When my husband and I were dating and I was busy shedding all (well, some) of my misconceptions about PhD research scientists, I was intrigued to learn that he played on his lab’s volleyball team, Six Pack. And that they played, competitively, against teams of other scientists from Harvard’s other labs. I have to be honest and say that when I went to my first game, on the sand court mysteriously placed in a courtyard of Harvard’s biology buildings, I didn’t expect much.
I was totally wrong! Teams choose a level of competitiveness when registering for the league each summer, and the competitive league is truly competitive. The play is intense, and fun to watch in a nice setting. As this year’s playoffs are underway, the Boston Globe has taken notice and concluded the following:
In the hard-driving world of elite science at Harvard, where people spend long hours in the lab and compete to publish papers in top journals and win grants, merely batting a ball over a net has taken on outsized importance.
Frankly, I’m not really sure it’s outsized. These are people who work hard and play hard. For many of them, their perfectionism in science carries over into a zealous athleticism (and, uh, a strong desire to NOT LOSE). And you have to see how hard they can hit the ball–there’s nothing “mere” about it. For the history of and details on the Rhino League, check out the full article.