They did not play soccer yesterday. Nor was there tennis down at the Soldiers Field courts.
But unlike the Harvard athlete, the Harvard student must venture forth from the dry confines of his room rain or shine. And as he makes his way to class--when it rains class is undoubtedly in Vanserg--he turns Cambridge into an arena for the galoshes Olympics of peculiar sports.
The Hop, Skip and Jump: Ohe of the best sites to observe this event is found in the walkways under Wigglesworth. Within minutes of the beginning of a downpour, puddles form and the fun begins. They call rain the great equalizer in sports and here it is not different as Topsiders, Wallabees, Adidas and Hush Puppies all skirt through the pools invariably landing in the big lake at the end.
The Pole Vault: This requires a great deal of agility with the pole, or in this case, umbrella. The idea is to get from point A to point B without getting wet. Since most people are unable to sidestep raindrops, this necessitates holding an umbrella over your head. Easier said than done. Take, for example, the Plympton Street sidewalks by Adams House, where sign posts are ingeniously situated close enough to the building preventing an open umbrella from passing, let alone two umbrellas traveling in opposite directions. Thus deft wrist movements and hurdles over a few parked cars come into play.
The Diving Competition: Unlike diving you're likely to see at the IAB, the purpose of this rainy day event is to stay out of the pool or rather the spray from passing taxi cabs and MBTA buses. Catch this action up close by Burr Hall as vehicles take the turn into Quincy Street leaving wakes up to eight feet.
The Tightrope Act: As in the circus, this requires great balance, an umbrella, or parasol, in hand. The consequences of failure can be considerable. You have just entered Emerson 101, or some other hall with closely packed desks, ten minutes late. There is an empty seat four rows down and seven seats in. You have one minute to get there without dropping your dripping umbrella, raincoat, backpack or books from the Coop into the laps of students in your way.
Who said that being a student was all brain and no brawn?
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