I BLEED BLUE…COYOTE BLUE
Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 February 2012 13:37
Not to make the beginning of the week look bad, but this story starts on a Thursday. It was a typical harsh winter day, sunny and sixty-two, and there was excitement in the air. It was January 19th, and it was the eve of the annual GWCS Coffee House (AKA: Beatnick Night)!
It started right after school with the dance of the furniture. Sofas went in one room, loveseats in another, tables of all sorts were pulled into the LGIR and café. Then the sheets came out. Every inch of the every-day school walls were covered with dark blue and black sheets. The history room was adorned with art created by the art classes, and coffee and coffee related snacks filled table tops for as far as the eye can see (while squinting in a darkened room). Strings of decorative lights, danglers, lamps and sound equipment filled the rooms. In no time, the middle of the school was transformed into a perfect scale model of a 1950’s coffee shop, and the stage was set. Now, we just needed to get Miss Bowen into her bouffant hair-do and some sharp cat-eyed sun glasses and the effect would be complete!
Then it happened. After paying the unbelievably low price of $2.00 at the door, we were sitting on the edge of our seats waiting for the show to begin. The stage was set on the west wing of the café this year (In front of the Spanish room), and the camera that filmed the show was simultaneously projecting it onto the giant screen at the far end of the LGIR. Not a bad seat in the house, and the house was packed. Just like the million man march, accurate head counts are impossible with turn-outs this large, but rumor has it that more than 50,000 people were in attendance (or fifty). The show began. Legendary GWCS front man and local improve standout, Matt Hartman was the MC. He started the crowd off with a few jokes reminiscent of the heyday of the tonight show, when it used to be funny, and was aided on the sound board by GWCS veteran Daniel Pereira. Then the acts came. One after another they walked to the stage and enthralled us. Lydia, Jack, Corey, Conner, Mark, Muntu, Savanna, and Alyssa. They read poetry, sang songs, played guitars, and shared movie projects. Every act was excellent and every player performed brilliantly. The only snag, was that Cole Dodd’s movie would not play through the equipment and had to be unveiled at lunch time the next day (Worth the wait!). During the lag time, while the staff tried to get the movie running, Zach and Cameron entertained the rest of the guest with an original song that Cameron introduced with effable charm and grace.
The next night, Friday, January 20, was basketball night. We had an away game (Charles Houston Rec. Center) against Commonwealth Academy. Once again, from the moment school got out until the tip-off, the atmosphere was electric. The HIM class met in the LGIR to watch Glory. The movie ended just in time to pile into the cars and head for Alexandria. As usual, there was a great turn-out for the coyotes. I think that there has only been one game this year when the other team’s fans have outnumbered us, and that was a huge school with enrollment in the thousands! So there we were, at an away game, our fans drowning out the home fans, and our players dominating the game on the floor. Although the Coyotes are playing right now without one of their best players (Jeremy and his ankle) they improved their record to 12 and 1 by the end of the night, with a match-up against the second place team in the conference hanging on the horizon. The starters set the stage early, and the bench controlled the second half as the team soared. Richie knocked down his second technical free-throw of the year.
On Saturday, after a slight delay for ‘wintery mix,’ I was over at the NOVA campus where the GWCS seniors take college courses, and the first FIRST event of the year was under way. I was so envious of the kids when I saw they were all wearing awesome, deep blue, coyote robotics tee shirts, and then I found out that their creator, Dorothy Firsching was there and had extras! Donning my new Tee, I sat in the front row as the games began (continued)! Once again, I have to point-out that there was a tremendous amount of GWCS support at the bout. Of course, this was a little different. There were almost thirty teams entered, and probably a couple of hundred fans in attendance. Still, the slice of the bleachers that was full of Coyotes was probably the largest contingency. We made noise, and we were rewarded! At the end of the regular competition, the GWCS Robots finished second and fourth out of thirty teams! Then they were allowed to partner up with robots from other clubs and school and begin the playoffs. Both teams were successful in the playoffs, with one of the GWCS teams going all the way to the championship, before a network glitch seemed to take their robot out of the picture. It was really impressive to see the different designs that the different clubs had come-up with and to watch their strategies as their matches evolved. The other cool thing about the robotics event, was the camaraderie. I suppose with the eventuality that the top seeded teams get to select their playoff team mates during the break, that everyone is especially cordial to everyone else. It was extremely decent and respectful and satisfying to see.
Sunday I slept-in for a few hours before I went over to the school to work. I reflected back on the last 72 hours of my life. How full of events. How exciting to see. What a wide variety of spectacle. What a great time to be a Coyote (talented kids, winning teams). Then I thought, what if I had missed any one of those events? How much I would have missed? How much less my appreciation for the school and the people in it would be. Then I thought about the kids who missed all three of those events. Could you really be a GWCS kid if you missed all three of those events? I mean, no offense to myself, but you can learn Geometry at any school. Isn’t it the ‘stuff’ that makes any school, your school? If you’re not supporting the teams, the clubs, and the events, then how are you invested? Or are you invested?
Well, that’s all I have time for right now. The annual Super Smash Brothers competition is about to start, so I have to go see if Matthew Gaughan can defend his title against a bevy of newcomers! I’m sure I’ll see you there!