Friday, February 7, 2014

Senior Bowl

Last year I told you about my school's Spirit bowl,, a competition that pits different grades against each other in challenges like dance offs and an obstacle course. The seniors, oddly enough, just happened to win every year since the school was open. It's the strangest thing, the teachers and student body officers agree. Especially because it isn't rigged.
In that case, we need to send the senior class to Vegas every year. A thirteen year winning streak? If it's not rigged, not coincidental, then we just need to face the fact that seniors are magically gifted.
They were particularly gifted this year. The announcer read off the winners-"Fourth place goes to the sophomores, third place to the faculty, and we'll just tell you the victors because that determines second-" then a boy ran up to him with a paper. They whispered for a few seconds, nodded in agreement, and the announcer returned to his mic. "There's been a last minute adjustment. Seniors win!"
We were colored coded-sophomores were supposed to wear white, juniors gray, seniors purple, and faculty in black. So I showed up in brown and green. This event is supposed to be the grand finale of our Spirit Week, but instead bringing us together, like our Christmas fundraiser does, it pulls us apart. I understand that it's just a game and the most logical way to organize teams is by grade.
But as I watched the crowd in the gym, everyone segregated by grade and dressed in a different color, it reminded me of my post on school ageism the other day. Here were the sophomores, confused and quiet, because this whole thing was new to them. Here are the juniors, sore over last year's defeat and yearning to be great, hurling chants at the seniors. And here are the seniors, beaten down for two years in a row, but confident in their own power.
This is how all ageism works-beaten down first, then angry, until at last, you're sure of your own superiority. No one cheers for the underdog. It doesn't matter that the underdog used to be you. Just like I said last year, I don't want my class to win my senior year. I'd rather see sophomores take the gold. 

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