Skip to main content

Swimming, diving, and parking

Topics/tags: Rants, short

This weekend is the annual Grinnell College Pioneer Classic [1,2] swimming and diving meet. I’m pretty sure that it’s the largest swimming and diving meet we host each year, except in years in which we also host Conference championships [3]. I like attending swim meets, not only because I want to support my students [4], but also because of the mood of swim meets. While the swimmers and divers compete hard, they are quite supportive of each other. It’s nice to see that support. It also feels like the spectators do their best to support all the swimmers; certainly, there’s always a nice round of applause when the last swimmer finishes any event.

Of course, having a lot of swimmers on campus means that we have a lot of people parking. Unfortunately, it appears that, even though the event gets planned a year in advance, some magic force seems to put things in the way. Last year, someone scheduled a large wrestling meet in Darby the same weekend as the Pioneer Classic. This year, Pete Buttigieg decided to have an event in the Harris Center, right across the street from the Natatorium.

Both events brought many more people to campus, making it much harder for the swimming supporters (and diving denizens) to find parking. The Mayor Pete event also closed the Harris lot [5]. With just the swim meet, parking would be fine. With multiple events, it’s not.

Normally, it would not make a difference to me; I can walk from home [6]. But I’d like it to be easy for the swim folks to find parking. And there are times that I’d prefer to be able to drive. For example, today my foot is injured and I wanted to be able to go to the Scout Tenderloin Dinner downtown before the meet. Some years, Michelle is on call and needs to be able to go back and forth.

Why do these conflicts happen? This year, it seems to have been unavoidable. Is there a solution? I don’t know of one. Still, it’s frustrating.

[1] I do not know why the link for the 2019 meet uses a date of 2014.

[2] I seem to recall that it used to be called the Buddha Meet, back when our teams were named the Buddhas. These days they Dogs and the Ducks.

[3] One of the spectators near me this year said that they think it’s even larger than Conference, or at least involves more schools.

[4] And, for many years, my children.

[5] I wish they’d give us more than twenty-four hours notice for lot closures. They certainly know about them more in advance.

[6] And did this afternoon.

Version 1.0 of 2019-12-06.