Friday, March 7, 2008

Changing Times


I was getting rid of some memories the other day when I came across the cheer dance picture of one of the high school batches I was a publication moderator to. It reminded me of a few lines from Dodgeball, one of my toddler’s favorite movies (yes, she takes after her mother and is a fan of the game of “…degradation, violence and exclusion”).

In one of the scenes, Vince Vaughn’s character, Peter, helps Justin Long’s character, Justin get detached from a weight lift machine.

Peter: What are you doing with all that weight anyway? It's dangerous.
Justin: ...It'll be worth it when I make it to the cheerleading squad...
Peter: ...You wanna make it to the chearleading squad to prove to a girl that you are not a loser?
Justin: Yeah. Why?
Peter: Nothing. High school's changed since I was a kid.

Yes, I do remember those days when the cheering squad was only just a quarter step above the losers’ circle. No, I am not so old as to remember pom pom girls in long white pleated skirts and long-sleeved sweaters that made them look like medieval virgin maidens. I do however remember those days in my school when students were segregated into two mutually exclusive groups— the athletes and the cheerers. 

In my time, if a girl couldn’t suck it up and play hard ball, she’d have to cheer instead or fail physical education. It didn’t help that the administration banned all forms of props and costumes. There was nothing between our naked faces and the hissing crowd. Some of us geeky, introverted ones who couldn’t hit balls smaller than an elephant felt like we were culled from the elite (i.e. we felt like rejects). It also made us feel like illegal immigrants. The more enterprising among us, annually migrated to mouse holes to escape from mandatory cheering. I pretended every year to be sick with some unknown disease that was similar to the bubonic fever.

Since then, high school has indeed changed. Now, kids actually audition for the chance to dance, scream and roll over the gym floor. Some of them really do cry if they don’t make the cut. That’s just… (groping for words)…amazing!

I wonder what else will change in the high school of the future. I heard water girls and pick-that-ball boys are becoming all the rage.

21 comments:

  1. Yeah, I suppose high school does change. I mean, in my time - as if that was so many years ago, no one really bothered me for not being part of the cheering squad. Hehe.

    Oh, and I don't know, Ma'am G. Maybe you should Google Entertainment Weekly's Top 50 High School Films. :D

    And! I think props masters/mistresses will be the faces of the latest brand of cheerleading. :D Go props!

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  2. spoken like a true propsgirl. hehehe. cheering was really mandatory in our time. if you couldn't play you had to cheer and we didn't like to cheer cause the cheerers were the rejects.

    what's with the top 50 high school films?

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  3. Hey I'm in that pic! HA! WE KICKED THOSE SENIORS' BUTTS THAT DAY! Sigh, those were the days. Hi ma'am it's mary! I'm signed up here in blogger.com. Someday I'm gonna definitely blog in my account! hehe.
    I agree that times have changed. After watching the cheerleading championships and the halftime performances in basketball games, I realized that cheering isn't a stereotypical wussy sport for people on prozac, it's actually a sport full of athletes that can do unimaginable and death defying feats requiring constant practice, body conditioning, coordination...the works! They're like circus acts only they're taken more seriously in a competitive sense.
    Forget not joining because you might get labeled a reject, think about being tossed around 20 feet high in the air while making a triple twirl! NO WAY JOSE!

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  4. hi mary. welcome to blogger. yeah. i wish i were in high school in this era. my hs days were tough. i was pretty much a loser. hehehe

    i dare you to blog someday. maybe you can blog the stuff you've been writing in elert's class? :)

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  5. GAH! MA'AM! Exnay on the Elertnay! One of the very reasons I don't want to blog is because I fear he might read me! How embarrassing would that be? Plus, I invited him to read your blogs, I gave him your address and everythin, so no more about "that" stuff, Kay?

