The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Water Wings
Sophomore utility Melissa Wall passes the ball Oct. 30 as City College takes on Modesto Junior College at Hoos Pool. Dianne Rose | Multimedia Editor | [email protected]

For many, in addition to sleepless nights while studying for exams and waiting for financial aid disbursements, making new friends, joining clubs, falling in and out of love, and parties will make the list of college memories.

Such is not the case for all college students though.

City College freshman and water polo team member Melissa Wall, who plays the position of utility, which she describes as similar to that of a soccer forward, says her memorable college moments will be of a different sort. According to Wall, her list will include things such as maintaining a split-campus schedule, single-motherhood and daycare dilemmas.

When Wall began playing water polo five years ago while still in high school, it was love at first splash, but Wall says she was forced to take time away from the sport after becoming pregnant. Now, after a three–year hiatus, Wall is back in the pool, playing collegiate water polo as a single-mother.

According to Wall, her purpose for playing is threefold: She loves the sport, being a team member is a quick means to getting back into shape, and she enjoys the social interaction with other women her age.

“Because it’s a very physical sport, you have to bond with your teammates, and it just makes it more fun,” Wall says.

According to Wall, she was thrilled to be back in the pool. However, when the childcare provisions she had in place for her son fell through, Wall says her water polo attendance became irregular. Unable to find other arrangements for her son, Wall contemplated quitting the team but, instead, packed a bag with his favorite toys and some snacks and took him to practice with her.

“I was starting to miss practice on Mondays and Fridays because I didn’t have anyone to watch my son,” says Wall. “[Since] I had [already missed] a couple of times, I just figured, ‘Hey, let’s just bring him and see how it goes.”

Not only was City College water polo team head coach Steve Hanson fine with her decision to bring her son to practice, Wall says Hanson welcomed him.
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“[Hanson is] very family-oriented,” says Wall. “He doesn’t complain about me bringing my son to practice, which is really good. Otherwise, I don’t know what I would do.”

According to Wall, regularly attending practices again, along with the coaching skills of Hanson, has helped her performance in the pool.

“[I’ve experienced] a lot of improvement; we’ve all improved a lot,” says Wall. “I really like that [Hanson] has taught us more technique and strategy. He actually takes the time and effort to actually improve [our] game instead of to just play the game.”

Wall says her academic goal is to apply for admission to the nursing program at City College. Until then, she is fulfilling the prerequisites for the program Tuesdays and Thursdays at Cosumnes River College, which is closer to her home.

Of course, a multi-campus schedule has its challenges, says Wall, especially on Tuesdays and Thursdays since a traditional classroom setting is not conducive to bringing her son with her.

“In the morning, I have classes at [Cosumnes], and then I leave and come to [City College] for practice,” says Wall. “Then I leave and go get my son and hang out with him for about an hour and a half, then go drop him off at his dad’s, and then go back to school. So, yeah, Tuesdays and Thursdays, I’m constantly going.”

Regardless of the difficulties associated with single-motherhood or a multi-campus schedule, Wall says she’s glad things such as going to water polo practice with his mom and dangling his feet in Hoos pool will make her son’s list of childhood memories. And while Wall says that her college experience isn’t what she had envisioned it to be, she says she has no regrets.

“I would definitely do it again,” says Wall. “He’s worth it.”

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