Friday, December 08, 2006

School Rallies

For reasons I won't go into, today's rally at school was apparently "the worst ever". We hold rallies right before lunch, and untold numbers of students chose to spend rally time in the cafeteria or the library rather than attend the rally. That should give you an idea of a common student attitude towards rallies.

In my day, rallies were fun. They were held at the end of the school day, yet we still attended. We enjoyed them. We participated.

I think that's part of the problem with the rallies at our school. The A-list students participate in the rallies, everyone else watches.

Here's something that happened at a rally when I was in high school. There's no way it could happen today--heads would roll, jobs would be lost, lawsuits would be filed. However, it was considered so harmless and entertaining that pictures of it were published in either our yearbook or our school newspaper (I think it was the yearbook).

A couple of male and female A-listers (sportos, cheerleaders, student council types) were called to the front of the rally for a kissing contest. The girls were blindfolded, and they had to try to figure out which sporto was kissing them. At the last moment, however, after they'd been blindfolded, the sportos were secreted away and replaced by our two male counselors--at the time probably in their 50s. It was they who ended up kissing the girls, and we roared in laughter. You should have seen the looks on the girls' faces after they'd guessed with sporto had kissed them, removed their blindfolds, and saw who it really was! The gym could have collapsed from the cheering and laughing.

To us, that was good, clean fun. I doubt the terms "sexual harassment" ever crossed anyone's mind on that day back in 1982-83. To us it was just funny, funny enough to be recorded for posterity in pictures.

I can't imagine a similar response today. Maybe that's why our rallies suck.

No, that's not true. We've had good rallies in the last couple years. One married couple (a teacher and a counselor) once donned ultra-padded sumo costumes and "wrestled" each other. Riotous! They were so padded up that they waddled more than walked, and when knocked over they needed help up--think about a turtle on its back, and that's what they were. Or some competitions--sitting on a skateboard, propelling yourself with toilet plungers in a class relay.

Things like that make rallies fun.

16 comments:

Dean Baird said...

I'm all for a free-market approach to the rallies. Put them at the end of the school day so those who want to attend can go and those who don't can leave school. (And why is it that all the teachers I talk to recall *their* rallies being at the end of the school day?)

Forced frivolity and forced school spirit are oxymoronic.

I understand that the library was packed; the cafeteria was well-attended, too. That's where I was stationed, and I use that term deliberately.

Maybe the point of each rally has to be reconsidered. Seems we're still on the Gebhardtian schedule of dance rallies (i.e., each rally is intended to drum up attendance for a particular dance).

So we have a rally to get the kids to buy tix to the dance, and when they show up, we don't let them dance the way they want to. Are we leading the horses to water and not letting them drink? If so, why lead them in the first place?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, that rally sucked.

el hongo said...

indeed, the rallies i recall as a student would definitely result in higher liability premiums these days. of course when one of Sac City's own VPs gets arrested with cocaine at cheap motel, there are bigger problems to solve.

Darren said...

I've not heard about the Sac City VP....

el hongo said...

sorry, i should have clarified. he is actually a Hiram Johnson (Sac City Unified) Vice Principal. Vernon Proctor was arrested at the Vagabond Inn and charged with cocaine possession.
http://www.kcra.com/news/10471200/detail.html?taf=sac

Anonymous said...

plus, you have tons of teenage guys turned on by those ridiculously slutty dances performed by rio's finest...

Scott McCall said...

I agree with anonymous and i wont hide my name. i might get major shit for sayin this, but he's right. i'v been to every rally since freshman year, and every rally has a performance by the cheerleaders. since my sophmore year, they chose the "prettiest" and "most open/popular" girls from the cheerleader squad to dance in the "song" group. both performances (more of the "song" dances than cheerleades) have sexaul movements in them MORE THAN OUR OWN DANCES. And Miller knows how bad the dances can get. For instance, yesterdays ralley consisted of the "song" dancers continuously kneeling down on their knees while shaking their breasts back and forth, and then doing it while standing up with their arms behind their backs. Cheerleaders did the same several times. both groups would bend over, grab an ancle, and slowly stand up while rubbing their legs and pushing out their chests.

