Emma’s Dilemma: We are pathetic


Photo by Emma Coleman

Nick Greenspan (’17) and fellow seniors get heated at the Pep Rally basketball game. The seniors lost to the team of faculty, 23-17, and later whined about the injustice.

Emma Coleman, Editor-in-Chief

I live in a circle with a one mile diameter. You probably saw me as a middle-school student standing at my bus stop, barely one mile north of the high school on York Road. Every day, for the past four years, I’ve stayed in this circle. I wake up, go to school, go to practice, and come home. That’s it.

Well, except on Sundays. I get to drive into Towson and go to church on Sundays.

Sounds like a pretty sheltered life, right?

Maybe. But I think there are lots of sheltered lives in the Zone. We are spoiled compared not only to underdeveloped countries, but also to other areas of Baltimore. According to an article published by the Baltimore Sun in January, Baltimore saw 355 homicides last year, “including 10 children under the age of 10, and 12 children and teenagers from 10 to 17.” This year, the city has already seen over 250 homicides.

  1. That’s nearly the size of an average graduating class at Hereford. Imagine all but 50 of your classmates wiped out by violent crime.

But of course that would never happen in Hereford. We don’t have to worry about stray bullets when we send our children outside to play. Rather we get irritated when we fall onto our couch and flick on the TV only to find that our favorite cop show on the National Geographic channel is cancelled.

We are pathetic.

Do you remember seeing that little Syrian boy in the ambulance? Do you remember seeing his face covered with blood and his eyes full of loneliness? In all of his suffering, he had the patience and the discipline to sit still in silence.

What we fail to realize is that there are millions of Syrian children just like him. According to an article published on PBS.org in April, “8 in 10 children are in need of humanitarian assistance,” “4 in 10 children in Syria have been displaced from their homes,” and “5 in 10 children are out of school.”

While all of those children suffer from homelessness, poverty, hunger, disease, and in some cases post-traumatic stress disorder, Hereford seniors have the nerve to chant “Bull****!” when they see that they are losing the Pep Rally basketball game to their teachers.


At least we have basketballs to play with, teachers who are here to support us, and a school that hasn’t been reduced to a pile of rubble.

And, yeah, I know. It’s not fair, right? We waited four years to win Pep Rally. The teachers should have let us win.

At first, I thought so, too.

“If the seniors knew they won because I told the faculty to lose, that would upset them even more,” Principal Joe Jira said. “That wouldn’t be any fun. I think at the end of the day, the focus should have been on the healthy competition and the comradery that went back and forth and the good feelings that were built and not so much the end of the score.”

“I think high school is a reflection of life, and I think we lose,” he said. “It’s how we pick ourselves up and process what happened and move forward. Can we play a rematch game? Absolutely. And if the seniors win, I’ve got no problem with that. It just was the luck of the draw that day.”

Every night as I watch NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt on my comfy couch, I see that Jira is right. Life outside of this bubble is difficult. Each day that I wake up and travel the one mile to school in my warm, comfy Mazda CX-9, children oceans away wake up to air strikes.

Wake up and smell the coffee, Hereford. And be grateful that you have coffee. I’m sure that little Syrian boy would love to have a sip.



Read the Washington Post’s story about the little Syrain boy here: