A day in the life of sophomore Maddie Duffy


Courtesy of Mike Grosz

Maddie Duffy is a sophomore defensive specialist for the Wayne State College volleyball team.

Trevor Scott, Reporter

“I like it like that,” famous rapper Cardi B screams at 6:05 a.m. as defensive specialist Maddie Duffy rolls out of bed just like every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for weight lifting.

This Monday seems especially hard. She throws on her volleyball spandex and team issued volleyball t-shirt to go have the same breakfast she has every single morning, wheat toast with reduced-fat peanut butter and her mom’s homemade raspberry jelly.

The taste of her mom’s famous jelly reminds her of home, Fridley.Fridley, Minnesota, to be exact, a Northern suburb of Minneapolis.

She misses her parents, brothers and sister. Most of all she misses her beloved family dog, Chunk. The family joke is how ugly and cute he is at the same time.

Is he is part coyote? They might never know. For sure he is not Border Collie like the shelter they got him from claimed.

The phrase “coyote ugly” has never fit an animal more perfectly.

Just like Minnesota, good ol’ Wayne, America is below freezing again as Duffy and her two roommates leave for another session of squats, squats and more squats with the locally famous and feared weight lifting coach, Grant Darnell.

To picture this weight lifting coach and his enthusiasm while he is lifting, picture a Pokémon on steroids. As he springs from his Pokéball at five in the morning to dead lift five plates on each side and “lead by example.”

“DAAAAAAAARRRRRRNNNNEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLL” is what everyone pictures this freakish human and Pokémon crossbreed screaming as he dead lifts 585 pounds to the wide eyes of every one of his athletes who follow him on Instagram.

He expects the same intensity from the players on arguably the most successful team sport on campus no matter what time in the morning it is. Duffy leads the volleyball team in the squat and you can tell that Darnell notices.

It’s her favorite day of lifting, leg day.

What a weirdo right? Everyone hates leg day except for this freak athlete. As she out lifts every one of the volleyball players by almost 100 pounds on every squat.

After this hour-long workout the athlete side of this student-athlete switches back to the student side. She walks through the frigid cold to her first class at 8 a.m., Calc. II, with the chilled air turning the sweat in her hair to frozen haircicles.

Duffy wasn’t feeling too confident, she said she wouldn’t be surprised if she “absolutely BOMBED last week’s quiz.” 

She is so naturally smart without even studying that I never gave her a response when she said it the first time. For God’s sake, she actually thinks that “math is fun” and she would “major in math if that didn’t mean she basically would have to be a teacher,” she has told me over and over again.

But as I came to find out, not only did she do poorly on the quiz, the whole class seemed to struggle.

Luckily the lowest two quiz grades are dropped, which gives Duffy some reassurance. She’s under a lot of pressure on a daily basis and not just for volleyball, but for her academics too.

As if an 8 a.m. Calc. II class is not bad enough on a Monday morning, she then has to lug the biggest college textbook I have ever seen to her 9 a.m. Physics II class. Such is life for a Chemistry major.

Watching her study Physics in the past has been a work of art. She breezes through every bit of her reading while others struggle and struggle for hours on end studying what she gets done and understands in under an hour.

The grind doesn’t stop here though because she still has Organic Chemistry at 1 p.m. and then practice at 2 p.m.

Practice is closed to the public so I could not observe, but she clearly was not too happy afterward and made that apparent by her awkward silence.

She seemed quiet and shut off to the world during supper. Which for such an energetic and constantly happy girl was definitely not normal for her.

If there was one thing she knew she wanted to do, it was to go to Dairy Queen for “Mobile Monday.”

On “Mobile Monday” Dairy Queen offers a buy one, get one free special on blizzards that has become a weekly ritual for Duffy’s friends and especially her and me.

She orders her favorite: a Reese’s blizzard. This Monday just wasn’t her day, however, and they gave her the wrong candy in her ice cream.

Being the nice person she is, Duffy didn’t say anything to the workers. She just smiled and said thank you and walked out.

On the way back to her house she finally opened up to me about what happened at practice.

“I was STRUGGLING with my passing and serve receive today” she said.

I did my best to console her, but I’m not a college athlete and I’ve never been good at expressing empathy when people are down on themselves. Thank God for ice cream because that was the only thing that seemed to calm her nerves!

Since it’s Monday, I had to suffer through another episode of “The Bachelor” knowing full well I was missing a top 10 basketball showdown between North Carolina and Virginia.

Duffy and her roommates slowly eat their blizzards as they talk about each and every girl on the show like they personally know them while also gossiping about practice and things that happened in class that day during the frequent commercial breaks.

After this agonizing hour finally ends all the roommates at the house seem to be ready for bed.

Duffy changes into her favorite t-shirt to sleep in, which is actually a shirt of mine. I’ve accepted the fact I’ll never get it back. After she changed we said goodnight and I headed home so she could get some rest.

She was probably fast asleep by the time I pulled out of her driveway.