Clash of Classes

by Elie Nowlis

Homecoming comes around every year, bringing with it spirit, creativity, and a lot of competition. There are as many philosophies on school spirit as there are spirit days, ranging from die hard Raiders to those who could care less. This brings up an important question. What exactly is school spirit?
According to Ms. Ackerman, a student teacher from the UW, school spirit is “wearing school colors, attending school games and events, and modeling the principals of the school.” According to these rules, Nathan Hale is a very spirited school.
However, most of our spirit events seem to be focused on making competition between the classes. Ms. Ackerman agrees. “It seems like a lot of competition. I think there’s a lot more class spirit than school spirit.”
People care more about winning than having pride in their school. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it might be a different dynamic than the administration originally intended.
Most students seem to agree.
“We need to beat the freshman,” said Olivia Paine, 10th grader. She laughs when she says it, but the sentiment is still there. Even though Olivia doubts that the sophomores will win, she dresses up and participates to contribute what she can.
Some students take the competition even more seriously than Olivia.
“I’m very spirited,” says Miller Williams. “It’s all about winning, that’s the thing.” He takes a very competitive stance on school spirit. “I think we can hold down that 3rd place position, maybe even get a 2nd place this year,” he says. In his case, the class spirit even turns to animosity “the freshman are all trash,” he says with complete seriousness.
Not everyone is this focused on the class competition. Homecoming was originally created to celebrate school pride and come together as a unit.
Sophomore Rosie Bunker understands the true nature of spirit day. “It’s fun to be dressed up like everyone else. It’s fun to… go outside of your comfort zone,” Rosie says. She rarely remembers the spirit points until the end of the work and really just dresses up “to have fun,” rather than compete with other classes.

photos by: Elie Nowlis


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