Game on, bandages on

Game on, bandages on

After a routine day (June 20) of classes, Jake, Dan, Katie, Michelle, and I decided to play soccer with SDUT students. It was a complete game with eleven players on each team.

It was a cloudy but warm afternoon, and the soccer field was a dusty one nestled behind the basketball courts.

The American students played on one team with a few other SDUT students.

Our Chinese friends, Ben and Jackson, were on our team, but our opposing team composed of entirely SDUT students still beat us.

Nobody really cared, because our Chinese friends let us play after a long day of classes, and everyone was having fun.

Running at full speed and playing soccer after so long was truly alleviating. The last time I played a full game of soccer was during my senior year of high school when I played for my school’s team.

I was surprised I could still handle the ball and maneuver as efficiently as I could in past games.

Toward the end of the game, I fell on the dirt and scraped the side of my left hip. I still continued playing even though the wound stung immensely. I went to clean my brush burn on the side of the field, and Deanna was watching our game and talking to two Chinese girls on the sidelines.

I apologized for my bloody leg, and the girls were a little concerned, but I assured them I was fine. I caught my breath and introduced myself to the Chinese girls, and later returned to the game. Shortly after re-entering the game, I scored a goal, but I paid the price with falling again on the same hip I had already injured.

It didn’t matter to me that I was scraped up and most likely bruised. I was just glad to be playing soccer again, and it was difficult to leave the field even after I fell hard, twice. For the rest of the day, I had to create my own bandages out of moist towelettes and medical tape.

Even large bandages were not big enough to cover the wound on my hip. I made sure that my hip and knee were cleaned, and my make-shift bandages seemed to work.

Despite my newly-formed opened lacerations, I felt closer to the Chinese culture after the game. Playing sports such as soccer and basketball are some of the most popular pastimes during male students’ free time, and I saw how the players release their energy and emotions while playing.

The Chinese students could also see an example of American culture during the game. Three females played on the American/Chinese team, and the Chinese males were able to see American culture by playing with/against a team with both sexes because many American women play and enjoy sports and often play them with men.

This is definitely one of the most memorable if not the most memorable soccer game I’ve played to this day.

    — Sarah Halter, a senior English major