Wednesday, April 27, 2005


There is a big whirlwind in my head...
Isn't there a song that goes, "I'm so diz zee..?" Or is it "You're so..."

I felt pretty despondent today. I am intellectually eager to be working, but practically that is just not on the cards. I feel extremely weak.
Slept all day today. Not sure how much of this gnawing empty-headedness is from nurofen, and how much is from the bug that's doing the rounds. I suppose I have the same thing someone else I spoke to has...who said they were sick for 2 weeks. 4 days to go.
Throat is less sore today, which I guess is something.

I'm feeling very glum. I feel like I left South Africa, triumphant and strong, and everything seems to have come undone by pushing myself back to this gray, sterile place. In fact it isn;t gray and sterile - spring and all the associated colors are unfolding. Nonetheless, the life I had, the glimpse of goodness I had back in South Africa is like a kaleidoscope, and here feels like a stained glass window at best.

I think it is unrealistic to think about things in broadstrokes now, or make plans, because I am ill, and frustrated. Really frustrated since the energy that went into the last week was a lot, a lot of it was just pouring out because if you're sick and you continue as normal, you start depleting resources...and now I am feeling quite exhausted.

Although I have 2 fairly decent job offers waiting for me, I honestly feel so confused and delirious I actually think the best thing is to make the first priority just to get back to a state of health. I can't imagine that it will take much longer than 1 or 2 or 3 more days.

More packages (books) have arrived from Amazon, so will busy myself with those.
I've had thought of going to Himachi (India) which borders on Tibet, or Angola, or simply return home. I would probably never act on impulses like that. It's just a state that I am in, and I'm really wanting to escape from it, get away from it.

I believe I just need to be patient, and clear my mind, and let nature take her course with me. Obviously, if I'm sick, I'm doing something wrong, and continuing to push, and insist on what I want isn't helping.

I read an interesting article on News24 about the headmaster of Grey College and the coach of the First Rugby team, going onto the field after a match and basically insulting and shouting at the referee. (Grey lost to Maritzburg 15-13).

It's interesting to read because I went to that school, and both those men were there when I was there, and you look at a guy like Hansie Cronje (who was Volsteedt's prodigy, in a way), and you wonder if these guys don't have a screw loose. If the power and prestige from sport basically has driven these guys, well, not nuts, but made them into partial lunatics. I don't think it bodes well for those guys at school who are not obsessed with rugby, and might have their own challenges and dreams, which the school just will not notice or care about given their fixation with winning rugby and cricket matches.
It's like being at a school that is collectively suffering from a chemical imbalance, and that's not healthy. It's possible that this was happening when I was at school, and it's still true today.
It's a very subtle thing, so it's hard to be certain about, but where there's smoke, there's often something really going on, and this article is possibly a symptom of that.
Just a thought. Part of the story is copied below, from News24:

Moments after Maritzburg College scored a shock 15-13 win over Bloemfontein's Grey College, Test referee Michael Katzenellenbogen was walking off the field when he was confronted by Grey College headmaster Johan Volsteedt and head coach Dries van der Wal.

"I was still on the field when he (Volsteedt) said he was very disappointed with the penalty count," said Katzenellenbogen on Tuesday.

"I explained to him that I don't keep a tally of the penalty count while I'm reffing, to which he replied that it was 25-6 in Maritzburg's favour.

'Came here with a mission'

"He then said the result was totally unacceptable.

"The Grey coach then accosted me and said: 'I know who you are, it's clear to me that you came here with a mission, you're a Super 12 ref's arse?'"

Katzenellenbogen has officiated in three Test matches.

"I said to them that once they had seen a video they were welcome to contact me with any complaints, but I have not heard from them," he said.

A review of the match video revealed a penalty count of 11-8 in Maritzburg College's favour.

"I am in the process of reporting them both to the Midlands Rugby Referees' Society," said Katzenellenbogen, who has just returned to refereeing after a year's sabbatical.

"If a headmaster in a suit can accost a referee on the field, what sort of example is that for schoolboys and rugby public?

"There is so much hype at schoolboy level and people forget the players are still boys.

"But there is such huge expectation to perform being placed on these boys.

"The pressure is being heaped on them by certain teachers, old boys and parents."

Volsteedt told News24 it was not his style to insult players or referees.

Van der Wal declined to comment.

Two weeks ago, Pietermaritzburg referee Llewellyn Muller was assaulted by the parent of a Westville Boys' High School 1st XV player on the same field after Maritzburg College won a nailbiter 16-13.

Incensed about incident

Andrew Nicholson, president of the MRRS, said on Tuesday that the lack of safety for referees and touch judges at school matches was reaching crisis point.

"An increasing number of spectators, teachers and coaches are becoming more and more confrontational, accosting referees both on the field and in the changeroom."

Nicholson was incensed at the Katzenellenbogen incident.

"What do these people want? Michael is a Test match referee. This is a school game for goodness sake."

(For the full story click on the title of this post)

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