125 Plus One, Minus the Spirit?

By Danielle Martin

Screen Shot 2014-10-01 at 8.08.32 PM

Last year, students of all ages sporting togas, blue and orange Dr. Seuss hats, and even a life size doll of Mabel Slade Vickery, flooded Lincoln Park as we celebrated Latin’s 125th anniversary. It’s not every year that our school reaches such an astounding milestone to stimulate our school spirit. Now, the question is: have we taken our spirit from last year and carried it on into the new school year?

As per usual, every day of the week had a designated dress up day: Pajama Monday, Tropical Tuesday, Class Color Wednesday, Twin Thursday, and Spirit Friday. The vast majority of students jumped at the opportunity to wear their favorite onesies and slippers to school, which according to Hannah Scholes, “felt like a school-wide slumber party.” Sadly, students did not return to school with the same positive mentality the next couple of days. Very few Hawaiian shirts filled the halls on Tuesday, and less than half of the sophomores came to school decked in purple, their assigned color, on Wednesday.

While Tuesday and Wednesday proved less popular and made some think that our school spirit would never be as strong as last year, school on Thursday had many seeing double. Why? Twin day. Not only did kids twin with students in other grades, there were students twinning with teachers, a true testament to our integrated community. With our spirit back on track, students raided their closets Friday morning in search of their favorite blue and orange Latin apparel. As sophomore Chloe Ferguson remarked, “My favorite dress-up day is spirit Friday because it makes the environment at school feel like a family.” In order to urge the entire student body to show their spirit, we need to choose days that compel students to dress up. Being told to wear a certain color just does not have the same appeal as being told it is socially acceptable to wear plaid on plaid or a favorite athletic jersey.

In addition to dress-up days, there is always a pep-rally held in the gym to support our own fall sports teams. It was exciting to see all of the teams share their successes for more than just a quick couple of seconds at a gathering. While we watched freshman magically appear out of volleyball carts and cheered for our grade representatives during the bubble gum chewing contest, it was apparent that everyone—whether they had been here for fourteen seconds or fourteen years, as Mr. Graf likes to say—loves our school. And, let’s be honest, a pep rally definitely beats having to sit through an extra class at the end of a Friday.

So, this brings us back to the question of how our spirit this year stacks up to last year. When asked what she thought of this year’s events, sophomore Natalie Yandell admitted that “it is hard to top last year’s enthusiasm” but that she still thought that school spirit radiated from each and every student. Classmate Chloe Ferguson adds that students are still on a “spirit high” from last year’s ceremonies and have continued on with the all things blue and orange mentality.

 It isn’t every year that we have an excuse to hold a celebration like Latin’s 125th anniversary, but that does not necessarily mean that we cannot have the same spirit. While pep rallies and parades and sporting events certainly amplify school spirit, spirit originates from a student’s love for their school and community.