Bryce Wilson: Letter to the Editor

Editorial Board,

I have to say that when I read the editorial, I immediately felt kind of insulted and frankly, very disappointed. The fact that anyone in our school could have such little respect (or if it’s not that, ignorance) of non-sport activities, seeing as debate/forensics only got a brief mention and the other fine arts, which our school excels at much more than any sport, didn’t even get mentioned really doesn’t give me much hope in the mindset of these three-sport athletes. Added to that, the phrase “three sport athletes” (as in three athletes that play sports because there’s no hyphen), is more than a little concerning to think about. I mean, I sure hope the whole school doesn’t actually rely on three athletes, as I like to think I’m at least somewhat significant, but grammatical errors are forgivable and I, and I’m sure the others readers, knew exactly what the editors meant.

In the editorial, the argument is made that everyone should stop being selfish and sign up for three sports, even if they’re not good at them, and that it would benefit the school as a whole; this is obviously a baseless argument. I know this mainly because, to be honest, if I signed up for basketball, I’m confident it would be detrimental to the school as a whole, and anyone who’s ever seen me attempt to shoot some hoops can attest to that. There’s no doubt that there are others who are exceptionally awful at basketball, and other sports for that matter, but I guess we all have to sign up for it now, right? It’s for the good of the school, after all. I’m sure a school that can’t afford to pay a debate/forensics aid can definitely afford all 150 students signing up for basketball. What could go wrong?

And as for the debate/forensics argument; the editorial argued that those who sign up for forensics but not debate are also selfish, and if you do both debate and forensics, the skills you learned in debate will help you in forensics. While this is true for the public speaking aspect of the activities, it has almost no carryover for the vast majority of acting events. The only events that truly take advantage of the quick thinking and composition skills gained from debate are the speaking events. This means that the acting forensicators, which represent about two-thirds of the team, don’t really gain anything and would not benefit much from debate (a statement Betsy agrees with).

Oh boy, here’s the fun part. The benefits presented for participating in three sports include better “grades, attendance, and behavior”. Honestly, I can’t see any evidence being presented here. I understand that sports encourage people to be eligible, but there’s a difference between being “eligible” and being a good student. I can guarantee that if most of these three-sport athletes see an F in their grade-book, they don’t think, “Man, I should turn my grades around.”, they think, “Shoot, I gotta get that F up to a D- so I can play!” This teaches these people that doing the absolute minimum effort required is acceptable. Now, I understand that some people may only be able to get Ds and Cs with their best effort, and that’s fine. What’s not acceptable is someone thinking it’s OK to do basically no work and get a bad grade when they are so much more capable. People who don’t care about school have poor grades, attendance, and behavior habitually. Participating in more sports isn’t going to fix that, and could actually take away critical time that they could’ve spent improving themselves as a student.

Oh yeah, the question at the end. “Would you rather look back at high school and regret doing these extracurricular activities, or regret not doing them?” Um… how ’bout none of the above? Personally, I’d like to not regret anything about the activities I participated in. I would like to look back at my high school years and go, “Yes, I participated in everything that I enjoyed and am glad I went to a school that gave me the opportunity to do so.” I hope others feel the same about this amazing school as well.

Sincerely,

Bryce Wilson