Success in the Academic Arena

6 May

Last night, we attended the academic banquet at my stepdaughter’s school, where she and some of her friends were honored. It was a great event that celebrated their achievements in the classroom. As the students walked up to receive their awards, they were lauded with great applause. Everyone was proud. The students. The parents. This crusty old stepfather.

As we drove home, I began thinking that kids who do well in school deserve more nights like this. While they get one night in the spotlight, our athletic teams get a bunch of them. I understand that it is often the same people doing both, and I am not trying to stereotype athletes. I am saying that we should place more emphasis on academic achievement than we do athletic achievement.

I am as guilty as anyone. We have season tickets to the Tennessee Titans and the Tennessee Volunteers. I yell when they win, and I am mad when they lose. I follow the recruitment of high school kids to play football, and I want to know how many stars they have. Therefore, I am hypocritical when I write about this subject.Arena

This subject can also take me down a rabbit hole. Despite my fandom, I have always cringed when someone uses the term “Coach” like an esteemed title. I have also cringed when a coach has talked about how they are training young people in the game of life. It is like those who have never played sports are not being prepared properly and are somewhat less of a person.

Anyway, I am not going down that rabbit hole. I am not going to write about how many people think sports are more important than they really are. We root for them, but it is only another form of entertainment.

The truly important things happen in the classroom, and I congratulate all of those who excel in that arena. It may not seat hundreds or thousands of people, but it is the arena that counts.

 

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9 Responses to “Success in the Academic Arena”

  1. Marilyn Armstrong May 6, 2015 at 17:06 #

    I came late to sports. But you know? It’s okay. Life is full of problems and worries. Involvement in sports as a fan or amateur player is a way to get out of yourself and care about something that maybe doesn’t matter. Sometimes, I wonder what actually DOES matter. So much of what we deem “important” in the end isn’t really.

    • Rick May 6, 2015 at 17:24 #

      It is definitely a way to escape from the things that are important. Unfortunately, many people, of which I am probably one, think it is the most important.

      • Marilyn Armstrong May 6, 2015 at 17:39 #

        Garry too, though with the Sox such a mess, he’s trying to distance himself before it makes him crazy.

  2. sittingpugs May 6, 2015 at 18:37 #

    It’s interesting that athletic achievement is recognized without the athlete having to bat an eyelash — other than to excel physiologically. A 21st century student may receive the attention of the school paper, the local paper, and connected social media platforms, but if she wanted the equivalent of community “pep rallies” or some other form of the Heisman Trophy, there’d be a lot self-promotion? Self-application?

    If that makes sense.

    • Rick May 6, 2015 at 18:40 #

      It makes sense. It is interesting that we celebrate one and virtually ignore the other.

  3. Pam Tomlinson May 6, 2015 at 22:00 #

    Amen brother Rick. I’ve been saying this for years.

    Pam

    >

    • Rick May 6, 2015 at 22:20 #

      I am glad that you agree.

  4. Bantering Ram May 7, 2015 at 08:06 #

    I agree with you.

    Sports is not just entertainment though. It’s a manifestation of health and appeals to our primal instinct for survival through physical wellbeing. Probably why we put sports achievements on a pedestal, more often than we do others.

    • Rick May 7, 2015 at 13:12 #

      That’s true. Humans have always admired those who could perform physical feats. I guess it does go back to something in our past.

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