Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fan Appreciation Week Story (4th Place)

The following are what I perceived to be the fourth best benchwarming stories that were submitted for Fan Appreciation Week. I decided to make fourth place a tie, because these girls are apparently sisters and I didn’t want to start a family feud by picking one over the other, even though I like one better (I’ll let the sisters decide which one that is). If you don’t like their stories, don’t worry because there’s a better one coming tomorrow. If you do like them, be excited that there’s an even better one coming tomorrow. Either way, here’s a look into Carla and Johanna Sawatski's lives as benchwarmers.


Jack of All Trades, Master of None

By: Carla Sawatski

Brother: Professional athlete

Father: Professional athlete

Grandfather: Professional athlete

Grandmother: Professional singer

With my genealogy, I would expect that I would be either an outstanding athlete or an immaculate singer. I am neither. Far from it, actually. And I've spent the past 24 years searching for my place to shine, my area of expertise, my 15 minutes of fame. Spoiler alert: I'm still searching.

Here's a play-by-play of my search for stardom, and I use that term lightly.

Basketball: I'd call basketball my "good sport". I wasn't bad, wasn't bad at all. In fact, ahem... I was named Most Valuable Player for my Junior High, District Championship winning team. Please, hold your applause. However, I'm saddened to report that that was the peak of my athletic prowess. The very next year, when moved to the Sr. High team, 3 teammates and I formed a revolutionary group named "The Four Corners". What we did was.... well, we sat on the end of the bench. Our responsibilities included: hydrating our upperclassmen, wiping sweat off the floor, and keeping our mouths shut. We were lucky to get 2 of 3 accomplished. What we didn't do, was sweat... thus making our motto "No Sweat... because we don't".

Softball: I'm a Sawatski. I did this because it was expected of me. I mean, Jay's good at baseball, Carla must be good at softball, right? To me, it was just something to do after school. And let's be honest, I really wanted one of those windbreaker jackets. Which now, in hindsight, sounds a little butch. I learned so much during my softball years. I learned what "moxy" means. Ok, no, I really didn't... but I had to act like I did every time I sauntered over to pick up a foul ball and my coach would inevitably ask, "Carla, is that moxy?". I'd always reply with "probably not". I later learned that it wasn't. I learned what it felt like to have a fan club. Mine consisted of approximately 6 people including my parents, but they brought signs, which made it legit. And humiliating. I learned what it felt like to lose... a lot. Over and over and over again.

Soccer: I came home from school one day and enthusiastically told my dad "I'm going to play soccer this year!". He looked at me blankly, and then began laughing hysterically. I wasn't kidding. And that was the year that I forced my dad to sit through the excruciatingly boring game of soccer. I'm not sure he ever forgave me. I'm not sure I ever forgave myself.

Pep club: This is something I never wanted to admit, especially in a public forum, but yes, I was in the junior high pep club. It was as awkward as it sounds. I proudly wore the gold mock-turtleneck, the pleated skirt, and of course, the Asics... the mark of any official cheerleader in the 90's. My career ended with a devastating blow to my ego. Something about being 2 heads taller and slightly heavier than most 7th graders didn't scream "cheerleader". At least not loudly.

Track: actual conversation between me and my basketball coach --

coach: "hey, do you want to run at the state track meet?"

me: "no, I do not"

coach: "you get to miss a day of school"

me: "what time does the bus leave?"

That day was the beginning, and the end, of my track career.

Choir: Most normal people don't join choir if they can't sing. I'm not normal. I was a part of the women's ensemble for two years and managed to never sing a word. If I wasn't forging my mom's signature to excuse myself from class, you could probably find me mouthing the words to the song amongst the rest of the altos. I still don't know what harmony means.

In my early years, I also experimented with piano, swimming, golf, gymnastics, tennis, and karate. All were short-lived.

It's also no secret that I have no hidden talents. I'm not double jointed, I can't draw with my toes (or fingers for that matter), I can't juggle chainsaws, I can't even roll my tongue... which I blame my parents for.

