Thursday, February 28, 2008

Introducing... Catherine

Name: Catherine

Year: 2008

Major: Urban Studies & Planning / Civil and Environmental Engineering (Transportation)

Height: 5’3” and a bit

Favorite Position: Defense. Handling in zone. Actually, anything that involves running, catching or throwing makes me happy!

Personal Strength: Staying motivated and in the game

Personal Goal: Long-game both catching and throwing. Pulling like Karen

Interests: Is there anything really worth living for besides ultimate?

Catherine was one of the first people I met on sMITe when I first started MIT. I saw her and Daphne at the sMITe table at the Athletics Midway during orientation and I asked, "Can grad students play ultimate?" and Catherine said, "Of course! I'm a grad student!"

Catherine is awesome at pretty much everything: throwing, cutting, defense, motivating the team and being organized about everything sMITe. She has amazing long throws and is very reliable as a dump. She and Smeri are also the loud ones on the team. I think last year her two awards were "The Megaphone Award" and "The Cellphone Award" because she's so loud and talkative... which is a good thing on the field. :) I guess there are two kinds of loud people: the kind that is loud and useful and can use their voice to direct cuts and communicate to the rest of the team, and then there's the kind that is loud just to be loud but they don't know what they're doing and just confuses everyone on the team. Catherine is definitely loud and useful. :)

Most of the time Catherine and I handle together but most of what I know as a handler I learned from Catherine. I had played one year of ultimate at Northwestern University before coming to MIT so I came in with some throwing skills but Catherine really taught me to see the field and develop some field sense.

I love Catherine because she's very enthusiastic about the game and doesn't let mistakes get to her (not that she makes very many). I guess the corollary to that is whenever I see Catherine down, I think, "Nooo... Catherine is sad, the world must be over."

Catherine also recently got an Irish boyfriend, whom she met in London over the summer. And we approve because he also plays ultimate. And Catherine gets very giddy whenever she gets text messages from him, especially the ones that say, "Go Smite!"

Monday, February 25, 2008

Scrimmage Against Hahvahd

We scrimmaged Harvard on Sunday night on their amazing indoor turf field. We had so much fun playing out what we learned in practice over the last month: spread with handler give-and-go stuff, zone D, zone O, stack, FM, straight-up to trap D, etc... We played everything and man, it was so much fun. We were supposed to play to 15 but we decided that wasn't enough playing time and convinced Harvard to let us keep scrimmaging.

It was really fun to play spread against some people besides ourselves and guys. There were a few points when the coaches just wanted the handlers to move the disc up the field to get the handlers used to playing with each other and to be active as handlers. I learned that I need to communicate better/louder. It's weird having three handlers back when we normally play with two back, but I guess that should make things easier. Anyway, there were a lot of nice hucks from Erika and Catherine to Jenny and Smeri. There was even a Dorphne play where Daphne hucked it to Doris for a score. The last point of the scrimmage we played a textbook spread point and made Jin and Darlene very happy. We were pretty happy too.

FM worked out better than I thought. I was never a fan of FM but I guess whenever teams play it against us, it works pretty well against us. But we practiced FM a few points and got better at it.

There were a few points when our line consisted of some combination of Daphne, Doris, Jenny, Catherine, Erika, Smeri, Trisha, and me and it was like whoa... surplus of handlers!! which NEVER happens!! So it was exciting to see some people switching it up. Anyway, the scrimmage was very exciting and I can't wait to see what happens for sMITe this year. :) :)

On another note, we got $900 from the athletics grant!! GSC gave away $2500 total and the grad students on sMITe got 1/3 of it. :D We also did very well in the bake sale on Monday. We were scared because Next House was having a bake sale at the same time and same place but we had a more strategically-positioned table in the Student Center, and everything turned out alright and we made $245 from baked goods alone.

We also tried the "cut your own slice of cake and make a donation" and I think that worked out pretty well. NG started making the cake while I was at the scrimmage (see? I told you he was well-trained). So we had three layers and we put vanilla frosting between the layers but ran out of vanilla frosting so we used chocolate frosting for the top, but only had enough for the top and not the sides. And then jokingly I told Doris to spell out "SMITE" in sprinkles and she actually did:

And she actually tried to put the lightning bolt in. It turned out okay but it wasn't that obvious that it said "SMITE". It looked like SM and TE with a crack down the middle of the cake.

So I said, "We have purple icing!" Doris and I started to outline "SMITE" in purple icing, which was fine for the first few seconds and then the icing started coming out in strange squiggles so we let NG take over because he has more forearm strength...

And then Doris touched it up by filling in extra sprinkles to the sprinkle-deficient areas and TADA! Our finished product:

We didn't even bother covering the sides with frosting. NG had doubts that our cake would sell at all because it looked so strange but when we dropped by the student center at noon it was more than half gone. Hah!!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Rock Band Party

We had a party with the men's team (now named "Grim Beaver" :P) where we had chocolate fondue and played Rock Band. And we decided that Turkewitz is the new face of Rock Band. :) I also gave NG a fauxhawk:

Anyway, as you can tell, I had a lot of fun with Doris' hair gel.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Introducing... Jess

Name: Jess

Year: Sophomore (Class of 2010)

Major: Physics and Biological Engineering (for now)

Height: 5' 6"

Favorite position: usually anything involving running deep

Personal strength: love for the game!

