Saturday, April 19, 2008

Get Some Pep in Your Step!

The High School Pep Rally. A spirited practice, which harkens back to the turn of the Last Century and Beyond. Our Humble High School does three per year--to celebrate, natch, the Fall, Winter and Spring sports teams. PRs at OHHS have pretty much turned into good excuses to (a) Leave School Early or (b) Work on Yearbook Proofs.
The PR tradition actually started during college homecoming weeks Back in the Day. Baylor (we're legacies), Mizzou (we're alums) and Illinois (we road-tripped to the lovely Champaign-Urbana campus for a football game one fall weekend but recall the frat parties more than the football game) all claim to have had the first Homecomings, and hence the first "Pep" or "Spirit" rallies. As the 20th-Century flew by, these quaint customs trickled down to the high schools of Our Great Land. Now, with so many Cynical Cherubs among us, these traditions have become wildly anachronistic. Let Us Explain.

Yesterday, our spring pep rally was scheduled for 1:30 in the stadium. School lets out at 2:10. Teachers were instructed to take their classes to the stadium, which faces west. We suppose that Principal Man and others expected 2,300+ cherubs--median age 16, remember--to sit reasonably still on a Friday afternoon in the stands, while a bright spring sun glared in their eyes and unseasonably warm temps (85 degrees) roasted them, all the while watching the antics of various "spirited" team and student government types on the field. Many decided that home was the place to go. We watched from our Journalism Suite windows--which overlook the student parking lot--as a Frantically Unprepared Security Man, posted on foot in the middle of broiling asphalt designed to hold about 300 student jalopies, tried in vain to shoo a Huge Hormonal Herd back to the stadium to root for their teams.

Hillarity ensued. As FUSM radioed for backup and turned to usher one group of Fleeing Cherubs back to the pep rally, another group, beyond his peripheral vision, dashed across the parking lot on the other side. Several Brazen Young Men, knowing they had more than a leg up on FUSM, just did the 50-yard dash right by him, knowing that the poor man--not being very Fleet of Foot--would never be able to flag them down. We didn't have time, unfortunately, to snap a pic of FUSM and the Student Shenanigans, but the shot above illustrates just what a Prodigious Task he faced, and the number of cars that had disappeared from the lot by 1:35. We later learned from one of our Intrepid Journalistas, who dipped out of the rally when it got just Too Darn Hot and the prospect of Correcting Yearbook Proofs seemed more appetizing, that the rest of the 2,300+ kiddos trapped at the Forced Festivities elected to stand, en masse, at about 1:50 pm. They decided that enough was enough, and not even the cutie-cute cheerleaders were interesting anymore. No Adult in Charge attempted to stop the Mass Exodus. We've got spirit, yes we do. We've got spirit, how 'bout you?

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