I feel obligated to respond to the article entitled “Enjoy freedom of freshman year” by Jared Fields.
As a freshman, I am offended by the patronizing tone of the article. I did appreciate learning about how the Chapel card-swipe works; I didn’t know that there was a card-swipe by an official before anyone could get credit. But there was absolutely no need to couch this information in phrases that make the freshman class sound like 3-year olds, or students with mental disabilities.
But that was certainly not the part of the article that offended me the most. Regardless of whether the jackets were “cool at your high school,” letter jackets have two very major benefits. They are typically quite warm, which is nice in the cold snaps that west Texas does indeed experience. And they represent four years of hard work and dedication.
My letter jacket boasts two Texas All-State Band patches; three State Solo and Ensemble patches; one State One-Act Play patch; one State Spelling and Vocabulary patch; one patch indicating my involvement with the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps; and countless other patches from regional and district events in which I competed.
I worked hard for those patches, and I am rightly proud of them. Your casual dismissal of my jacket as “uncool” is tantamount to declaring those achievements unworthy of attention. I do not wear the jacket in order to shove my accomplishments in students’ faces. I wear it mainly to remind myself of the victories I achieved in high school and to show others that hard work does pay off.
My blood, sweat and tears were ground into more football fields than I can count this summer with the Crossmen. That patch is incredibly meaningful to me. Practicing for an hour and a half every day for two years, eventually resulting in winning first chair in the Texas All-State Band. You can bet that patch means something to me. And that’s what matters -what my jacket means to me. Maybe you think those accomplishments are worthless. You’ve obviously never drilled vocabulary words for weeks on end, but I am not going to belittle your choice of activities.
But looking at my jacket takes me back to San Antonio, where I played my solo in front of an enormous crowd. It takes me back to the University of Wisconsin, where I conducted the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps in their semi-final round performance. It takes me back to Austin, where I was in the final round of a competition in which five hundred thousand students have participated.
That’s plenty cool enough for me.
freshman music major from Stamford