Oct. 1, 2012
Get an inside look at the Stanford women's volleyball team each week. In this edition, sophomore Morgan Boukather walks you through the teams' travel day to Arizona.
I want a whole cake.
As our assistant coach, Jason Mansfield, most beautifully put it, yes, after this experience, we most definitely deserve a cake. Now this cake is not meant to be shared between the whole team, we are talking about an individual cake for each player and staff member. So you may ask, why does each Stanford volleyball member deserve his or her own wonderfully delicious cake? Well, let me tell you about this day and you will see for yourself.
Disclaimer: Be prepared to laugh and sympathize because this combination of random and unfortunate events only occurs once in a lifetime.
Let me begin by setting the scene. It is a beautiful Thursday afternoon on the Stanford campus, about 72 degrees and sunny. We board the bus with smiles on our faces. With our games being in Arizona, we are forced to travel, which is by no means a hassle. You may be surprised, but we do not mind a day of bus rides, plane time, and airport security. Why? Well, we not only get to spend some extra quality time with each hilarious teammate, but also travel means time for per diem, also known as free money. Per diem is distributed solely for one purpose, our well-being! We are required, well we actually prefer, to spend it all on food. Our team loves nothing more than free food, so we are always very excited. So after our wallets are stocked and our tummies are grumbling, the bus takes off and we are on our way... for about a mile. Our bus makes a quiet, unsuspicious stop on the street, just as if we were at a stop sign or red light. No one thinks anything of it until we reach the five-minute mark of no movement. So, my fellow class member, Kyle, who had just finished munching on her buddy gift of Chips Ahoy cookies, decides to investigate this peculiar situation. She sits back down to inform me that our bus has indeed hit the car in front of us. This car had its hazard lights flashing. Now these lights weren't any old lights, they were laughing lights. And they weren't laughing with us, but at us, because we had no idea that this hiccup was just the beginning to our discomfort and your entertainment. So, after the drivers had inspected and agreed that this unintentional game of bumper cars had thankfully not caused any real damage, we were once again on our way.
We arrive at the airport in a timely fashion, unload our bags, and walk in, as the lovely Inky begins to film for her show. We walk up to the kiosks and find that our flight has been delayed! Now we are all chuckling because this had happened to us on our return from Utah. However, for those of you who are unfamiliar with United policies, a passenger is only allowed to check-in within a certain number of hours prior to his or her flight. So in our case, sadly, the early birds (Stanford Vollebyall) did not catch the worm (our boarding passes). We had to wait, and wait, and wait. We were all fine, since we Stanfordians know how to use our time wisely. When it is quiet and there is nothing to do, we relax. So we were happily minding our own business, when the fire alarm sounded. We evacuated the building and as we were waiting for the safety check, Marsha entertains us. Now who is Marsha? (Well no one knows, but me, because I just named her.) She is the lovely robotic voice recording that repeated the fire warning over 100 times. The entire team, is able to repeat, verbatim, what the recording announced. I am not exaggerating. After about 15 minutes of waiting and reciting Marsha's wise words, we were able to reenter the building. But with our return, came something quite ironic. We were informed that one of us, had in fact, set off the fire alarm. Good one right?
So how could we have done this? Our team is not some band of mischievous misfits who go around terrorizing airports, but instead an accumulation of silly, ridiculous nerdy nerds. Now with this title comes a uniform that I was unaware of until now. We actually never separate from our beloved backpacks. How could we? They carry our school supplies, our money, and our most valuable possessions- snacks. However, it is this untreated separation anxiety that caused the fire alarm. The ever so clever fire marshal reported that it was, in fact, the backpack that was to blame. In our attempt at relaxation in this quiet time, one of our very own team members had leaned back against a wall. Now this wasn't any old wall, it was a wall that vibrantly displayed an emergency sounding device. Go team! We just committed a crime!
Alright, so shortly after this blip, we were able to check in, print our boarding passes, and venture through security with ease. Well, actually everyone in my line traveled through security with style. Everyone in Jay's line however, struggled. Why? Well Jay is more like a bad omen when it comes to security lines. For some reason, as soon as he steps in a line, it just comes to a complete stop. So warning, next time you see Jay in the airport, avoid his line at all costs. Trust me on this one or you may just miss your flight.
Finally, we had arrived at our gate. The team had made its ritual trek to Starbucks for chai tea lattes, iced coffee, and magnificent treats, and returned to our seats. There, waiting for us, is the most adorable three-year-old, well the second cutest in Lydia's eyes, as her baby brother is of course, the first. Now this child would not tell us his name, so I called him Duck. He was quite energetic, okay that's an understatement, this kid was unstoppable, the Energizer Bunny. Maybe I should have named him Bunny. Oh well. He thoroughly enjoyed running around a pillar without rest. Rachel would count the laps he took. He would come up to every individual and say, "Hi", give us high fives, laugh, and make silly faces. Besides the fact that his laugh was adorable, we noticed something quite funny. Every time he chuckled in motion, his upper body would lean forward, overtaking his center of balance, causing him to topple over. The laugh was too heavy for him. This is why I called him Duck. He was also wearing a yellow shirt and sported a prominent unibrow.
So while we had Mr. Duck to entertain us, our team did the usual: worked on homework, listened to music, all while being pestered by Inky. Like I said, the usual. After the two-hour delay, we were able to board the plane. As I was handing in my boarding pass to be scanned, a man rushed back out of the gate to report that he had been assigned a seat that did not exist. Oh boy. So the plane had been delayed due to a mechanical malfunction. The repair would have taken too long, so United commissioned a new aircraft. Now this aircraft was not the same model as the original. This one had fewer seats. So, the man had, in fact, been given a seat that did not exist. Luckily, there were a few middle seats open, so we were finally able to close the door and push off. As I sit here typing this on the plane, I can't help but be very thankful that we are actually in the air, on our way to Arizona. But, the fact that this unusual day would only happen to us, is another reason why I am so thankful. This Stanford volleyball team is an incredible group of girls and staff. We always know how to have a bunch of fun, regardless of the situation. So I must say, that if this day were to happen with anyone else, there is no way I would have enjoyed it as much. It is time to shut down all electronics, so I must go. I would also like to apologize for the length, but I really could not risk leaving anything out.
Bye for now! I can't wait to see what will happen next!