One on One

by John Mitchell | 10/30/06 6:00am

It was not a good week for me. I soiled quite dramatically in both academic and athletic venues, leaving me with my journalism career to fall back on, which is never good for the old self-esteem. In light of my impressive failings, I decided to grab a few minutes with Nick Christman '08. A starter on the soccer team for most of the year and an academic hard guy, I thought I'd sit him down and see if I could pick up some life lessons, or at least a laugh or two.

The D: All right, why don't we get some background information to start with. What position do you play?

Nick Christman: I play left midfield.

The D: Good to know. How's the season going so far, for the team and for you as an individual?

NC: We had a slow start to the season, but we've been playing much better and getting results as of late, especially in the Ivy League. After starting 0-1-1 in the Ivy League, we've won our last three Ivy games to put us in contention for the title. With a win against Harvard tomorrow, we would have a very good chance of winning the league and making the NCAA tournament.

NC: I have been enjoying the season, all in all. I feel that I've played a key role in our recent string of good results, and that's a satisfying feeling. That being said, we've struggled offensively all season. Since I am more of an offensive player than a defensive one, that means I haven't been doing my job quite well enough.

The D: Seeing much action?

NC: I have started all but three games. I hit a rough patch in the middle of the season.

The D: Bummer about the rough patch, what happened?

NC: The easy excuse is that I picked up a thigh injury which slowed me down a little bit. In reality, I think I got a little too comfortable with my starting spot. I played poorly in a couple games and lost my spot. In order to earn it back, I had to get back to being aggressive and trying to make a noticeable impact on the game instead of just floating around out there.

The D: There's a rumor floating around out there that your name may have been at or near the top of the list of academic hard guys recently blitzed out unsuppressed by a savvy, motivated employee of the College. Any truth to the rumor?

NC: Ummm, I plead the fifth ... But were this the case, it might silence some of those who stereotype athletes at Dartmouth as, let us say, academic lightweights.

The D: This is true. Unfortunately, as a result of my attempts to further the stereotype of "journalists" as academic lightweights, I don't have the rankings on blitz. Anyways, let's just say you probably aren't in danger of becoming academically ineligible any time soon. My first question is, how do you balance soccer, school and the rest of life? And, do any of your teammates ever give you a hard time about the long line of pointy letters that is your transcript?

NC: Yeah, I get a fair amount of stick. When choosing teams for a scrimmage in practice recently, I was appointed captain of the "Super Geek Team." It's a little bit embarrassing to say, but my study habits follow the advice on those sheets UGA's like to stick up. I try to get my work out of the way as early as I can, so it never piles up too much and overwhelms me. I usually find that there's plenty of time for everything else after that.

The D: Hmm, that actually works? This is good to know. I guess I'm wondering, about how many times a day do you look around a room and think, "Wow, I'm definitely smarter, more athletic and better looking than anyone I can see right now?"

NC: I don't really do that in general, but, when I am in dire need of a boost in self-esteem, I like to remind myself that I am indeed much more athletic and probably better looking than my previously-interviewed teammate Craig Henderson '09.