The Californian

Hey Cal, where’s your enthusiasm?

Reporter searchers for school spirit

Junior+Emanuele+Manzone+catches+a+donut+in+his+mouth%2C+but+fails+to+catch+the+attention+of+the+crowd.%0A
Junior Emanuele Manzone catches a donut in his mouth, but fails to catch the attention of the crowd.

Junior Emanuele Manzone catches a donut in his mouth, but fails to catch the attention of the crowd.

Photo by Thomas Tsuchimoto

Photo by Thomas Tsuchimoto

Junior Emanuele Manzone catches a donut in his mouth, but fails to catch the attention of the crowd.

Josh Nichols, Staff Writer

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School spirit is missing. Maybe kidnapped, but certainly missing. 

School spirit is in need of an Amber Alert, or at least a well organized search party to go find it or whatever’s left of it. 

Simply put, students don’t care about school events. Rallies, football games and even *checks notes*… color runs? 

Despite leaderships’ best efforts, the bottom line is that people don’t care. So, obviously the question to be pondered is: Where has our school spirit gone? 

Surely there is some left. Or is there?  If so, where is it?

The most obvious place to begin my quest to find school spirit is at a rally, an event made to get the students amped up.   For many, the most exciting part of the rally was leaving it.  

It’s the exact same skits, cheer routines, and malfunctioning music during the song team’s performance. I’ve seen more people volunteer as tribute for the Hunger Games than volunteer to participate in rally games.

Combine this with the kind of weird underlying tension every time the National Anthem is played and no wonder I see so many students in the bleachers cramming for their next AP Euro test.  

My next destination to find school spirit was at the Friday night football game against Heritage High. But after the end of the first half, I found the bleachers were mostly empty because we were watching an absolutely blasphemous blowout of unexpected proportions. 

Gone were the cheering students, who wandered off to the parking lot to take basic, artsy photos for Instagram and hit their dab pens. 

So I bailed and continued looking for school spirit. 

Next was the second floor’s all-gender restroom, a dark void of anti-social nicotine addicts and extremely cringey couples looking for a not-so-private makeout spot, and of course the poor freshmen who wander in, only to immediately leave after seeing 40 people in the bathroom hanging out. 

But as I found out, I would be disappointed yet again. Instead of finding school spirit, I found myself being offered a hit from a Juul, to which I declined. I continued to question if maybe I was wrong. Did school spirit ever exist?

Somber and confused, I decided to head to a teacher who may have some “insider” knowledge as to where school spirit has gone. 

I met with Sheridan Kautzmann, a member of Cal High’s PE department, to gain a better perspective of why nobody has school spirt. 

“We as a school haven’t been focused on building community especially with the controversy over the past few years,”  said Kautzmann. “So there’s a disconnect between students, teachers, and admin, whether it’s at a sporting event or rally and even in clubs.”

So what do Cal’s own students think? 

“Rallies are so boring,” said sophomore Tayah Washington.

I pressed harder, asking where school spirit had gone.

“With the people who graduated,” Washington said with a laugh.

Well said, Tayah. Well said. 

Sophomore Bella Simi poured even more shade on Cal, stating that nobody cares about school events because “they’re about school.” 

She also said that there  may have not been school spirit in the first place. 

“The only people who have it are leadership kids and there are like 10 of them,” said Simi.

This made me think about my mission. Where can you find school spirit if there is no school spirit to begin with? 

Coming to this conclusion required a lot of deep thinking, but after a whole nine minutes of long, strenuous thought, I came to a conclusion: school spirit was never at Cal. 

People don’t care about school because it doesn’t make them excited. It isn’t some royally complex equation. 

People simply don’t like rallies and football games. 

So let me just say it: we don’t have any school spirit. Or to rephrase it for all of the  sophomore girls, “That’s just the tea, sis.” 

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Hey Cal, where’s your enthusiasm?