Reprinted from Chumps on Parade (November 1997)
When Mr. Slade addressed all of the classes at the beginning of the year, a big issue was City High’s image. He felt that City High’s image had been tarnished. Some problems he pointed out were students sitting in the halls, wearing hats, and listening to a walkman in the hall. All of these activities supposedly make City look bad, so he made everyone be confined to Cafeteria C during their free hours, where they could sit on the floor or listen to their headsets without being seen. Reluctantly students obeyed his wishes and the whole image thing was forgotten.
At least that is what everyone thought. On the 11th of Nov., Mr. Slade announced that students need to do a better job picking up their messes in the cafeteria because, “once again, this reflects poorly on the school’s image.” This came as no surprise to most several students, most of the people around me predicted that Mr. Slade would say that a dirty cafeteria reflected poorly on our image before he even mentioned it.
However, this article isn’t about Mr. Slade or our dirty cafeteria, which incidentally, is a problem that should be handled by the janitorial staff. This article is about City’s image. City has always been a school with a very good image. Most people know in Grand Rapids know that City is a school for the “gifted”, a school where the students are hard working and motivated.
City is still seen in a positive light by people in Grand Rapids. Every time I tell someone I go to City they are impressed. To them City brings up images of hard working, responsible students. I have never had a person say anything negative about City High. It seems that if sitting on the floors, listening to headsets, or any of these other activities were truly hurting City’s image I would have heard about it by now, as these activities have been going on for years. Not once have I had a person tell me, “City students are lazy, they all sit on the floor or listen to Walkmans at school.”
Maybe some students do sit on the floor and listen to walkmans, but does it really matter? Back when the students had blue mohawks or dressed like bums nobody tried to make them change. Their appearence certainly didn’t do anything positive for the school’s image. Until our test scores start slipping we shouldn’t be concerned with our image. As long as we maintain our position as the “best” students from an academic standpoint, we should be allowed special privileges. Even if that just means being able to listen to a walkman or sit in the halls with our friends.