´s funny that even if the grounds isn´t dry a spring rain starts the vegetation to grow faster.

    The only sport I was good at, being rather short and fat back then, was volleyball. I had a nasty serve 🙂

    I can understand why You remember that insident 🙂 Asking if You´ve had Your friend 🙂 🙂 🙂
    Have a great day now!
    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      The sun lasted about an hour then we had threatening clouds and a little bit of rain in the afternoon. It was darn cold.

      I was a pretty good athlete when I was young-good reflexes.

      I was really angry that she wouldn’t let us play because we were girls.

  2. Caryn Says:

    We had to play girls basketball in gym. Same rules as you except I think we could dribble three times. Whoo-Hoo.
    Basketball never interested me but one year the school was in the Tech Tourney so we all went to watch. It was the first time I had seen boy’s basketball. I was shocked at all the rule breaking they did. Duh. 😀

    • katry Says:

      Caryn,
      You’re right-it was three dribbles.

      I used to get so frustrated standing there at half court watching all the action on the other half. I liked basketball even with those silly rules.

  3. Zoey & Me Says:

    This is another excellent post for the Coffee book. I love nun stories. And what a friend to have. Can’t they do better than “friend”? LOL. I loved basketball, still do, but hated it when I didn’t make the team. Watching others play was an awful feeling. And of course all schools have their chosen few. They always played.

    • katry Says:

      Z&Me,
      I had no idea what that woman was talking about to me. About a year later I learned, but I still didn’t understand how it had to do with no basketball. It was really the first time I thought what a raw deal girls got.

  4. sprite Says:

    Craziness! We played co-ed volleyball in gym class and I used to love overhearing boys on the other team say, “Hit it to her; she’s a girl!” I’d make sure I slammed that ball back at their heads with a varsity team-honed spike. Boys never made that same mistake twice…

    • katry Says:

      Sprite,
      I was growing up at the tail end of an era. The older generation didn’t get it. We did, but we had to wait. Our time didn’t come for a while.


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