Greasey Thoughts

Don’t get me wrong. I thoroughly enjoyed the BSS-UCC production of “Grease.” The students did a great job of singing and dancing, and by the end of the night, many of us were tapping our toes and pining for “Happy Days.”

But they weren’t necessarily better days. Hidden behind the pink ladies and the greasers, the audience found more than just boy meets girl in the middle of adolescent awkwardness. There is something very dark going on there at Rydell High. The intellectual is, as always it seems, the object of ridicule, and the innocent is alone and alienated until she compromises her values.

Once Sandy succumbs to peer pressure —  once she realizes it’s more important to meet Danny’s expectations than her own — then she is able to don the black outfit and command centre stage. Once that decision is made, Sandy not only fits in, she is celebrated.

But something in me thinks that Sandy’s metamorphosis — and the joy with which it is greeted – should give all of us who know and care about high school boys and girls reason to pause.

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One Response to “Greasey Thoughts”

  1. Joan Sweet Says:

    Dear Jim,
    Although I have not seen Grease, I understand the dilemma you pose. Everyone would like to feel accepted, most also would like to feel needed and it is frequently difficult for the “intellectual” to achieve this without compromise. The “intellectual” has to be recognized as being just as cool as the socially popular individual.
    However, what about the popular boy, what about the athlete? Is the boy who has achieved recognition at school as being socially popular or an athlete also expected to perform at his personal best academically? The coach makes significant demands on team members and each boy on a team is expected to show a significant level of committment and consequently grows from this experience. There is team pressure and coach pressure to do well and each boy gains confidnce and self esteem.
    Can this parallel be made to the pursuit of knowledge at UCC? Is each boy given the obligation to strive to do his personal best academically? Is there a school culture that promotes every individual to find some area of academic excellence and to pursue it at a level commensurate with his talent? Is there peer support for this?
    Of course boys are goal oriented and strive to perform for tests and assignments but do we have a barometer of whether the results we see at these benchmarks are truly a reflection of how well the boys are capabable of performing? Can UCC strive to promote academic excellence as a core value that is nurtured in every boy?

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