A Polymath, The Great Balancing Act

[caption id="attachment_478" align="aligncenter" width="440" caption="How do you balance athletics and studies?"]How do you balance athletics and studies?[/caption] Tina Czaplinska Staff Writer The Latin School community is a diverse one. Latin allows its students to be well-rounded individuals: math geek from 8:00 to 3:20 but star pitcher on the field. But what if baseball begins to take a toll on your inner geek? Would you have to choose? What would you end up choosing? Since the majority of Latin School students are active in a sport, there is a daily struggle between the schoolwork and that sport. Because of this coaches and teachers do their best to adhere to the needs of their kids. Morgan Lewis, one of Latin’s Track and Field Coaches, understands. “I mean I know that people would be running rather than doing homework but you’re a student first. However, there has to be a time commitment with a team. And if you can’t manage that then it is the team that is dropped. It is disappointing that you can’t have a balance, but I can’t say sacrifice one.” Lewis was actually once a student at Latin and claims that there is more legitimacy with sports now. “Back then, a state championship was rare. And the lack of major winnings was why homework was most important. Always.”  Despite the fact that things were different when he was in school, Lewis holds a firm hand when it comes to the ‘homework’ excuse for missing a practice. On the Track Team, one is only allowed three unexcused absences before one is back in regular gym. Regardless, Lewis does not hear too many complaints about practices or meets. “The last person you want to be complaining to about track practices is the track coach.” Teachers also play an important role in an athlete’s life. Working around a game or practice to finish your work can be difficult especially if the cooperation of the teacher isn’t there. Amanda Gallop, a freshman athlete, sometimes finds herself having to choose between homework, practice, and finally having to figure out what to do first. Regardless she doesn’t like to fall behind. “ I don’t like having to feel like I have to catch up. If I have a lot of homework and I come home late after a meet I just try to suck it up and not have an excuse for the teacher the next day. I mean I try to think about that kid who has a harder circumstance.” Another freshman, Rachel Stone, has been dancing since the second grade, twice a week. Now she is going to be dancing six days a week. Since she started her P.E. independent study she feels that teachers don’t always understand her busy schedule. “You can’t go and see a game of mine, so it is a little bit of a push and pull.” Mr. Windus’ office seems like it is always full of students. Though one would think that they are there to vent about stress, it is actually the candy that draws them. Windus doesn’t find there to be a huge issue with sports and school with students. “I don’t think that it is a big problem among students, though I think many teachers would disagree with me. I know that not everyone loves English, but if they love tennis, I can accept that. There are times when students miss an assignment because of a late game and, as long as it doesn’t become the norm, I completely understand.” Keep in mind that sports are completely voluntary. And if this stress can be avoided, then why don’t we try to? Well, a lot of students love the work out.  Amanda Gallop likes the feeling of accomplishment she gets after running. Clare Schultz, another member of the Track Team, feels productive when she works out.  “I joined track because I thought that since my legs are so long I might as well put them to use. And it turned out to be a great work out. And working out lets me think about other things for a change and actually relieves my stress.” Clarisse Casalino, on the other hand, wants to feel relieved of stress. “I can’t just do school. I need soccer or I will go crazy.” Stone, for one, could not imagine a life without dance. “I think I would be that kid who would be locked in her room reading her bio book for fun if it wasn’t for dance.” At the end of the day it is all really about balancing what you love to do and what you have to do. And sports will always be a little bit of both. ]]>