It was finals week. The week where classes are extended so that you can have even more time to take tests on subjects you're pretty sure you should know more about. The week that says, Academics Are Important! The week that determines your final grades.
But this paled in comparison to the fact that baseball won state.
Or at least it did in the eyes of the principal. And so they interrupted finals--FINALS--and forced everyone to march into the gym so we could all sit and listen to praise heaped upon the heads of a handful of boys adept at slamming a wooden stick into a ball. Glory! Glory! It's AMAZING!
However, my problem wasn't with the sports teams--who worked very hard--but with what happened when the arts programs (band, orchestra, choir, debate, drama, dance, etc.) achieved similar levels of success.
We were lucky to get an announcement over the loudspeaker. "FFA members, your fees are due in the front office today. Also, congratulations to the drill team who placed third in the nation."
It bothered me. So I decided to do more than point out the hypocrisy to my close friends. I figured the whole school should be on the same wavelength. I recruited a friend and we made a series of simple signs that went something like this:
CONGRATULATIONS JAZZ BAND! FIRST IN STATE!
Where's our assembly?
CONGRATULATIONS DRAMA! FIRST IN STATE!
Where's our assembly?
So on and so forth, highlighting all of the programs that had been entirely ignored by a sports-obsessed administration. Right before the first class of the day when the halls were packed, my friend and I ran around, quickly taping them up all over the school.
By the end of first period, every single one of them had been taken down, and my friend, bless her heart, had been hauled into the principal's office for a very awkward talking-to. She never mentioned that not only had I helped, it was my idea in the first place. But word got out and my choir teacher, a conspiratorial grin on her face, let me know it was appreciated.
The ridiculous end to the whole story? During the graduation speech a week-and-a-half later, the principal went out of his way to heap praise on the school's arts program and note how much support they received from the administration. Sure. Whatever.
It was good for a laugh, I suppose.