Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Emo-Coach weighs in on Cheerleaders

Today I'm featuring writer Bethany Griffin--fantastic author of Handcuffs--available now!

So, I’m guest blogging for Suzanne today, and I’m sitting here with The Naughty List on my desk, in all of its…pinkness. So what do I write about? I won’t make you guess since I put it in the title. Today I am musing about cheerleaders. First, let me say that how cool and brave I think it is that Suz tackled cheerleaders as the main characters in this book. From my (admittedly skewed) perspective of high school, there is really no group who are more hated and stereotyped. I’m going to give it to you honestly here, high-school-bethany was not a fan of the cheerleaders.

After I graduated from college, I went back to high school with my resume in hand, and my senior English teacher (who had become a principal) was like, (laughing) well, we need a cheerleading coach. And then he laughed some more. There was lot of laughing. At this point in time (the present) I sponsor the anime/manga club, the literary club, and the gay-straight alliance/anti-bullying club. Cheerleaders? Yeah, all I can say is, it was pretty lame to try to get a job from a person who once offered to buy my entire first period English class doughnuts if I came to class on time for a whole month (nobody got doughnuts, but I didn’t care because I spent many first periods at an all you can eat place that had pancake sticks).

I became the emo coach like this, I have a co-worker who refers to all the other teachers as coach. As in, “Hi, coach!” “Good weather we’re having today, coach” etc. So one day he called me coach, and I raised my eyebrows ironically, and he said, “well, you’re the emo-coach, aren’t you?” and, I guess I am. I mean, I don’t know how much coaching they need, they say hi to me in the hallways sometimes…

But back to cheerleaders. They have this stereotypical image that evokes strong emotions (loathing?) in some people. Why? I mean, if I’m honest, I have to admit that they seem to be having fun, and they stay in good shape, and they can balance well, and they often have cute outfits. Good balance is a characteristic/life skill that I really envy in people. I was a mopey, awkward, slightly depressed and extremely lazy teenager. In what universe did I think I had the right to scorn cheerleaders? As an adult in high school, I’ve had those stereotypes turned upside down and around. I’ve taught cheerleaders who were smarter than the emo kids who hang out to discuss music with me. I’ve had cheerleaders hang out to discuss music with me. I’ve taught cheerleaders who were smarter than me, smarter than the administration, possibly smarter than people in the math department (though I’m not able to do the equations to figure that one out). I’ve had cheerleaders who were gracious, kind, giving, and not the least bit snobby, stuck up, or self involved. What I’m sort of trying to say, is that cheerleaders should be respected because they have good balance. Or, no, that cheerleaders should not be loathed, because loathing entire groups of people without good reason makes you loathsome. Or, what I really want to say, is how awesome it is that Suzanne wrote about cheerleaders. Because mopey emo-kids have their share of books. But fun books? That are pink? With cheerleaders? We need more of those!

Thank you, Bethany!! Everyone, she's always this awesome! Visit her website HERE!


Jen said...

What an awesome Guest Blog! I'll be checking the website out!!! Thanks Suz!!

Casey McCormick said...

What a great post, Bethany! Love it.

Suz, I love the new look. So classy!

Jennie Englund said...

Super fun post!

And I hopped over to Bethany's blog, too... fun!

Bee said...

Here's to breaking down stereotypes..!!

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

awesome guest post - thanks bethany!

Hannah said...

Haha you're so cool!
I bought (and finished) The Naughty List last night and I thought it was great. I'm also way excited for the sequel!
Expect hearing from me often.
Love, Hannah