Thursday, January 10, 2008

Blogaday 12 of 20

Day 12. That's a pretty big number.

Tonight is setback number one for my new plan to fix my sleeping habits. It's currently 2:27 AM. That's late. It's not what I wanted, but it's where I'm left because of the choices that I made today. I just spent a long time watching Michael play half life. Incredible game really. Me and Michael are really good at backing each other up on video games. We spent 40 hours playing Kotor together over the labor day break a while ago. It's a single player game, but we'd both always be there. We'd always back up with suggestions, reminders to save the game, and any ideas when we got stuck. It really was quite an adventure. It's time consuming, but it's got to count at least a little bit for bonding, right?

I had a plan for a post tonight, but throughout the evening I've grown less and less fond of that idea for this evening. I still like the idea, and will probably still use it soon, but I've got something else in mind. Because of time constraints, and just because of how I'm feeling, we're going in a different direction. The ideas I want to talk about tonight aren't really new. If one is willing to dig deep enough, they could actually find references to them in a post a little less than a year ago. But I really only briefly brushed them back then, so I want to revisit them. Just like old times, take this post for what it's worth. It's blogaday. I'm going to say some stuff, and if you don't like it, well, it's blogaday, get over it. Hooray!

So I've been thinking a bit about school spirit again. What is school spirit, really? I think, loosely defined, that it's loyalty to one's school, and the desire to see it succeed. I don't know what the level of school spirit is at Tville right now. It could be up, it could be down. That's not necessarily the question.

But I've got an idea how it could be raised. But really, we don't even have to talk about school spirit right now. Let's forget we even started out with that. We're going to come at this from another angle.

As a student, I've noticed a deficiency at the school. I point this deficiency out as a participant and part of the problem. I am affected by this deficiency though, so I'm totally just going for it.

The school lacks communication. I have never once watched an entire episode of TVTV. I was enrolled in the class for a day. I had two brothers that worked on TVTV for multiple years they were at the school. I've got lots of good friends in the class. I've never seen a full episode. I saw a bit of when they showed the cross country team last year. And I remember that our sophomore year they had one really cool intro with the action figures and stop motion animation. Other than that, I've got nothing.

I've heard the announcements, in their entirety, maybe four times over the intercom. The 'com is just too quiet and the classrooms just too loud.

I do read the newspaper, more or less. I've even written for the newspaper once or twice. I do sometimes read the fliers on the walls, as I've been responsible for a few of them. I check the school calendar online when I need to know the date for something. It's not like I'm ignoring the admins here.

But the fact remains that I am not receiving the information that the administration is trying to hit me with. I fully believe that the administration recognizes this. We find ourselves in a pickle.

What will communication do for a school? Here we can introduce school spirit. I think that all esteem, be it self esteem or this whole school spirit business, is based upon achievement. I know that that's not all of it, but we can feel good about ourselves when we do good things. Likewise, we can feel good about ourselves as a school when we pull great stuff off. If our football team takes state, we're obviously going to feel good about ourselves.

But what if the football team takes state and nobody at the school hears about it? What if the football team didn't even know it? It happened, but we didn't hear it. Would that make us feel good about ourselves? Nah, I don't think it would have. Somewhere in the universe, something has been affected by us winning state. But at the school, nothing has changed.

Without communication, even when we're doing good things, like our monumental food drives in the past or our cancer initiative this year, if we can't hear about them, we can't feel good about it. Simply knowing that we exist, knowing that we're breathing and moving along would make us feel good. Right now I don't even know if we know that much.

The problem is compounded though. We are already pulling off great things, that's true, but how do we go about pulling off more great things? The way I see it is that in order to do anything great, we'd need the backing of the whole student body. If not the whole, than at least a significant portion. And how are we to rally the whole student body behind us if the whole student body has no idea we're attempting something great? If we can't communicate with them, we'll never be able to harness their power.

So we've got a communication problem. That problem is making us run less effectively as a school, it's keeping us from enjoying our existing successes, and it's preventing us from having significantly more successes.

So, in theory, if we could eliminate this problem, we'd run more effectively, we'd be happier as a student body, and we'd be able to pull off amazing things. This is kind of a big deal here.

And once again, I know that I've got no official power over at the school. I am writing this as an observer, as one who goes to school there. This isn't an open letter to the principal, unless the principal happens to read my blog or somebody prints it and hands it to him. This is just what I've been thinking about.

If one were to fix the communication problem, how would they go about doing it? The way I see it, our current system is broken. It is clearly not working, at least not for me. We have 20 minutes a day dedicated to channel one and TVTV. Government on A days doesn't watch because Mclerin says the TV doesn't get it. I'm pretty sure he knows that we're getting it, but that he's making sure it's not turning on. It turned on today, and we turned it off. We don't want to watch it. On B days we usually let the TV run, yeah, but nobody's listening. Even if somebody did want to listen, they wouldn't be able to for the noise. It's ineffective.

