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Centennial…? Students want to celebrate with purpose

Editor’s note: This is the first of weekly columns by La Jolla’s high school newspaper editors. Frannie Tyner is a junior at The Bishop’s School and assistant editor of The Tower.

By Frannie Tyner

From 7:05 a.m. on the first day of school, massive banners stating, “100 Years and Beyond” blinded students. This overpowering welcome back was followed by Headmaster Michael Teitelman’s first day of school speech, stressing that students and faculty have to make this 100th year the best ever.

The class of 2009 marks Bishop’s 100th graduating class. One hundred is a big number, and one to be proud of at that; not many schools can say that they’ve been so successful in not only academics but sports and arts for a century. Since the senior class took their first steps on campus as seventh graders six long years ago, the hype about the centennial celebration has been constant.

So what’s happened thus far? Yes, Bishop’s school colors remain maroon and gold, but the students and employees have been divided into teams of purple and gold, the school’s original colors. This has been done so in an effort to bring back the tradition of an intra-school competition, which has yet to be explained.

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On Sept. 12, free T-shirts plastered with the familiar phrase of “100 Years and Beyond” were passed out to the campus. The following Tuesday was the Centennial Picnic, where the whole school was not only given an hour-long lunch period, but free Rubio’s, cotton candy, snow cones, and a really, really good band.

Students understandably enjoyed this, in fact around 100 students were polled, and 100 percent of them thought the centennial celebrations thus far to be a success.

That same Tuesday night, alumni were invited to the opening of the Centennial Museum, which showcases Bishop’s through the past 100 years. Students have yet to be invited.

What is all this extravagance for? None of the students seems to really understand. Yes, they enjoy hour-long lunches and free T-shirts, but how is this supposed to help them appreciate the monumental fact that their school is 100 years old?

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Speculation around campus seems to be that all of these activities and newly revived traditions revolve around one thing: fundraising. Why else would the school pour money into PR posters that read, “I Am Bishops” and a centennial museum that students have yet to see.

Students are not against this yearlong fundraiser; they just want to know what’s going on. They want to know, what’s the point of an hour-long lunch, what’s the point of the intra-school color and spirit competition? One hundred years is something to be proud of, something to celebrate, but they want to celebrate with purpose and knowledge.