By Eli Haims
With 40 seconds left on the clock and 80 yards to go, the Wolverine football team was down by three points. Thirty seconds later, the ball was at the two yard line, with just enough time for two plays. An unsuccessful touchdown attempt was made.
With a few seconds left, the kicker ran onto the field and lined up for the kick. The crowd was so loud that you couldn’t hear the person right next to you talking. The kick went wide and the crowd went silent.
A few seconds later, a Harvard-Westlake student yelled, quite proud of himself, “I called it! I knew they would lose!” with a grin across his face.
This is the last thing that anyone would have wanted to hear after watching our team come so close to winning in the final seconds of the game.
Homecoming and spirit week were filled with school pride. From the sea of red Fanatics shirt Saturday night to the growing crowd of students standing next to the field hoping for a victory at the end of the game, the aura was felt everywhere.
We were proud to be members of the Harvard-Westlake community and we showed it.
Yet, in the midst of this, one person demanded to be different, placing his own prediction for the game above the pride that he should have felt for his school. Yes, most people were quieted at the end of the game, but it is not the silence that I remember, it is the one person shouting “I knew they would lose.”
We are given the chance to go to one of the best schools in the country, but too often we hear people complaining about something they don’t like about our school. Take a minute to step back and look at all of the great things that we are given and have achieved.
We do remarkable things; our girls’ basketball team is the best in the state, dozens of students are National Merit semifinalists and we have some of the best debaters in the country.
We should be proud of our accomplishments, not obnoxiously pointing out minute deficiencies that we can’t fix. Everything has its flaws, it is just a fact of life, but that is not a reason to emphasize them.
In some cases, pointing out a shortcoming of our school could serve as a way to improve the community, but being happy that you predicted that the football team would lose doesn’t provide any constructive criticism; it is just critical. If you see a problem and think it can be fixed, talk about it, for you never know what could come of it. But if you are complaining for the sake of complaining, realize everything good that we are given.
Take some pride in our school.
At the Harvard-Westlake Model United Nations conference a few weeks ago, one girl commented that she would have loved to have the chance to go here.
It is a problem when someone from a different school thinks more highly of our school than we often do.
Listen for someone talking about how much they dislike a teacher or for someone complaining about how a team had played so horribly the previous day next time you’re walking through the quad.
Keep this in mind: when you criticize our school, you are giving other people, especially if they are from a different school, permission to say what they wish about our schoool.