Where is the spirit?

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Where is the spirit?

Ayesha Vishnani, Writer

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Enveloped in creased brown paper, it unexpectedly appeared amongst a crowd of roaring seniors. Bleachers thundered with excitement, amplifying the suspense rippling through the room.

It was the climax; the stick traveled from one hand to another.

As it was unwrapped, a wave of confusion washed over the anticipating onlookers. It was not the spirit stick. Unearthed by the brown was not just the wrong stick but also a new question.

Where was the spirit stick?

From Feb. 2 to Feb. 6, BVNW held its last spirit week of the school year, marking the end of this year’s quota of bizarre outfits and dances. However, it also marked the class of 2015’s last high school spirit week, which meant the seniors wanted to win the competition more than ever before, and rightfully so.

Nonetheless, the juniors were determined to beat the seniors; they weren’t going to let them have it that easy. They wanted the upperclassmen to prove their worth, prove that they indeed deserved it.

It was game on since day one.

From Man vs. Wild to the Smurf stampede, each day whether in dance or dress the juniors and the seniors vamped up the competition to a new level. However, with the competition was the stirring of a strange tension amongst the two classes. The desire to defeat exploded and suddenly spirit week became simply about the points. In all seriousness, it had become too serious. And when the sweetheart assembly arrived to finally put an end to the competition and unify the two classes, the unexpected happened.

At the onset of the assembly, the juniors and the seniors were tied for first place. It would be up to the class competition to break the tie. So an intense game of musical chairs began, this year’s selected class competition. More than the music, the gym was pumping with energy, each class cheering on their respective classmates as they battled for the last chair. But it suddenly became too intense.

People resorted to pushing and shoving to steal chairs, and the audience watched on, for the most part unaffected. In the midst of the chaos no one bothered to ask the question “what are we doing?”

Instead, everyone’s question was “When are we winning?”

The seniors won, but the controversy of who deserved it continued. We never bothered to ask if everyone was okay or considered the fact that just maybe we were all being immature. Instead we chose to point fingers and call each other out.

We had physically outgrown musical chairs, but mentally we were far, far behind.

Ultimately, the final straw came with the spirit stick, at least the lack of it. The reactions revealed the hidden emotions of the classes, feelings that they were suppressing.

From one side, I listened to juniors claiming things like, “I heard they did it because they didn’t think we deserved it.”

Then the other side, “The juniors were trying too hard, they should’ve just given up.”

Whether it was a misunderstanding or intentional, we lost the purpose of what the week really represents. When we should’ve have prided ourselves with the thousands of pounds of animal food we had collected for the Humane Society, we criticized each other for rigging points and trying too hard.

Rather than congratulating each other for the creativity that we showed with each dance and each outfit, we scoffed and whined at the point totals announced at the end of the day.

When we could’ve accepted defeat and been the bigger person, we chose to humiliate each other. And when we were humiliated, rather than trying to clear up misunderstandings we decided it was acceptable to dismiss our own mistakes and call each other babies.

Rather than upholding the values of our school, we spent our spirit week being selfish, instead of selfless.

Honestly, does it really matter so much to us who wins when we are celebrating our last spirit week of the year with the seniors, most of whom we probably won’t see for the rest of our lives?

And would it really have been the end of the world if we had been beaten by members of our own family?

Oh wait, but are we really even a family?

Because this week what we saw were not members of the so-called “Husky Family” everyone brags about.

This was nothing like the group of people who voluntarily raised thousands of dollars for a man battling cancer, simply because he needed them to be there for him.

This was nothing like the students who gave a standing ovation in support of a girl who decided to tell her story.

This was nothing like the group of people who sent anonymous messages to a page online just to give each other compliments.

The fact of the matter is this: the lens with which we looked at spirit week this year was tainted. The meaning of spirit week is to celebrate us. To celebrate our talents, our quirks and the weirdly imperfect way in which we all sort of fit together. Together. That’s the key word. Because if we wiped the dirt off our glasses we would see what amazing things we did this week. The charity that we benefitted, the people we entertained and the fun we actually had.

It’s not about the spirit stick; it’s what it symbolizes. A school coming together to honor the legacy of those leaving have left behind and the beginning of a new bond.

But it’s important not to forget that we’re a family, whether leaving or staying. A little stick and heated competition should not be the reason we turn our backs on each other.