Madness versus Pride

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 “Wildcats, Mustangs, and drama. Oh my!” School rivalry is a big part of high school life whether people like to admit it or not; especially in school spirit, sports games, and test scores. One school wishes to be better than the other and the question has been which is better and what makes it a better school.
Ralston Valley High School, believe themselves to be our rival and our better when the fact is Pomona is our main rival. RV views us as their rival and their hated enemy. They see themselves as the faster, stronger, smarter, and better school compared to Arvada West High School, but to a student who has attended both, the thought that RV is better is a thought that is hard to grasp.
I attended RV for my freshmen, sophomore, and half of my junior year. The activities at RV that should be encouraged are the complete opposite of what activities that are encouraged. The first and biggest problem was the egocentric pride the school took in its sports teams, especially the football team. The entire first semester revolved around football and the players. They were treated as actual professional players; teachers laughed at their jokes and allowed them to disrupt the class. One class they were allowed to (Insert specific story–use details.) They became the most popular people on the planet and the games, oh the games, were crazy. They were celebrated as if they were holidays, with the crowds roaring with excitement, which is a great thing for a sporting event, but only if it stays at the stadium. It should never follow the crowds back to the school. The day after the game, the celebration still went on. The entire student body made someone feel like an outsider if they missed the game.
The second problem with RV was the pride they took in their CSAP scores and college statistics. Ralston Valley’s graduation rate from college is 25%, 5% more than the graduation rate here at A-West. (Statistic from 2002) Do those statistics mean that RV has more intelligent students than Arvada West? Not really. Of course there are some extremely intelligent kids at RV, I happen to know a few myself, but the biggest factor in that statistic is that the parents of most students tend to have a lot of money. Money that can be used to pay for for a college education and if the student flunks out, the parents can pay for their student to attend a different college.
The third flaw was the classes.The easiest ways to tell what was wrong with the classes would be to say that it was the teachers at fault, but that is not true at all. RV has some excellent, fun, and energetic teachers who are great at their job of teaching. However that is all they do, teach. Once in a blue moon, a student would end up with a teacher they could really connect with and talk to the teacher as if the were another person and not just an instructor. They would help students prepare for the world through education while giving them pointers that they could use for the rest of their life. But like I said, that was once in awhile. Usually they just taught the class. Which is what they are payed for, but students are just teens, they have problems, issues, and it would be really helpful if a teacher would take time and give them some advice instead of just giving a two hour lecture on how to find the epicenter of an earthquake.
Unlike at RV the teachers here at Arvada West are both teachers and people. My very first day here something happened that never happened at RV: I was inspired to better my life in both my school work and outside life. The first block I had with my history teacher Don Wahl was an entire lecture on study habits; filled with stories of students he knew who bettered themselves through the use of effective study habits. Statistics and numbers were thrown at my face that actually meant something to me. Because of that lecture a whole new window of opportunity open for me. I now have a set plan for my school life and ways to insure my grades improve. All this happened in just one day of class. The fourth and final thing that I see wrong with Ralston is the student body. Like I had stated earlier they were judgemental and a few of them bullied. It  was not just the sports players and jocks as many movies and television shows have the general public believe. All the jocks did was disrupt class. It was the students who had nothing going for them or the ones that got the best grades that did the bullying. They thought of themselves as the superior students because, some statistics told them, they were more likely to graduate. Because of these statistics, they looked down at other schools and even to other students at their own school. These students were also the ones cased the most drama. I know drama is at every school in the world, but these kids just made drama for the sake of drama. They seemed to be so bored with school that they had to find new ways to make life harder for themselves and others just for kicks. It was hectic; it spread from one group to the next like a virus. People would complain about what was wrong in their lives and try to get others to fix it when everyone knew that the drama was self inflicted. I guess I have not been at A-West long enough to jump to conclusions and say that the students here avoid making unnecessary  drama, but if they do tend to make drama, it is very hard to notice when they do. Another posivtive aspect that has been seen here at A-West is that the teachers seem to have a much better connection with their students. They laugh and joke with one another and the classes are interesting and keep student engaged in the lesson. A example of this I saw was in my physics class with Clifton Bluhm. He took his time and made interesting tools to demonstrate physics. He made physics make sense and, metaphorically, blew my mind with science. I paid attention in science class and never became bored.
Something that puts A-West ahead of RV is the fact that it is located in an area where a student can go somewhere instead of being in the middle of nowhere. Kids can get a meal at a store or a fast food restaurant instead of having what the school chose as the lunch for that day. After only a few days here at Arvada West High School, it makes someone regret going to Ralston Valley in the first place. So what if they have a higher college graduation rate than A-West, but here at A-West,students are not only learning for the educational parts of life, but the rest of it too. So in conclusion it is better to have purple pride than to have ‘mustang madness.’

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