Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Baby-Sitters Club #55: Jessi's Gold Medal

Jessi is an amazing dancer in case you didn't know, which means that she's good at anything even remotely related to dancing. SMS just announced that the students will spend their gym class at the community center taking swim classes. This works out nicely for Jessi because she just asked her parents for a swimming pool but they can't afford it.

Mallory hates the idea, especially since there are boys in the gym class. She can swim pretty good, but she has nothing on Jessi. Jessi notices another woman standing with her gym teacher and watching her. It turns out that she's the coach of the local synchronized swim team and she knows that Jessi has dance training by the way she swims. She asks her to come and check out their team.

Stoneybrook is getting ready for yet another annual event that comes out of nowhere. This one is some random type of Olympic event. Jessi goes to the team's practice and earns a spot on the team right away. Despite saying 700 times that it's a team competition, the coach assigns her this chick Elise as a partner. Elise is on the SMS swim team, and she practiced with this team for a few weeks. The coach then tells them that each two-person team will compete against each other, and she naturally picks Jessi to choreograph their routine.

While practicing, Jessi starts thinking about her charges. Becca is super excited about the Olympics but disappointed that it won't come to Stoneybrook. She suggests hosting an event just like the big one for the kids in town. Nearly everyone wants to take part except for Charlotte and ironically enough, Becca.

Andrew tries a bunch of different events and keeps failing, which puts him in a bad mood. The BSC decides to give every kid a ribbon so they will feel better about participating. Stacey keeps pushing Charlotte into taking part, which makes her feel bad because she thinks Stacey doesn't like her. Since Mary Anne is the only BSC member not participating in the Olympics thing, she calls Charlotte and talks to her.

Mallory doesn't seem too excited either. She keeps sighing and whining a lot about how she sucks at sports. While practicing with the triplets, she trips during a sack race and sprains her ankle. She ends up on crutches for a few weeks, and she finally gets rid of the crutches in time for the mini-Olympics and admits that she was going to pretend like she hurt herself anyway. The kids event goes off without a hitch except that Andrew loses at a bunch of events, but he gets excited when he gets a ribbon.

Kristy and Alan make a bet on who can win a race with the loser serving as the personal assistant of the winner. The bet spreads through the school, and the principal asks them to do a public race in the middle of the event. Alan ends up finishing a few feet behind her, and she makes his life a living hell. He has to set up the kids events, bring her cold drinks and cookies, and has to clean up puke.

Jessi and Elise end up winning first place (i.e. gold medal) in the synchronized swimming event. She invites Elise back to her house for a picnic and they become “good” friends. Jessi tells the BSC that she loves swimming, but she's just way too busy and hates that she's too tired for ballet so she quits.

*How the heck can her parents not afford a swimming pool? Then again, they probably throw away a ton of money on her dance classes every week.

*She comes home from dance class, which takes place right after school, and her parents immediately ask her to watch Squirt and Becca so they can make dinner even though Cecilia is there.

*I'm not sure how this whole swimming thing in class works. Everyone shows up, the teachers make them do a few strokes (despite saying that they know not everyone can swim), and then assign them a group based on their skill level. What if you are a kid who can't swim and has no desire to learn how to swim?

*Would being a ballet dancer naturally mean that you're perfect at synchronized swimming? Yeah, I didn't think so.

*So, the synchronized swim team exists all the time, but people can quit whenever they want. After practicing for over a month, both Jessi and Elise decide to drop the team at the end of the book.

*It would be nice to see one of these girls pick up a hobby that they stick with in later books. If I suddenly discovered that I was amazing at swimming, I would probably keep swimming.

*Once again, Jessi is only on the team for about a month and is good enough to win a gold medal.

*Charlotte tells Mary Anne that she could still participate and do something like sell hot dogs, so MA totally works the concession stand. I really want to picture Charlotte saying it all sarcastic like though.

*Claudia enters a race where she has to run backwards and still doesn't win. Stacey enters a swimming competition and Dawn does the javelin, but neither one win. Kristy not only wins her race against Alan, but she comes in second in a longer race with like eight people because she's a natural athlete.

*Jessi mentions that she has to watch what she eats for ballet, but in the book with the girl who has an eating disorder, she mentions eating whatever she wants.

*She also tells us that she has long dancer's legs and is a natural dancer, which makes me want to smack her. I really hope she hits puberty and turns into Snookie.


  1. I live in California (but I'm not blonde! but iI do like avocados...). In high school PE we had swimming and I hated it. First of all, I can't swim. Second of all, our periods were 50mins each, so you have 10 mins to change into suits, 30 mins to swim, then 10 mins to change out of suit, shower (in front of everyone!) dry your hair, and get ready for next period. It was hell. Also, did i mention already that I. Can't. Swim. My stupid PE teacher lied to us, told us that it was a California standard that you had to be able to at least tread water for 15 mins or you couldn't graduate from high school. Of course I couldn't do it. Eventually she gave up on me and said if I could just float for 15 mins without dying she'd pass me. I found out later on that there is no such requirement to pass high school, it's not even a school district requirement... it was something she made up to scare us. Seventeen years later, I'm still pretty annoyed by this, lol.

  2. I always imagine that Jessi's "long dancer's legs" are going to mean she'll get too tall for classical ballet. Also that ghost writers know nothing about dancing, as you'd expect.

  3. Here in Ohio, we most definitely don't take swimming class LOL. There was one teacher who did relatively fun stuff with his class. They sometimes took field trips to go bowling and he taught them how to play golf on a real course. Naturally, when I had him the following year, the school made him stop doing all of the fun stuff. I still hated gym though.

    And yes, I assume that the ghost writers know about as much about dancing as I do, and all of my knowledge comes from Center Stage LOL.