Why You Can’t be Student of the Month

Tyler Antczak, Video Editor, Visionary

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20161109_150825Tyler Antczak
Just recently I was asked to conduct an interview with the student of the month. Ask a few questions, see how he/she feels about receiving the honor, etc. I need to start off by saying one thing: It should not have been that hard to find the student of the month.

I first had to figure out who the SoM (student of the month) was. The only place I knew where to look was at the bulletin board near the main office. Only thing I could find there was a list of student council members. My next option was to contact main office. They didn’t even know what I was talking about, “student of the month?” They advised me to the counseling office – no clue either. Now I was losing hope for finding this person.

However, before I stormed out and quit the newspaper, the counseling office pointed me in the direction of youth services. Of course the one person I was looking for wasn’t at work that day. Luckily for me there was someone at youth services who happened to know who the SoM was. Finally I got the name I needed: Abigail Chiaokhiao.

Abigail didn’t even know she was selected for SoM until I went there to interview her. It was completely on the spot. She was a deer in headlights. Now I was really starting to question this whole “student of the month” thing. Why would the school make someone recognizable but not recognize them? Redundancy? One of the questions asked during the interview was, “How does this award make you feel?” I was interested to hear Abigail respond with this: “Kind of embarrassed. I thought I blended in.” After the interview I asked her, “What’s wrong with standing out?” I meant this in more general terms… Why does everyone feel the need to “blend in” with the rest of the crowd? Wouldn’t you want to stand out for being a good person? This puts me under the impression that the school doesn’t care about anything besides how good your grades look. The fact that Abigail heard nothing from the school suggests they don’t want anyone to be acknowledged for being a general good person. To be honest, I would be honored to say I was chosen out of the three thousand kids at BHS to be student of the month. I would also be able to put that on my college application.

My Blueprint adviser said the teachers hadn’t gotten any ballots for choosing the SoM in years. Perhaps those three thousand kids are too hard to pick from. Or maybe the school just wants to appreciate the students that overachieve in academics. Or possibly no one is nice to each other. Yet when I asked our editor in chief, Joel Freecheck whatever happened to Valedictorian, he said the school eradicated it. Claiming the school didn’t want to “single anyone out.” So could that be a valid reason for why the student of the month doesn’t exist?

This is where I slapped myself in the face. I need to go back to the youth services part, because herein lies the truth behind the student of the month… To be qualified for student of the month, you need to be a member of the BHS volunteer program called, “Bengals in Action.” The mission of Bengals in Action according to the BHS homepage is “to engage the school and community in volunteerism, to impact the local community and the world.” One of the two-hundred ish members is honored each month for their contributions. I’ve been at Blaine for nearly four years now and I’ve never heard of this. This is why student of the month doesn’t exist here – It’s an outdated term. You need to be a part of the “program.” So if you plan on doing nice things for people in the hallways hoping the school will give you a neat sticker or something, don’t even bother. You’re not a part of the club.

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