“If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.”– Shirley Chisholm
I could see through my mask that the end of the pool was just a few kicks away. I would somehow have to quickly turn around in order to swim as fast as possible to the other end to finish my scientific diving test. My fins felt clunky as I approached the pool wall, and a flip turn did not seem possible. I reached the end, pulled myself upright and slowly turned my body to finish the last length. I could hear a muffled voice screaming, “Faster Cinda, faster! You aren’t going to make it!”. I put my head down and kicked as fast as I could to the other side of the pool where I could tell the other people had already finished. I heard the sound of people screaming my name, but as I touched the pool wall, the Dive Safety Officer bent down and told me, “You are 20 seconds late, you do not pass”. With labored breath, I looked over at the four white men in the pool with me who all arrived in time, then turned my head toward the water and prayed that no one could see the tears welling up in my eyes through my mask.