School Spirit: What Are We Celebrating?
What’s all the fuss? It’s homecoming week at Woodside High School, the one week of the school year when students can paint their faces bright orange, dress up in outrageous costumes and parade around campus, questioned only by the eyes of a few confused freshmen.
Lost in the sea of black and orange are Woodside’s teachers, their minds not on the skits being performed in front of them, but back in the classroom, where they were interrupted mid-lesson to bring their students to the homecoming rally. And there are also the students–many, relieved to be free of the classroom for a precious forty-five minutes–others, wishing to be back in the quiet sanctity of that same classroom.
Homecoming week finds us cheering for popularity, inter-class rivalry, and sports. It cannot be denied that each of these has an indelible place in high school culture, but doesn’t it seem strange that we devote an entire week to distracting ourselves from school, yet do so in the name of celebrating it?
Why take such great pride in something from which we are so eager to escape? Many students who profess pride for their school during homecoming week are the same students who condemn school every other week of the year. In the midst of the celebration we are forgetting what–and who–we should be celebrating.
Let us celebrate our teachers, who sacrifice sleep and sanity for their students. Let us celebrate those students who aren’t seen on the homecoming float or on the playing field, but whose academic and artistic successes are essential to the success of Woodside High School. Let us celebrate them alongside our athletes and our popular kids; and by no means is the former mutually exclusive to the latter two. And let us celebrate not as freshman, not as sophomores or juniors or seniors; let us celebrate as Wildcats.
Woodside has dedicated, hardworking teachers, and it is high time we showed them some appreciation. It is imperative that every student take responsibility for his or her own education.
Be an active learner. Come to class on-time and ready to learn. These things alone can make a huge difference.
Woodside also has dedicated and hardworking students, and we owe them a great deal of long-overdue praise. If we can call out the names of the starting players for the football team during our Friday rallies then surely we can do the same for students on the honor roll.
By no means do I intend to marginalize anyone–certainly not those students who immerse themselves in school spirit. I know that the leadership class and the student government bend over backwards to ensure that not only homecoming week, but every dance and every Friday rally are the best they can be. Wildcats are some of the most spirited students I have seen. But let’s not forget what got us here: the need and desire to learn.
While we celebrate homecoming week outside of the classroom, let us not forget the learning that happens in it. It is here, over the course of four years, that our hearts and minds are awakened. It is here that we discover ourselves, our passions, and our aversions. It is here we form friendships that deepen our learning experience, both with students and teachers. Where’s the rally for that?
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