Sunday, August 26, 2012

Why Whitworth?


Because at Whitworth everyone is embraced, no matter what color, gender, religion or political view they are. As a Whitworthian you will not be discriminated against because of who you love, where you come from, or how much money you have. 

Only at Whitworth will you see professors playing frisbee after class with their students or longboarding across campus. Here you’ll discover the importance of catching a pinecone and traditiation. At Whitworth you’ll be challenged everyday to learn about yourself and what you believe in. You’ll drink coffee with your professors and befriend the President on Facebook.

At Whitworth, not only will you get an education of the mind, but one of the heart as well. You’ll have inside jokes with the lunch ladies and know the “love language” of all the campus security officers. At Whitworth you’ll create bonds that will last a life time. 
Here you’ll surround yourself with love, learning and beauty. Because not only are the people here good-looking, they have beautiful souls as well. 

If you come to Whitworth, you won’t have to worry about being judged, because everyone- to some degree - believes what you do. And if they don’t, they’ll be willing to open their minds to new ideas and experiences, because at Whitworth diversity is something that we embrace and cherish. Here you will become part of a community that you’ll never want to leave. But don’t worry, because “Once a Whitworthian, always a Whitworthian.” 

Here you’ll learn about blatting and transcending, yourself and the world around you. You’ll run from Zombies and soak people with water bottles. You’ll grow in the knowledge of who you are, and become who you want to be. Because when you come to Whitworth, you come home.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

To My Someday Cheer Squad:


One of my goals in life is to be a cheer coach. Cheerleading was very important to me, and I think that it's important to share what I love with other people who appreciate it as well. However, I'm going to be hard as nails coach because I want my team to be amazing. So I figured out rules for the cheer squad I hope to coach.

  • There will be one week at the beginning of every season where everything will be in a “grace period” so corrections will be given without consequence and hopefully applied. 
  • After that week, you get one warning. If I say point your toes more than once, you run. If I say tighten up more than once, you run. 
  • Hair may be dyed natural colors only. Highlights of unnatural colors may be permitted as long as they do not clash with the uniform and are maintained. This will be on a case by case basis. 
  • If your bangs prevent me from making eye contact with you, there’s a problem and you will be asked to fix it.
  • High ponies are the official hair style of cheerleading for a reason. The only time you do not follow this rule is if you cut all your hair off and style it into a bob. 
  • Full uniforms or warmups will be worn at all times during competition. However, you may change out of your shoes after performing. 
  • No practice wear, no practice. 
  • If you soffe shorts are part of the practice wear please do the world a favor and put spandex on underneath. 
  • A stunt will not be put into routine until it can be performed flawlessly 10 times in a row at practice. 
  • Everyone deserves a chance to fly. You don’t wanna fly? Cool stay grounded. You do wanna fly? Even better, you will at fly at least once during practice.
  • No one is too tall too heavy too anything to fly. If you are a flyer and make a comment suggesting so, you will be turned into a base. 
  • Once positions are set they will stay that way unless someone dies or drops out.
  • You better be dying if you don’t show up to practice.
  • You’re late? You run. You leave early? You run at the next practice. 
  • Your teammates are your brothers and sisters and your coaches are your parents. Failure to accept that is grounds for dismissal. I’m not saying you all have to like each other, but you do all have to respect each other.
  • If I put you in a point position or give you last pass you better show me each and every day why you deserve to be there or I will replace you.
  • There will be no eating at practice.
  • There will be no gum chewing at practice.
  • If you get hit during routine, you keep going. Do not exit the mat or field unless you're broken in some way or are about to pass out. Winners never quit. Fight through the pain. All those cheesy cliches. 
  • Cell phones will be put in a cell phone bin in the coaches office until after practice. If it absolutely necessary for you to have it out, please approach me about it first.
  • Cheerleading is hard. Cheerleading isn’t always fun. But you work at it and you give it 110% each and every day you have the privilege to walk into practice or competition and I promise, you will ALWAYS have something to be proud of yourself about.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

