By Mollie (’13)
There are several misconceptions about the Creative Writing Department: that we spend our two hours of art discipline time only writing, that we rarely leave our room, and that the muscles of “CDubs”, as we’ve named ourselves, have atrophied from disuse. However, on Field Day the misconceptions of our department as dry, pasty, and un-athletic was destroyed as all members of our department consistently exceeded our resting heart rates, scoring point after point (albeit surprising point), finally earning the revered Field Day trophy. My favorite part of Field Day, however, is not the glory of winning. More than the great pleasure I get of smugly informing people of how Creative Writing, the smallest department in number and physical size of students, has now been Field Day champion twice, I enjoy the festival itself. Field day is a day for the eccentric and inherently SOTian student. On Field Day the different departments flamboyantly bathe themselves in their department colors: Creative Writing, yellow, Tech, green, Vocal, pink, and so on. During Field Day a sea of jubilant and raucous teens make their way to the field beside our school to celebrate our individuality. Where else will you find adolescent boys so willingly dressed in pink tutus and girls in grape-colored Teletubby outfits? Societal norms and restrictions seem to fall to the wayside at SOTA and rightly so. SOTA is filled with those who do not conform, artists as we’ve come to name ourselves. If San Francisco is a liberal bubble and artistic Mecca within the United States, SOTA is the same within the San Francisco Unified School District. As a senior, winning my last Field Day, I am ecstatic, but more so, I am pleased to go to a school where we can have this riotous event. During Field Day glitter, gloriously-costumed people, and music fill our field for a day, and we celebrate ourselves as artists.
I love my department. I can’t say that I tend to exhibit a great amount of enthusiasm or school spirit, but truly, if I were not at SOTA, in Creative Writing, I do not know where I’d be.
Now, as I said: not a lot of school spirit. I doubt that that makes me an exception in a school of brooding teenage artist-types, but I believe it bears mentioning. At this point, I barely dress up for spirit week, I tend to avoid interaction (with pretty much anyone at school) whenever possible both because it terrifies me and does not hold great weight in my mind. But on Field Day, I found myself screaming and cheering while hardly aware of it, and when we tallied up our points (even before the winner was announced) I could not stand still for excitement. When our department was called up and presented with the trophy (or rather when we ran out onto the track and claimed it), I was leaping and celebrating with all the competitive types who made a point of practicing our pyramid until it could be done in less that five seconds. When people began gushing about their joy over winning back in room 202, I found myself nodding and smiling.
In retrospect, I had to wonder why this meant so much (or really anything) to me. I have little interest in athletics (if you want to call Field Day “athletic”) and am distinctly uncomfortable with intense competition. Why did I care if we won or lost?
I came to the conclusion that what I was so excited about was not the victory itself but our ability to win. As I said, my department has become an integral part of my life and I love everyone in it, even those I don’t know as well. It is a department full of interesting, kind, and talented people, both because those are the type of people admitted and because being around such wonderful humans tends to influence your opinions and behaviors in positive ways. I cared about winning Field Day both because I knew it would make others in the department happy and because it is further tangible proof that we are a bunch of innovative, in-synch, and miraculous kids (plus Heather and Isaiah, who I think deserve honorary child status).
So I thank you all for being who you are. Creative Writing is perhaps the most close-knit department out there, and one of the few institutions I am comfortable referring to as my second family. You help me function and you make me my best. We kicked ass out there and I am so proud to stand beside you in that ridiculous color we call ours.
As an afterthought, I sort of hope that no other departments read this blog. I feel like my excessive affection could be construed as elitist sentiments and casual gloating. This is not at all my intention. We’re just pretty cool.