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  6. whaaaaaatttt? i'm sure he won't like the way i write and he will most likely blast my work IF he even condescends to make a visit.

    mary, mary, mary, haven't you ever heard about wrtiting incognito or under a pen name? i write under several pen names. i write for another site as a form of therapy for my depression and no one has ever found out about me. hehehe.

    seriously, you shouldn't have told elbert about me. i'm pretty sure, i'm waaaaaay below his divine standards. but i think he's a little busy and down in the dumps himself so i hope he will lose my blog url and get on with making comments on your work instead. :)

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  7. (snort) okay, I'm still trying to get past "divine standards". haha. Okay, granted he IS a lit and english teacher, but ma'am I fully believe even he would find the way you write more than just "pretty good". Divine standards in art sure, and yeah maybe in writing too, but puh-leeze. You would definitely meet those "divine standards" (snort).
    And he's not so down in the dumps all the time. It comes and goes (probably the artistic temperament)but he's generally a pretty upbeat guy. I never fail to laugh or crack a giggle when I see him. He's on my pedestal but he's pretty much human too. Anyway, I asked him to read your blogs so maybe he could give me an idea where to find you an agent. My fingers are crossed. Hopefully he didn't lose your URL. :-)

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  8. God forbid that he still has my URL

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  9. I'll remind him just in case. :-)

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  10. yeeeeeeeeesh. Haha. Hey mam have you given some though to writing a story i could draw into a comic?

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  11. yes i have but when it comes to stories, a lot of writers like me have to work in ideal circumstances. get what i mean? that's why accomplished writers take long vacations from their major work just so they can write. they get funding from major organizations so they don't have to work for a year or so. in my case, i may have to rely on husband funding. hehehe. honestly, i don't know when the "vacation" will happen for me. i think elbert is the type though who can work on so many things at one time (i read that from his blog). i'm just not the same type

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  12. Ma'am could we refer to him as the Platypus please? I am seriously not even willing to type down his name. Don't ask. And tell me about it. He really does make a living out of juggling several assignments at once plus having ample time to do his educating duties. He's mastered the art of multitask. He told me I could too, someday. I just have to practice and develop it. You could too. Well, I'll just hope you'll get struck with something. Write a short story, maybe a short metafiction about your college life. I could draw that. Let me know. :-)

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  13. this is not a simple case of multi tasking mary. you knew my work in KHS right? i practically held three positions and i was able to survive. i am a good multi tasker but the art of writing is just different. i have to be in a shell of my own for a long time to be able to come up with something good and significant. i don't think multi tasking is something i can use this on

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  14. Well, then he's mastered the art of efficiency then. He can come up with good works quickly and nicely. Efficiency is an important value a freelancer should have. But I guess artists need to work slowly with their muses and creative bubbles, too. I'm still hoping you get hit with something. To quote Emma Thompson in stranger than fiction: "Like anything worth writing, it came inexplicably and without method."
    Luck to you ma'am. Think 'bout it, It'd be real fun for me to draw something you wrote. What an honor that would be. :-)

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  15. gah! i have a bad feeling about my muses. i'm just like jv R. you know, always on the negative. i still hope though i come up with something before i turn 40!

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  16. It's never too late to pull a J.K. Rowling. ;-)

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  17. Social conformity... Kinda like drug addiction. You don't always wanna but you can't seem to survive without it.

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  18. About writing... Hmmm... Writing music is what I love doing. Blogging, Writing, and other arts are manifestations of emotion. Which ever way we decide to express ourselves it doesn't matter. As long as it most effectively communicates the workings within us or whatever we wanna express. The most beautiful work of art i can do is a certain song brought out to its full artistic potential by complimenting it with a video or a movie complimented with the right music.

    That's what i think bout writing and stuff. Cheerdances apply. But talking about the blog itself instead of commenting on comments, It smells kinda marxist "conflict theory" ish... Don't know.

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  19. thank you for dropping by cuttlefish. i'd have to think about your last statement... :)

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  20. whoa. i own the first and so far, the last comments.

    Two Points:
    1. About the list, Ma'am G, just reading the titles and the synopses is fun. :)

    2. The Platypus? Um. Okay. But welcome to Blogspot, Mary!

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