How does that get past administration to be performed in front of the whole school? i can't say i really blame the girls only. cause their is a coreographer (spelling sucked) who teaches them all what do to and in what order. so she/he is mainly to blame, at least in my eyes. i know some of the girls on cheerleading and "song" and they can actually be the sweetest girls, so I cant call them all slutty and indencent. because some girls would never do anything with anyone. but the person who tells them to do those moves has to be blamed for the sexual performances/teases to the male students.

Coach Brown said...

Wow.

I can't see a kissing contest ever taking place at my high school. The liability for a harassment suit is wayyy too high, and it is quite frankly, not appropriate for a school official to kiss a student.

Too close if you ask me.

Darren said...

Coach, 24 years ago, we didn't worry about liability and such. And no one thought it indecent. It wasn't nasty, it was funny.

Apparently none of the parents thought it out of bounds, either, or we'd have heard about it.

But today? You're right. Never happen.

Anonymous said...

School rallies have always been aimed at promoting the elite kids while supposedly entertaining the rest. It was that way when I was in high school 30 years ago and it's that way now. The difference is that although there were always kids who would ditch the rallies, most kids hung around for the fear of become social pariahs. Plus, not every kid had the mobility and such that kids do now. They tried at my school to have rallies at the start of the day, delaying classes 30 minutes. The stated reason was to limit attendance, because our gym can't hold all the students, but I think the real reason was that kid had the option two years ago to leave during the rally, if they had their own cars, or to stay in class with a teacher. I must admit, I seldom go to these rallies and what I find strange is that the drill (dance) team and the cheerleaders do dances that along with a pole could provide a career path. Most of these groups go to regional camps and learn these "dances" and I really wonder at what point parents will stop thinking the grinding and bumping and simulated sexual activity will cease being "cute". Our adminstration did take steps to forbid cheerleaders from wearing their skirts to class on game day. It got to the point that they were tired of arguing with parents over writing up kids on dress code for short skirts when they were longer than the cheerleaders! As for history, I was a band geek and I tried to dodge as many pep rallies as I could. By sitting in the back and raising my stand high enough, I could get out before the final fight song.

Natalie said...

scott mccall--anonymous is a girl :)

sorry--i forgot to sign in.

Anonymous said...

I do find it strange how the administration allows some of the dancing by the cheerleaders/song at the rallies, but then gets so strict about the dancing at the dances.

Chris said...

All of these are reasons to discourage cheeleaders and promote faux robotic nerds to perform!

George said...

"what I find strange is that the drill (dance) team and the cheerleaders do dances that along with a pole could provide a career path."

Classic. I agree! I used to avoid rallies for this reason. Now they are mandatory and I usually avert my eyes or hide by the side of the bleachers.

Holly said...

"Coach, 24 years ago, we didn't worry about liability and such. And no one thought it indecent. It wasn't nasty, it was funny."

I think the reason no one worried about liability was because inappropriate contact like this between students and authority figures (teachers, priests, etc) was totally swept under the rug. No one discussed it! No one realized how widespread it was (and therefore how not funny it is). I bet if you found out your new neighbor had once been convicted of a sex crime, you'd have a sign on your front lawn demanding he or she leave. We've been living with these people all along; the only difference is that their names are posted on a Web site letting us know about it.

But on the subject at hand--rallies--I don't understand this business of having a choice NOT to attend. What is that?!? Whether we're students or grown-ups, we all have to do things we don't really want to. I go to meetings all the time that I don't need to be in because showing face is important. And so is keeping track of these kids at all times during the school day. Why introduce an opportunity for them to skip out or screw around? Just stick 'em all in one place & hope the hall monitors catch the ones who try to escape (or do we not have hall monitors anymore either?). The kids who sneak off will get caught eventually.

I was happy yet unpopular in school, but I nevertheless went to the obligatory backslapping sessions for the beautiful people. Kids just shouldn't have choices like this in high school. It's 30 minutes, for God's sake. If they can't learn to paste on a smile and pretend to be respectful for 30 minutes, what functional hope do they have?

Darren said...

Holly, comparing what I described to sex offenders is way off base. What we saw wasn't "secret"--it occurred right in front of us, and in pictures! Given our standards, the standards of the day, it wasn't considered indecent. Molestation would have been considered indecent, even then.

As for requiring students to attend rallies--"mandatory fun" kind of defeats the purpose, don't you think? As for smiling and being respectful, they do that in their regular classes :-)