This post is not about how cool my internship is, how much I am learning in class, how little free time I have, or how Mountain View compares to Claremont (there are more trains). This post is about the epic battle that is currently being waged at the Archstone Mountain View at Middlefield Apartments. You are probably thinking, “An epic battle?! I thought Mountain View was safe!” Don’t worry Mom; the only weapons being utilized in this battle are tennis racquets.
Allow me to provide you with some details about this nightly tennis, who the players are, and why the matches have turned into battles. Initially, there were multiple players, Mike Franklin, Maddie Bannon, Locke Brown, Carter Wilkinson, and I have all played at one time or another. However, most nights I meet Locke on the courts at 8:30pm. We usually get in two sets before the lights shut off at 10.
Locke and I are not the most consistent tennis players, my racquet often aims shots as though we are playing doubles, and my serve’s passionate affair with the net continues nightly. However, Locke and I are enthusiastic tennis players. This combination of enthusiasm and inconsistency fuels our battle. Match scores oscillate wildly, and having a 4-1 lead often results in losing 6-4. I would guestimate that 85% of our games involve at least one deuce, and games with 5 or 6 deuces are not uncommon.
A wise person would say that my nightly tennis matches are teaching me valuable lessons that can be applied broadly to the future of my life. That winning a set after being down three-five, love-forty is teaching me that success can come out of the direst circumstances. Maybe that’s true, maybe one day when I am cramming for an exam in medical school or working for my board certification I’ll remember back to these nightly matches. For now, I don’t see the tennis tradition through this lens of greater meaning. Instead, I go to the court to run around, clear my head, and laugh a lot.
Discovering delight in tennis has inspired me to offer some advice to all you future SVPers. Be ready and willing to find joy in new pursuits. Many of the activities you will participate in up here, whether through your job or on your own time, will be things that are new to you. Don’t be afraid to embrace the novel. As Steve Jobs once quoted, “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.” And bring a racquet.
Class of 2014