EVANSTON — When Bienen sophomore Kayla Toussmann found out that Emily DeGrout, her fellow sophomore and classmate in Italian 101-3, was on the field hockey team, she felt excited to be in the presence of such a successful athlete.
“The field hockey team, like, never loses,” said Toussmann. “It’s the one sport our school is actually good at! When Emily told me, ‘Gioco a hockey su prato’—‘I play field hockey’—I was all like, ‘Oh mio dio! Questo è fantastico! Congratulazioni!’”
Blocked by the language barrier imposed by their professor (English is forbidden in class), DeGrout was unable to find Italian words to express her reaction to Toussmann. DeGrout told The Flipside, “I wanted to say, ‘You’re thinking of lacrosse, idiot. Field hockey games are in the fall, and, um, we don’t win championships the way the lacrosse team does.’”
Instead, DeGrout said to Toussmann, “Grazie…idiota.”
“Yeah, I was confused why Emily called me an idiota,” said Toussmann after the class. “Maybe she meant ‘idioma?’ ‘Language?’ Like she doesn’t know the words to express her gratitude for my enthusiasm?”
When her mistake was explained to her, Tousmann said, “Isn’t field hockey the same thing as lacrosse? It’s girls on a field trying to get a ball into the goal, right? Besides, why would she take offense? I’m just trying to express my love for our school and our team. Go ‘Cats, am I right?”
Asked if she had ever attended either a lacrosse or field hockey game, Toussmann scoffed, “Oh, hell no!”