I think, I THINK, I have justified my qualifications to be a Jack of all trades, one that excels at nothing. And then I got to thinking, "what AM I good at?". And then it occurred to me... math. I'm good at math. Really, God? Math? You had those genes to work with, and you gave me MATH? Good one.


Googling Yourself Never Ends Well...

By: Johanna Sawatski

That is, unless you are my brother. Or my father. Or my grandfather. Or anyone who's done anything of merit in their entire life.

I'm a questioner. I ask a lot of questions, and I'll be the first to admit that I don't always have all the answers. As a result, Google and I have grown close over the years and have shared many a search together in my never-ending quest for knowledge. In fact, I turn to Google on a multiple-times-a-day basis. And Google has always proven to be a faithful companion... that is until I decided to type my name in the search bar. (Note: I don't Google myself often. I just wanted to see what would come up if a future employer was to do so.) It was then that I realized that unless my future employer is concerned that I once came in 50th place in the Lake Hamilton Cross Country Invitational in the 8th grade, Google doesn't really have much to offer as far as I'm concerned. Crisis averted.

But then it hit me. I think it was when I noticed the little line at the top of the page that read, "Did you mean 'Jay Sawatski'?" Ouch. Touché, Google... all these years of me asking you questions, and you fire back with one question that is capable of completely blowing my self-esteem. So here's your answer: No, Google, I didn't mean Jay Sawatski. I typed "Johanna"... and I meant every letter. Leave the questioning to me next time, capiche?

Now that that is behind us, I'll save you some time. I'm sure you all are feeling the need to Google my name right about now, so here's a list of everything my future employer and you could ever want to know about Johanna Sawatski (according to Google):

1. I have a Facebook account. Which proves that I am normal. It's the ones without Facebook that you need to worry about.

2. I made the Arkansas Razorback Diamond Dolls in the Fall of 2006. Pig Sooie.

3. My high school e-bulletin announces that Johanna Sawatski has won the Most Improved Player award for golf... To which I should go ahead and let everyone know that I really didn't improve THAT much... plus, we all know what that award means. And I'm incredibly offended by it.

4. I scored 9 points against Batesville in what was probably a meaningless game of basketball. And by probably, I mean definitely. But there's an article about it, and my name was mentioned. Twice.

5. Google proves that I am, in fact, enrolled as a student at the University of Arkansas, College of Arts and Sciences. Along with 5,000 other people. One might assume that I would have a talent for the Arts. Wrong. Or for the Sciences. Wrong again. I'm actually a Communication/Spanish major. Which, I like to believe translates to "I have no idea what I want to do with my life."

6. I came in 50th place in a Junior High Cross Country meet with a time of 11:50.07. This is concrete evidence that even though I sometimes suffer defeat, and also that I'm not very fast, I always finish the race.. in my own time. And I smoked those who finished in 51st, 52nd, and 53rd place, thus making me a winner. Of some sort.

7. My teacher once made me submit a poem into an online poetry contest. And it is apparently still online for the world to enjoy. And now, I post a stanza, for you to enjoy... My rantings as a 7th grader:

Every day gets

Even more long

All of my answers

Get even more wrong

Talk about a cliffhanger... I don't have a copyright for this masterpiece (yet), so I fear posting it in it's entirety.

After reading all 7 Hits for "Johanna Sawatski," I tip my hat to you, Google. You captured my character perfectly. I wouldn't change a thing. And your reminder to me that I am not, in fact, "Jay Sawatski" only serves to keep me humble... Because it's no secret that the list of my accomplishments on Google could easily go to my head. So thank you, Google, for reminding me that no matter how many points I score, no matter how many poems I write, and no matter how many Cross Country races I lose, I will always live in the shadow of my older brother. And my father. And my grandfather.


Your awesome YouTube was sent in to me by Austin L. There’s your shout-out, Austin. And here’s your video.

Your Friend and My Favorite,

Mark Titus

Club Trillion Founder