Thursday, September 09, 2010

Project #4: Cut Day

Lots of good stuff rolling in... we got some great responses to the 12 to 1 project, and a condensed version should end up in the paper tomorrow. I'm still sifting through some amazing stuff that came in about Your Toy Story -- there's some photos (and maybe video) in there, so that might take another few days to put together.

But I wanted to go ahead and launch another one because it's sort of timely. This project is called Cut Day.

The Panthers (as well as other NFL teams) had to make the final cuts from their roster last week to get down to the number of players mandated for the season. That's a big blow, of course, to the players who worked hard all through training camp but couldn't hang on.

Most of us have been in that situation, although probably not in that setting. That's what I want you to talk about. Tell me a story about a time when you didn't make the team.

"Didn't make the team" applies to a lot of other things besides just sports. Maybe it's a club you didn't get into, a part you tried out for and lost, a job you didn't get, even a relationship that didn't work out.

Sometimes those are crushing blows; other times, they're losses we learn from. I'd love to hear stories about both outcomes, and all the shades in between.

Add your story in the comments or email me at ttomlinson@charlotteobserver.com -- put "Cut Day" in the subject line. I'll also post this on my Facebook page and you can comment there. As always, be as brief as you can.

Let's hear your story.

8 comments:

Nanners said...

7th grade. Pom Pom Squad. God bless my heart. I knew I wouldn't be chosen as a cheerleader, but for some reason I thought I had a chance at Pom Pom Squad just because Tyanna Stewart rode the same bus with me and I was convinced that if she took me under her wing, it was a done deal.

I spent countless hours practicing with her. I would compare the entire audition experience to Tucker Carlson's attempt at Dancing with the Stars: two left feet, no rhythm and no business being out there on the dance (gym) floor.

I still remember the song. It was Tijuana Brass by Herb Albert. There were not enough hours in the day or weeks to get me to the level of experience that was needed to make the team.

I was crushed and especially when they announced that there would be a total of 24 chosen and there were a total of 26 that had tried out.

And to top off the public humiliation, the team was chosen in the gym. Each time a name was said out loud, that person got to move to the other section of bleachers. Within minutes, it was Melinda and I sitting alone while all the cool, happy girls were staring our way.

I would love to end my story with saying how this experience taught me that winning isn't everything, but as memory serves correctly, it devastated me for the entire year.

Lynne Stevenson said...

Recently when my job of almost three years ended without warning. I worked with the same company at three separate locations for the better part of two decades and never had any problems until I went to work at this last one.
One of my friends had taken me aside and informed me that I needed to watch my back that a particular person was "out to get me" merely two days before it came to fruition.
Now I am part of that not so elite clique called the unemployed. Hope springs eternal! My never ending search for employment goes steadfastly forward. I have had some promising leads and interviews, but nothing has materialized as of yet...

Esther said...

I still remember trying out for the color guard in high school. They're the girls who spin the flags when the marching band performs at football games.

I was so excited to try out, spent so much time practicing and I didn't make it. And the color guard were not exactly the elites in the high school food chain. I was so humiliated.

I had been involved in martial arts for about three years before that. I decided to throw myself into that. In this environment, there was no team to try out for, no bench to be relegated to. When I signed up for a tournament, I was assigned a fight. It was up to me how far I got, not anyone else, other than my opponent.

That experience transformed me. I went on to win my first national gold medal in sparing two years later. I defended my title and won the next year.

My martial arts skills have served me well in the intervening years and may have saved my life. I think back about how different my life would be if I'd made the color guard.

I might have quit martial arts and not been able to fight off a mugger several years later. I know those color guard girls couldn't kick butt if their lives depended on it. I might not have the confidence and life-long love of studying and teaching martial arts that I have now.

So thanks, color guard girls, for not picking me.

Carol said...

As the shortest, scrawniest girl in my school, with no athletic ability at all, I always got picked last for teams in gym class. Always. For years. Then one shining day in high school, I got to be team captain for a round of volleyball, or some other miserable sport. I don't remember what the activity was, I don't remember how my team performed. What I remember is the joy of deliberately choosing all the girls who were always picked last. They got a chance to be be chosen first and it was wonderful.

Anonymous said...

It was 1967 and I was in Mr. Johnson's chemistry class. I had heard that he handed out test results from high to low and everyone knew the last paper had the lowest grade.I have never done well in math and even though I studied like crazy, I always got the last paper.All year long I prayed to not get that failing grade, but I wasn't able to overcome my mathmatical inadequacy.I failed chemistry that year, paid for a tutor with baby sitting money and requested Mr. Johnson for my senior year. I had to pass this for nursing school The first test results were being handed out, mid-way through, Mr. Johnson stopped at my desk and said "well done Ms. Bargine"..I had received a "C"! As pleased as I was with my success, my heart broke when he handed the last paper to a classmate and when I started teaching 4th grade after retiring from nursing, I made sure to never, ever humiliate a student the way my chemistry teacher had humiliated me.

Mrs said...

Senior year in high school. Head twirler try-outs. Using all the tricks learned in 10 years of baton lessons and still could not overcome the "blonde" bias of the Marching Units director.

Anonymous said...

When he cheated on me.

David Duclos said...

When you choose not to include this comment for your Cut Day project, I'll have my story. : )