Irreplaceable, not Inferior

Student describes competition between athletics, other activities

Charley Thomas, Publication Editor

Regardless of personal opinion, it’s pretty safe to say that in general, high school students place athletic activities on a pedestal, leaving little — or at least less — room for those who prefer to spend their time participating in the arts or academic clubs.

Think about it — how often does your group of friends meet up to go to this week’s orchestra concert, improv show or debate?

Junior Emma Niederhauser describes the subtle judgment and other caveats that sometimes come with being involved in activities that often land in second place when competing against sports for student attention and appreciation.

“I’ve had some weird looks as far as performing, like when you’re on stage singing or when you’re dancing [in show choir] especially when it’s the forced performances by the school during assemblies,” she said.

Although Niederhauser doesn’t place blame on anybody for wanting to attend football or basketball games over concerts, she believes the main cause for the smaller number of student spectators at musical or theatrical performances doesn’t have to do with the event itself.

“I feel like half of the reason why fewer people go to the arts side of events in school is because they just don’t know what’s happening,” she said.

In addition to participating in choir, Niederhauser is a member of one of BV’s publication staffs, which she describes as taking much more work than meets the eye.

“As far as yearbook goes, no one really knows what goes on behind the scenes,” she said. “They just get the book at the end of the year, but they don’t realize it’s a year-long class. We’re working, [and] we have deadlines. We’re creating this whole book for them, and it doesn’t really get recognition.”

Niederhauser also pointed out that the key difference between athletic and nonathletic activities is not the amount of work put in, nor the positive attributes required for success, but rather the amount of spotlight received.

“It takes effort, it takes talent, it takes time and dedication,” she said. “It’s just fewer people seeing the result of all of that work because most of the attention goes to sports.”

Furthermore, Niederhauser reiterates the similarities between sports and academic, musical and theatrical clubs, once again stressing the idea that both categories demand great cooperation skills.

“Everybody is a part of a team, whether you’re in choir, yearbook, newspaper, the play or whatever you’re doing,” she said. “There’s a team there.”

Niederhauser believes it would prove beneficial to the BV community for people of various interests and talents to go out and see each other compete or perform, and that by doing this, we might all be able to gain a little more appreciation for our fellow Tigers.

“I think everyone in the school should go to each other’s events, no matter what it is,” she said. “Whether it’s a sport, a play, a choir concert or something else going on, I think we should all support each other, go to all different sides of things and experience it for ourselves instead of just saying, ‘Oh that’s inferior.’”