Smells like lab spirit

We have a departmental volleyball tournament at school.
That’s right, all the nerds and their nerd professors battle it out for the trophy.
I decided to participate. Me, the girl who was frequently picked second-to-last in middle school gym class. (The consistent, last pick watched Little House on the Prairie re-runs and had a penchant for getting knocked in the head with the ball.) Somehow, I thought that I could help my lab/team win. In fact, I was CONFIDENT that I could. I had possessed a mean serve back in the 90s. Volleyball was the one sport in which I was a top pick.
Last semester, I donned our team t-shirt and my high school gym shorts. I was ready to do some damage.
But, halfway into the game, my “mean” serve had only yielded one point.
I guess it was rusty.
Then, I saw an opportunity for redemption.
“Got it”, I shouted.
Just like the movies, that ball came towards me in slow motion. I prepared to set. All ten fingers were poised to send that ball over the net and lead our lab to victory. They were ready. I was ready. The eleven of us were going to be team heroes.
Until the ball jammed my right thumb.
I suppressed a squeal. And that damn volleyball went out of bounds…on my side of the net. UGH!
It turns out that I had partially torn my thumb’s ulnar collateral ligament.
All I had wanted was a point. Instead, I got a splint (and damage to the connective tissue between two bones ON MY RIGHT HAND). Great.

Life was hard in the lab with one opposable thumb. Pipetting was painful. I couldn’t open the bottle of 1.5M Tris buffer. I couldn’t open any bottle, for that matter. I was a gimp, a laboratory gimp, for eight weeks until that splint came off. And, for what? A ball that didn’t even go over the net!

Last week, I got an email announcing this semester’s volleyball tournament. Will I participate?
NO! No lab spirit this semester…

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