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College Comment
Four Years at the Fields

Any freshman so accustomed to student athletics as the realm of the gifted, player-juking, ball-smashing, outrunning high schooler would be glad to find out that intramural sports exist.

I sure was.

In the fall of 1996, after standing alone in the cold, game after game, as the lone representative of the Silliman intramural program, my college master approached me with the possibility of becoming an intramural secretary. I leapt at the chance and devoted the next four years to the job, calculating, cajoling, and competing.

Being a secretary takes an unusual amount of ardor for sports. While hundreds of students play intramurals, only a very few of us plan our classes around the intramural schedule (no cushy afternoon sections for us), put our reputations in the college on the line, and earn the ire of our suitemates by dragging them onto the field or court when necessary.

Beyond a mere willingness to play every kind of sport imaginable—I will graduate with swimming as the lone sport I have never played for Silliman—the secretary position requires a genuine belief in the missions of intramurals: to let everyone play, and to let everyone have fun. Not that everyone’s always lining up to compete for their college’s honor. One of the secretary’s most important jobs is simply to round up a team, and more than once I have run from entryway to entryway, recruiting total strangers ten minutes before a game was scheduled to start on a field several miles away.

In Silliman, I’ve been fortunate to help our intramural program rise from its depths in 1996 to a respectable position in the top half of the Tyng standings. And I have my own personal “highlight reel,” just like any other intramural competitor; for every rainy day, I can remember a wonderful day in the sun. I fondly recall a coed football game in 1998 when Silliman brought out 17 people, and my big sib tossed me my only career touchdown. We won on the last play of the game. And I’m sure I’ll never top that day when a teammate and I broke 200 in the same bowling meet.

Such moments are normally reserved for professional athletes and gifted varsity stars. Experiencing them myself—and helping other students to do so—is why I have so adored this job, and why it will go down as the best thing I have ever done at Yale.  the end


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