“Friday Night” Cultures: Football Players and Cheerleaders


Friday nights in the fall bring about a very important high school event: Friday night football games. Of course, there are two very important components to this event: the football players, and the squad that cheers them on. Now, upon first glance, one might not think that these two groups of people (who will hence forth be referred to as ‘cultures’) have nothing in common. However, once put under the microscope, a plethora of similarities begin to emerge and exist alongside the cultural differences.
As a cheerleader, I have had many football players try to convince me that cheer is easy, only to be proved wrong once put to the test. This can be attributed to many things, but the most prevalent is that while football players have a special form of training to prepare for “the big game,” cheerleaders spend hours in their own training to be ready to perform once the game starts. While these two cultures train for two vastly different activities, it is important to note that some of their workout methods are very similar. Just like football players, cheerleaders run and lift weights. We also have a set practice time that is crucial to attend. Our workouts focus on strength and endurance, just like football players, along with dance, synchronization, flexibility, tumbling and stunting, which football players do not have to worry about. Not to minimize a football players skill set or anything, but while they are out throwing a ball around and tackling each other, cheerleaders are performing complicated routines, stunts and tumbling passes, all of which are just as dangerous as taking a hit on the football field.
Danger is another field where cheerleading and football play equally, as it turns out. Both sports made’s top five lists for most dangerous male and female sports, with football turning in at number 3 for most dangerous male sport, and cheerleading ranking first among most dangerous female sports, followed by gymnastics, which is a component of cheerleading. In fact, it has been widely stated that cheerleading may be even more dangerous than football, but since the two sports involve such different activities it is impossible to tell. These statistics make sense, of course. In football, players are frequently tackled to the ground by people who either the same size or much larger while using excessive force. In cheerleading, athletes are being thrown in the air, performing difficult tumbling passes (or flips, in layman’s terms) and putting a large amount of stress on their joints, muscles and bones. With these things in mind, the frequent trips to the hospital make lots of sense.
There are a few things, though, where there are no differences between cheerleading and football. One of these topics of complete agreement is what athletes learn from participating in these sports, beginning with the old adage “there is no ‘I’ in team”. Athletes learn to participate as a group and trade in their individualism for the good of the group. Indeed, football teams and cheerleading squads are very collective cultures. The athletes also learn discipline, trust, the meaning of the words, dedication and perseverance, and how to give 120% in all things because if they don’t someone else will. That’s a lot of life skills to take in for two cultures that are stereotypically ignorant, if you ask me.
My favorite stereotype about cheerleading is that we’re all stupid. And as far as football players go, they love it as well. Another commonality between our cultures? The world thinks we’re all idiots. This is quite ironic, when the fact that cheerleaders turn in a national average of a B plus where grades are concerned, and although the exact national GPA for football players is unknown, many college football players make the news for not only being amazing athletes but great scholars as well. (Take that, general population!) In fact, GPA is a very important part of life for the non-professional members of these cultures. A grade point average of at least 2.0 must be held at all times to be eligible to play or even practice. This pushes the athletes to not only work hard in school, but to also excel in the academic arena. Professional members do not have to worry about grade point average, because obviously, they are no longer pursuing any type of education, and only working to make money.
Not that professional cheerleaders make much money. According to, professional cheerleaders only make $15-$50 (with the average price being $50) per game. So unlike NFL members, who make about $1.4 million a year, professional cheerleaders, who practice just as much and perform just like their male counterparts, also have to work full time jobs in order to cover living costs, and necessities for cheerleading, such as their uniform, hair products and travel expenses (which are not always covered).
Football and Cheerleading are quite obviously two very different sports and cultures, both of which fall into what I like to call the “Friday Night Culture” due to their similarities that can be found upon further inspection. From required tryouts for both teams to the ability to be a professional, similarities can be found where most observers only find differences. It really is a small world, after all.