Iused to volunteer at an after-school program in Northwest. The only woman, I'd play basketball on Friday afternoons with 10 17-year-old boys. They refused to learn my name; they called me "the female." Their adviser would look on as they shoved me under the basket, undercut me on layups. He never said a thing. Frustrated and hurt, I stopped going. Months later, I was introduced to the director of the program at a dinner. "Oh, you're the one," she said. "You're Kelly. They talked about you all the time. They thought you were amazing."
I'm from a small town in the Midwest. That means constantly reassuring my parents I'm staying safe from the ills that plague us. Anthrax. Snipers. I try not to let it bother me. Recently I entered the Metro station to catch a ride home. A crowd stood idle outside the gates. "Oh, no," I thought. My worst fear: Something horrible must've happened. "What's wrong?" I asked. A man pointed to the clock: 6:59. "Rush hour's almost over -- you can save 30 cents," he said, pleased with himself. I smiled. Finally, some good news for my parents.
Bethany Young Hardy
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