Personal goal: dorphne-like defense

Interests: reading, international development, music, sleeping in my spare time

Last fall we accidentally left Jess Ho at the student center when we left for a tournament, thus giving her the "No Child Left Behind" award. We now double count - nay, triple count - every time we leave for a tournament. Jess also left track for ultimate last year; muahaha we have her soul now. For some reason she's always "Jess Ho" not just "Jess". It just goes well together. Anyway, she's fast and plays tall and is always enthusiastic on the field. We like her.

Yesterday we scrimmaged the guys so we could practice spread. I still can't decide whether that was a good idea or not. It was insanely windy on the turf which made throwing and catching super difficult. And I think the guys didn't know how intense to play D on us. And there was one point in which Cody, who is 6'5" was marking Trisha, who is 5'1". Anyway, by the end of the scrimmage the cutters were learning to cut past their defense even when they're playing really poachy. The handler movement was also improving towards the end of the scrimmage. I really want to practice more handler stuff so we can work well together. Right now I still feel really confused on the field. I don't know, I left practice feeling really frustrated yesterday and I think it was a combination of feeling pathetic playing against guys and not being able to throw in wind and not knowing how to play spread as a handler.

sMITe is having a disc/bake sale next Monday Feb 25 in the student center. They're not sMITe discs but they say "MIT Ultimate 2008" on them and they have a cartoon beaver grabbing a disc with his mouth. The men's team came up with the design and we bought a few to sell. We need money for spring break. The grad students might be able to get some money through the GSC Athletics Grant. We had to write an essay on why we want to go to Easterns, which made me really pumped up for going to Easterns. Maybe that will be my next post.

Friday, February 15, 2008


sMITe Spring 2008
We play hard because…

1. We want to learn, improve, and bond as a team
2. We want to get in shape, improve our skills, and become faster
3. My teammates are depending on me and I’m valuable to the team
4. We want to excel in other areas besides school and work
5. We want to do well in tournaments
6. We want to go to nationals
7. We see our teammates playing hard
8. Our dedicated coaches put time and effort into planning our practices
9. It’s fun!
10. I’m proud of our team

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Introducing... Coach Darlene and Coach Jin

(When I sent the survey to sMITe, Darlene replied and said "Coaches should respond too!" So here you go.)

Name: Darlene

Year: MIT Class of 2006

Major: Brain and Cognitive Sciences

Height: 5'9"

Favorite position: Handler

Personal strength: hammers, low release breaks

Personal goal
: fix my backhand

Interests: ultimate, making girls run, cooking, red sox

(Darlene is very good at making girls run.)

Name: Jin

Year: UVA 2002, grad: MGH Institute of Health Professions 2008

Major: Cognitive Science, grad: Doctor of Physical Therapy

Height: 5'4"

Favorite position: oh man... mid, defensive wing, zone handler, coach :)

Personal strength: scoobers, getting injured

Personal goal: coach sMITe to Nationals! (and eventually play again)

Interests: besides ultimate? biking, climbing, cooking/baking

Our beloved coaches :) Without them, sMITe would fall apart. Practices are always organized, except on the occasional chance that Darlene can't seem to split the team into whites and darks for scrimmages. =P (j/k Darlene) But seriously, they're great at helping our team improve personal skills like throwing form and being more aggressive in catching and making sharp cuts, but also teaching team stuff like spread and zone D, to name a few. I've never played spread before until two weeks ago and I've been told that it's really hard to teach because it's such a variable, fluid offense, but our coaches have been doing a great job breaking spread down into different plays and teaching it to sMITe.

It's always endearing to watch Jin hobble around in a demonstration. She tore her ACL this past summer and when she started coaching sMITe in the fall she was hobbling around on Briggs Field on crutches. But she's come a long way... On Monday she was running around the track and doing some active warm-ups. It's really amazing to see how quickly she's healing. And I particularly like Jin's personal goal of coaching sMITe to nationals :)

One of the things I appreciate the most about our coaches is their focus on fitness as a part of life, and not just being in shape for playing ultimate (although that is a very important part too). Both of them work out regularly and they're both really good about teaching sMITe how to lift properly, how to do track workouts and how to stretch different things to prevent injury and also when we get injured.

Yesterday Smeri did an awesome job of making the rain stop right before practice but then there was too much slush on the turf to practice outside, so we ended up doing the first track workout indoors together. At the end of practice, NG brought heart-shaped cupcakes:

Darlene: how did you get your boyfriend to bake cupcakes?? i can't even get mine to put his bowl in the sink :o(

me: haha i have a very well-trained boy

Darlene: apparently

me: actually he didn't bake them, he just helped frost them and is going to bring them

Darlene: well, that's still good training

Smeri suggested that NG should be our soccer mom and that he can bring us orange slices and cupcakes after every practice. And he can drive around a 14-passenger van to tournaments. :)

On another note, I withdrew my GRT application because I decided I want to live with Smeri and Doris next year. And because Smeri gave me a lot of crap for wanting to be a GRT after we've been talking about living together for the past three months already. =P In my defense, I submitted my GRT application around the same time Smeri and I started talking about living together. Anyway, like I told them, we better find a kick-ass apartment.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

We're going to Easterns!

