Today, I did something terrible…

So like I’ve said before, volleyball is almost nonexistent in the rainy country of England. It makes zero sense to me. Nonetheless, instead of not playing volleyball, I’ve reached out, made some new friends and now we’re going around schools teaching P.E. teachers and kids this wonderful sport! It’s pretty great actually. I love it. The kids love it. Something happened today unfortunately, that might just haunt me forever. Here it goes:

I get introduced to the kids today as the American, who has won national championships and is a professional (it’s still super cool to associate myself with those types of accolades by the way). We have about 30 students, ages 14-15, mostly boys with a handful of girls….and their eyes get super big when Carol (the lady that I house/dog sat for after 4 hours of knowing her) completed my CV. I give ’em a big ol’ “What’s up?!” as a normal, loud, enthusiastic American would do and then we warm them up. Everything is normal. They are quite athletic and just a bunch of sponges. They are soaking up every little piece of advice and technique that we throw at them. It. Is. Awesome. I love when kids “get it”. I love when they want to learn and don’t mind getting sweaty and hurting their forearms. I also love when they respond well to my normal self; I don’t have to overexert myself or make sure I don’t hurt anyone’s feelings. They think I’m funny which is even more perfect because I myself think I’m hilarious. Great group of kids.

We get into serving and I want to split them up into three groups where one group is serving, one group is at the net feeding the volleyballs to servers and the third group is collecting the served volleyballs. As I am explaining this to them, I tell them “Okay, this group go to the other side, y’all are shagging. Next group, y’all get at the net. And you guys, just stay here.” In normal American English, this is not a problem. This is normal. I said no curse words, I wasn’t racist, I wasn’t politically incorrect….nothing in my head was wrong. However, I look around to the first group of kids and their eyes are actually popping out of their heads. There are girls in the back snickering. Of the two P. E. teachers, the girl has fallen off her chair from laughing and the guy just has his hand over his mouth. I start thinking that my leggings are actually see-through and people can see my underwear.

Shagging in the American dictionary is defined as: to fetch, to retrieve, to pursue (also, apparently, a really bad hair cut?) but in the English English dictionary it means to have sex. I start thinking about all of the movies that I have watched that have loads of English actors in them and yup….the light bulb went off. I told a group of high school kids to go have sex on the other side of the net. Not intentionally of course….but still. I did it. I also turned about 20 shades of red and apologized close to 50 times.

Luckily, I was forgiven and dubbed the “cool” coach and possibly gave those kids a fantastic story to tell their friends. Surprisingly I was invited back by the P. E. teachers and they want me to present some athletic award at the end of the semester. Life is weird like that sometimes.

As I was leaving, I told the kids to stay in school and don’t do drugs…and I heard one of the boys whisper, “yeah, and no shagging.” Well, hopefully they’ll remember some of the volleyball technique that they learned today. For the last day of me being 23 years old, I’m not sure I could’ve done it up any better….

Happy Thursday everyone!

Extra list of words you need to know if you want to visit England (the list grows everyday)
1. Rubbish: trash or something that isn’t good
2. You alright?: How are you?
3. Pants: underwear
4. Torch: flash light
5. Boot: trunk of the car
6. Dodgy: shady
7. Wee bit: a little bit
8. Pissed: drunk
9. Lift: elevator
10. Cheeky: rude but cunning; also used as an adjective for anything
11. Up the duff: pregnant
12. Lou: toilet
13. Surname: last name (self explainable)
14. Mate: buddy
15. Brilliant: cool, great, spot-on
16. Fancy dressed: costume attire
****if anyone has any to add, please let me know 🙂


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