So change is obviously in order. I think if the administration is really going to fix this problem, they need to start enforcing channel one and TVTV. It seems to me as if the teachers don't care. They're not making us watch, and so we're not watching. If we were compelled to be quiet and to watch, we'd learn something from it. We'd hear the announcements. It'd be a wonderful thing.

That's one step, but I don't know if it'd be enough. If one were to truly mobilize the student body to do great things, we'd have to go further. It's a new day and age, and we might as well keep up with it. The student officers have already adopted mass texts as means of getting announcements out. I applaud this. I learned about the senior baby pictures today. I hadn't heard a thing about them before, but I got a "reminder" tonight, and so I'm going to go for it. I appreciate that the students have started using technology to make their lives easier and my life better. As a whole, I think the school ought to go that direction.

As much as I despise myspace, how much of the school is on the nefarious network? I understand that you wouldn't reach 100 percent of the population. It might actually be closer to 20 percent, but still, that's 20 more percent than you're getting right now. Assign the historian to maintain a High School myspace account. She can seek out all the students and friend them and pepper them with reminders and bulletins and other good stuff. All the sudden we'd have kids that could communicate back with the school now, too. If they want to come by and say that we suck, well, they're more than welcome to do that. It's 20 percent more of the population you're getting.

I know this is coming just because of the way that I am, but could I please sign up to get the announcements emailed to my inbox? I can't hear a word Horton says, but I'll read anything that comes by the box. It'd be incredibly easy to set up. Yeah, you'd have to have one person type the announcements all up one day, but isn't that already happening? People submit their email addresses and a mass email is sent out to those who want it. We get the information without them expending much energy. It'd be more percentage of the population. We're currently not reaching them, so anything is a good step forward.

Once again, another one from my sphere, but why can't somebody maintain a school blog? If we alerted the students to its presence and set the school computers to have it as the homepage, it could work. It'd be a great project for a web design class or the newspaper. Maintaining a professional blog is becoming a real profession, and it'd be an easy stone to kill two birds with. Teach some kids something, and get the information out to the masses. One could post announcements, recaps of sporting events, anything that's relevant. Yeah, we wouldn't hit the whole population, but at least I'd know what's going on.

One thing that goes along with all of this is the need for the announcements and TVTV to be cleaned up. The announcements, so far, have never proven themselves worth listening to. I think that's one reason none of us actually do listen. I think a lot of air time on that PA system is wasted. There are some announcements that need to be aired, but some announcements that don't need to be. If there's an announcement that's only going to affect three people, maybe it'd be better to send them little office notes instead of turning off the whole student body from the announcements. I think that if TVTV was freaking awesome, more of us would watch. I honestly don't know the quality of the show, I haven't seen anything for two years. But I bet if it was incredible, we'd watch.

I just think that before we can tackle any other issues at the school, we need to fix this communication plug. It goes back to the fundamental theory I've been working with for the last really long time. The more information one has, the better able that individual is to make good choices. Good choices leads to a better life, and therefore, more information leads to a better life.

We're not getting any information down here at the student level. There is much that can be done, very easily, to increase the amount of information that we're getting. I believe that increasing the flow of information will make the school a much better place.

I do believe in the school, and I'm not complaining over here. I love it. I just want to point out that we've got a problem, and that we really ought to fix it. We have the tools already at our disposal. I think we ought to recognize the problem and smack it in the face.

The flow of information is incredibly important. Our world is becoming more and more reliant on that very flow of information. We will only continue on this pathway. Effective communication will save us. It's not that hard to pull off. Who's with me?


Nathan said...

I always thought communication was a problem when I was at Taylorsville, but never would have come up with the simple solutions you outlined. Particularly with mass emails and a school blog, these things can really be effective.

Anonymous said...

you have really good ideas. ideas none of us have thought of, and i really like them.

if you want the myspace thing to work, its got to be someone besides the historian. she is one of three of us without a myspace. but there is, in fact, a THS sbo myspace. only 4 of them have myspace though. but at the time of creation, all 7 of us did. but it is very uneffective. i feel it could be, but mr. curtis recently found out about it, and got upset because apparently we aren't allowed to disclose names or something.

the mass email thing is actually a genius idea though. i think i'm going to try and bring that up. i'd even be willing to be in charge of it. the inly problem is getting students to give us their email addresses.

but i agree with you whole heartedly about the communication gap at our school. i believe we have great potential to have a lot of spirit, and really do a lot of good. but there is only so much 7 of us can do.