Warm sunny North Carolina on March 29-30! I can't wait! All the logistical stuff will be worth it (It kinda just ate my life for the last 12 hours.) I just bought my ticket for $284. I'm kinda bummed that we can't make both Southerns and Easterns but Erika and Catherine reminded me that it's better to have a lot of people at one tournament rather than 9 at each tournament. We don't want to injure a lot of people and burn them out.

Monday's practice was intense. We started with a ton of running: indian runs and other agility stuff, including this drill where you sprint, then spin one direction and then spin the other direction, and then sprint again. I must say, it was the most dizzifying drill ever. And I'm glad that indian runs are done as a team because I'd never be able to run that long. Smeri keeps reminding me to lift my knees when I sprint so I don't look like a cartoon character when I run.

Then we worked more on spread stuff, focusing on handler plays, which was awesome. I found that the give-and-go's are a really difficult to defend against because the disc is always moving. We're supposed to practice outdoors tonight but it's pretty rainy and snowing right now so we'll see. If we move indoors, we'll probably run the first track workout together.

On another note, I'm applying for GRT positions and I got invited to Random House for a study break and MacGregor for an interview. I applied last year and made it to the final rounds for Baker and Simmons but didn't end up with anything. Any tips? Besides the fact that it's important for GRTs to bake a lot? =P

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Introducing... Amy


Year: 2010

Major: Course 7 (biology), Course 9 (BCS)

Height: 5' 4.5"

Favorite Position: Handler ~or~ mid

Personal Strength: Catching left-handed

Personal Goal: Not freaking out and throwing away the disc

Interests: brains, sewing, linguistics, mountains, doing things in the mountains, wandering around early in the morning, hot cocoa, other things that are warm, not-rainy weather, having time to read books, crafts!

Amy lives in Senior House and brings an element of coolness to sMITe.

So I have this wound on my forearm next to my elbow (from the wipeout on Wed) and I taped it up for a few days until I realized that the gauze was sticking to the wound and incorporating itself in the healing process. So I just left it un-bandaged and wore my blue sMITe sweatshirt and at the end of the day I took off my sweatshirt and discovered little blue fuzzies IN my scab.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Recap of the week

I have so many things to say in the blog but I've been so busy with the start of classes so this entry is going to be a bullet-point post. Hopefully I'll be able to expand on each bullet soon, but for now, this will have to do.
  • We learned spread, which is pretty much the coolest thing ever :) I can't wait to learn what handlers are supposed to do...
  • We've consolidated mailing lists so we're all on w-ult. Yay unity.
  • Our biggest competition this season is probably BU
  • We were supposed to scrimmage BU tonight but it was (and still is) too cold :(
  • We've had more than enough players for 7-on-7 at the last four practices! :)
  • I tripped over Doris and wiped out on the track yesterday
  • We had a team meeting earlier in the week where we talked about our motivations, team goals, and individual goals, which pretty much made me pumped up for the rest of the week
  • We're starting track workouts next week!
On another note, NG came back from Hong Kong on Monday and now he's at Trouble in Vegas. =P

Okay back to homework. I have homeworks and readings everyday this semester. I feel like a freshman.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

sMITe Party

Last night a bunch of us went over to Smeri's and to drink our winnings from Carpe Discum (a bottle of apple cider and a bottle of sparking wine). We toasted our past victories and many future victories. :) She also made the best guacamole, nachos, and banana bread, which was really banana-flavored chocolate bread (to Smeri, every recipe is an opportunity to add more chocolate chips). Then we watched Knocked Up, which made us all not want to have kids.

Cathy! We waited for you but you never showed... :(

Speaking of the large number of grad students in sMITe, all of us at the party were grad students except for Jenn who is a freshman. I still can't believe she's born in 1989 and at least four years younger than the rest of us (9 years younger than Catherine :P). Anyway, she had to leave early but we made sure she called us to tell us she got there safely. :P

I really want to go to nationals.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Introducing... Suzanne

Name: Suzanne

Year: first year grad

Major: biology/course 7

Height: 5' 6"

Favorite position: riiiiight there.

Personal strength: cheering loudly...from the sideline while icing injuries

Personal goal: making smart throws

Interests: weather, news, birds, cooking, sustainable living, watching movies, snowshoeing

Suzanne's one of the most encouraging and positive people on sMITe with her "GOOOOOOO sMITe!!" every few minutes and constant compliments from the sidelines. I also think she's the only one on sMITe who's married :)

sMITe party tonight at Smeri's. But it's raining. And she lives far. Smeri, I think it's time to start using your weather-controlling abilities to clear it up a bit.