Jan. 10, 2007
Throughout the season select Illinois women's basketball players will reveal what life is like behind the scenes in a periodic Women's BasketBlog. In the third installment of the season Lori Bjork talks about life over break, which included a rare mall appearance the sophomore.
Women's BasketBlog // Jan. 10, 2007 // Lori Bjork
The countdown to school has begun, and having just managed to forget last semester, I am none too happy about dredging up all those bookish memories from the deep (some might read this as dense) recesses of my brain. I would never want to speak for anyone else, but since no one else is blogging this week, I guess I will: my teammates share my sense of impending doom. Don't get me wrong - many of us have a real zeal for learning - but I am looking at my daily planner, and I am not quite sure how any of us can spare four hours a day to sit in class. I think about the past three school-free weeks, and not once can I recall suffering from boredom. We have a tight schedule with weightlifting, practices, and games, and I have grown accustomed to having spare time to watch more game film and perform routine maintenance on my jump shot.
Despite this whirlwind of activity, there have been a few days where I spent long hours on the couch, watching Law and Order back-to-back-to-back (and you always wondered who had time to watch those TV marathons). But even on those days, when the free, unmetered couch parking was too enticing to pass up, the parade of reruns was never dull or tedious. Rather, this mind-numbing, vegetative activity left me feeling unburdened and free because I knew that I was wasting time I could actually afford to waste. The bottom line: something in my winter break routine will have to give next week when school returns to monopolize my life (with the exception of those three hours of bliss at basketball practice).
Beyond the daily routine, the winter break has also brought the special moments we all enjoy during the holiday season. We each were able to go home for Christmas for four days (or three days for those people who unknowingly signed up for the FDCR Airline Experience: Flights Delayed and Cancelled without Recourse). Thankfully, we don't have anyone from Denver, so everyone did get to spend a few days visiting her home. I am in Des Moines so rarely, I sometimes feel a little like a guest checking in to spend a few days at the Bjork Hotel (I had better tread lightly here for fear that Mom and Dad will start charging me a daily rate after that last sentence). I enjoyed a small family Christmas, but the lack of snow meant I didn't engage in any of the recreational winter activities my brother and I usually enjoy: racing on our parents' cross-country skies and playing tackle football (with this information on the record, Coach will probably pray for another green Christmas next year). While in Iowa, I also had the chance to see my high school coach and some former teammates. So many of my past teachers, coaches, and teammates have continued to follow my career, and their unflagging support is truly humbling.
December also featured the rare Lori Bjork mall sighting (please note that Lori absolutely despises third-person references to herself and will seek to avoid them in the foreseeable future). This year's glimpse of me shopping was spectacularly brief, as I was in and out of the Champaign mall in a half hour. However short the venture may have been, the recipient of my Secret Santa gift can attest that I did not skimp on quality. The holidays also revealed a few bakers in our midst. As a self-proclaimed cookie aficionado, I must give special mention to Erin McCarthy's peanut butter, and Danielle Gratton's banana chocolate chip cookies. Jill Raven, the wife of our equipment manager, also deserves some recognition, as she showed off her multidimensional cooking skills with a variety of delicious desserts too numerous to recount here. And as the sole entrant in the soup division, Audrey Tabon came through with a tremendous, healing bowl of chicken noodle that she made from scratch and kindly brought over to the Bjork-Gratton residence when we were feeling a bit under the weather (I don't like to use euphemisms, but let me assure you that in this particular case, it's best you don't know the graphic details).
Without a Thursday game this week, we are hard at work trying to correct our mistakes from the loss versus Indiana. It's never fun waiting a whole week to play again after a loss, but at least we won't have a problem staying motivated for Sunday's game at Wisconsin. I hope, for my readers' sake, that when you hear from me next, I will have some pleasant (winning) experiences to write about so you can read more about basketball and less about my ho-hum life. Until then, rest your eyes, and Go Illini!