Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Happy S I I W E E !

Alternating school colors of green and white
creates a visually confusing poster that delights
the gifted students, offering an enrichment
language to speak during Spirit Week.
Happy S I I  W E E !

 Homecoming is Friday night, with the big dance scheduled for Saturday night. This week is Spirit Week at school. I am proud and pleased to be a part of a district that still sees an educational value in the social-ness that is Spirit Week.

The poster to the left has graced the hallways for a couple of weeks announcing the costume competitions hyped for each day of Spirit Week.  The gifted population has affectionately begun to refer to this week as SII-WEE, which sounds Native American.  Maybe that's appropriate...

  You see, Donegal's mascot is an Indian. Or should I say, we are the Donegal Indians.  Before you send me message about the political correctness of this, know that I am not responsible for the choice in the mascot, and Lancaster County is rich in history of our Native American friends.  

Putting the Fun in the Fundamentals of a Rounded Education

If you've never had the pleasure of celebrating Spirit Week -- and I'm surprised by how many of my colleagues admit to having no recollection of their own high school celebrations -- know that the focus is on competition, class pride, and bonding.  

Oh, and feathers.  LOTS of feathers.  Today was USA Day -- a day to show your Red White and Blue pride.  While adults would be inclined to pull out the $5 Old Navy shirt with the flag on it from last July, that is waaaaayyy too lame for high school kids.  To the left is the representative sampling of the molting that occurred in the hallway outside my classroom.  Today there was a spirit of unity throughout the population.  The same can not be said for yesterday -- Class Color Day -- where each class dressed in an assigned color.  There were YELLOW freshmen, some wearing Minion Shirts and socks, others with face paint and antennas, and MANY feathers.  There were RED sophomores, BLUE juniors and BLACK (nearly gothic!) seniors.  

Tomorrow is "Multiples Day."  I already am expecting to see a swarm of bumblebees, many twins and triplets, and be a part of the collective dressing of the faculty.  (See pictures on THAT surprise here tomorrow!)  

Due to the Columbus Day/In-Service day on Monday, this is a shortened week.  Our principal refers to Friday as "THE BEST DAY OF THE YEAR."  It's Green and White Day.  I really should say It's GREEN AND WHITE DAY, because it really is that big a deal.  Fourth period is cancelled, in favor of a deafening pep rally in the gym.  The band will play.  The various classes will compete for the "Spirit Stick", and no matter how hard they try, the freshmen will never win.  The hallway decorating competitions are in full force with posters, and streamers, and Christmas lights, with final judging on Friday.

All of this is what school is during Spirit Week.  A sense of community, a sense of pride, a sense of excitement and planning.  Long after the feathers have been swept up and the streamers are taken down, this week will be remembered as a time when kids came together for a common cause.

That cause is PRIDE. 

As amused as I am by Spirit Week, I get a bit teary-eyed by the small town innocence that exists within these walls.  I also pray that the rest of the kids in schools across the country get to put aside the preparation for the standardized tests and the common core standards and get to be kids some Friday in a gym with Spirit Sticks, deafening noise, and the incessant beat of the drums celebrating the community known as school.

"We are the Indians, the Mighty Mighty Indians.  Shout a little louder.  Couldn't be prouder."

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