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Saturday, December 12, 2015

LEARNING TO JUGGLE - a cranky re-run

 This cranky re-run is from December 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. The problem with learning to juggle is that people always ask you how many you can juggle, and then wonder why you can't do just one more. Until you make them try it, they don't figure it can really be that hard. It is that hard, and i'm impressed!

  2. Juggling is easy. I've mastered juggling one ball and I'm on my way to learning how to juggle two. I'm in no rush to master this.

  3. I taught myself in our family room with oranges from the Christmas stockings during my senior year of high school. Only three. Only one in the air at a time. And only for about three complete cycles. I only impressed myself. Nothing behind the back. Oranges are very forgiving.


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