“I never cease to be amazed by the unending variety of tricks you can do with a few simple objects and a little creativity.” What Bruce Fields, who recently received a PhD from the University”s math department, is referring to is the acute ability to juggle to put aside the stress and unending work that all students experience and concentrate on something other than papers and math problems.
Juggling is an art form rarely seen by students as a stress reliever, but the members of the Ann Arbor Juggling Arts Club know that when they juggle, they can put aside their worries and entertain themselves while perfecting their skills at the same time.
The interest in juggling was sparked in many different ways for the members of this unique club. Dan Delmastro, an SNRE sophomore, saw an ad for the club during Welcome Week and decided to check it out.
“It is definitely one of the more exciting and entertaining ways to spend a Saturday afternoon on the Diag,” said Delmastro. Another member, Bill Correll, who also has a PhD from the math department, started to juggle after seeing Fields juggling five large balls at the same time.
“I was mesmerized and wanted to do it myself,” said Correll. Rackham student Ben Sturm learned to juggle way back in elementary school from his brother-in-law. Whether they started in grade school, as freshman here at the University, or even after receiving their PhD, they all know the value that juggling brings to them.
Even though these guys all started juggling at different points in their lives, they pretty much agree on why they continue to juggle. “It”s a lot of fun to do,” said Sturm.
Fields agreed, saying “I continue to juggle because of the jugglers it”s fun to juggle with other people and learn from each other.” Rackham student Fred Isaman started to juggle as a study break and continues to juggle to distract himself from the difficult work he does as a mathematician.
Correll keeps up the juggling routine because “I”ve made some strong and lasting friendships through juggling.” Whatever reason, once they started, juggling stuck with them as an interesting activity to do in their spare time.
Every activity means something different to each person performing it, and the case is no different in the Juggling Arts Club. What Fields likes best about juggling is that learning new juggling patterns takes skills, requiring accuracy and rhythm. “I like the challenge of it, and the satisfaction you get when something you”ve been practicing starts to come together.”
Delmastro had a different quality that he likes about juggling. “Helping someone to juggle for the first time is probably the most gratifying part,” he said. Correll added, “For me, it”s very satisfying to make slow but steady progress on difficult tricks.” On the other hand Sturm said, “I think what I most enjoy about juggling is that it brings out the creative side of me.” Whatever reason these guys give for their interest in juggling, it”s a valid one, and from what they say, you can never be too busy to learn.