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Saturday, December 1, 2012




I learned a lot of stuff in College.  I learned some Spanish of which I have forgotten almost everything.  Habla Espanol un poco solomente.  I learned that calculus was really hard algebra (I think), but I never knew what it was used for.  I learned some economics, but unfortunately everything they taught except the law of supply and demand has since changed.  I took accounting and learned that debit is black and on the left and a credit is red and on the right…or maybe the other way around; one of those.  I took logic and learned that if A is equal to B and B is equal to C then A equals C.  So since I got a C, it was really an A…WHAT?

Of all the things I learned in college, the one thing that has stuck and got me the most attention was learning to juggle.  Not juggling as in multitasking, that I cannot do, I mean juggling as in balls, specifically pool balls.

Studying for final exams in college was traumatic.  Between cups of caffeine and rereading all the underlined portions of my books, which was pretty much the whole friggin book, I took time out playing pool.  One year the tips were gone from all the fraternity cues.  Unable to shoot the pool balls I decided to learn to juggle them.

Learning to juggle with pool balls was probably a bad choice, but no one in the house played tennis.  When dropped, pool balls make a lot of noise.  A lot of noise in a fraternity house with 40 dudes studying for final exams was not a good thing. 

I heard “Hey Hagy cut that the fuck out!” a lot.

The advantage of learning with pool balls is you learn fast or you quit because bad juggling is noisy and painful.  When two balls clink in mid-air, they often ricochet back to your head.

I learned fast.  I never progressed past juggling three balls, but within a week I learned to keep three going indefinitely.  Then I went from one in the air at a time to two in air at a time.  Bored with these variations I developed the behind the back over the shoulder toss (very painful when the toss catches the back of your head), and finally the grand finale over the shoulder behind the back catch.

Surprisingly enough I did not do very well on those final exams.

Years later, while coaching little league baseball, what I did not know about hitting, catching or fielding, I made up for by impressing the kids with a two minute juggling exhibition which ended with the difficult over the shoulder behind the back catch…sometimes.

Catcha la pelota behinde la backsida un poco solomente!      


  1. I saw I guy juggle chain saws once. What impressed me was that he could keep them running without actually having to hold them.
    "Look, Ma, No hands."

  2. See. All that tuition wasn't entirely wasted. Love the logic of getting an A.

  3. That's pretty impressive actually. Juggling never caught on in Lubbock (Texas Tech) because you could only practice 9 days a year. The other 355 the wind was blowing 40 mph and your balls (don't go there) would come back down in he next county.


  4. Well, my understanding of economics is pretty similar to yours, altho supply and demand really does explain quite a lot, when you think about it. . .

    And, on my way to an engineering degree, I did learn what calculus is used for (and honestly, once you get the hang of it, it's really not all that hard. . .) (but, you know, I could weird that way)

    But, yeah, those 'life skills', like juggling, and the five different ways to throw a frisbee, are the things that I was most proud of. . .

    I once saw a guy juggle an egg, a bowling ball, and a live chainsaw. Pretty impressive. . .

  5. Youch, this had to be a painful learning process, but what a talent to acquire! I can see how that would easily impress the kids on the team. My sister once threw a croquet ball in the air in celebration of her win. It came down directly on my head, raising a welt and causing a headache, I don't think she was cut out to be a juggler! Very witty post, as always!

  6. There's a youtube video of Dextre Tripp juggling a chainsaw, bowling ball, and an apple ...pretty amazing stuff!!

  7. Debits are black, credits are red. Just like on the adding machine tape. And, they do the same job. It was an epiphany. I doubt I could ever master juggling.

  8. As I've long suspected, you are a man of many talents.

  9. At least learning to juggle turned out to be one of the things that was useful after you graduated.