All stories come to an end, and this is true for more than just books and movies. The hard fact is that it is also very true for each of the stages in our lives. Yet, I have always believed, a great sign of maturity is the realization and acceptance that such an ending has occurred for oneself. Because, endings happen all of the time, brothers and sisters of Wyoming, yes they do.
Since writing my editorial “The Fall of the Vikings” (which can be found here) I have heard from a lot of people. (A lot, a lot of people.) And one of the most disappointing things that I have learned over the course of this experience is how many former alumni of both Rogers and Park can’t seem to let go of their past. These fellow alumni are fighting the consolidation, tooth and nail, as if someone is trying to take something away from them in the change.
While my editorial was a personal look back at my experience as a Viking, I do acknowledge the end of that time; as well as the fact that the school, when I saw it again, was only a shadow of the past. In other words, I could see the theater’s curtain in the distance and it was beginning to close on that stage of Wyoming Park.
This story–the story of Vikings vs. Hawks–the story we all took part in at one time or another, is done.
For the kids in Wyoming, a new tale is just beginning. And, I am sorry to say, fellow alumni, it is a story that we are not really part of, nor should we be. They get to create a new history, a new legacy; and they are doing it with a new identity. They have no past to burden them, no other classes to compare to. It’s all fresh and new, and I cannot be more jealous of the adventure ahead of them.
Yes, it was incredibly depressing for me to learn over the last few days that fellow alumni were actually fighting this process; even going so far as to debate school colors and mascots. While at first I had to hold back a laugh that a grown adult would seriously care about that; I then felt sad both for the kids who are excited about designing and choosing their new school’s look being shut down, and for the very adults that can’t seem to move on.
However, I have also learned over all of the comments, e-mails, and messages via Facebook what a good thing this merger is for the future generations in Wyoming and I firmly embrace the change. Here are three points that have stuck with me and I would like to share (and I hope it will help encourage some of those opposed to the process to reconsider their position):
- Over the past few years, these students attend school together through junior high, and then are divided for high school! Frankly, they never had the foundation for rivalry as we had in the past. Now these friends will not be separated.
- With the combination you will see an improvement not only in sports, but in arts and education since the pool of talent will be greater. Wyoming will emerge a stronger school system in many ways because of this.
- Socially, this is better because it increases the diversity in their halls. This will be a school for everyone, and Wyoming will be a stronger community in time because of this change.
Yes, we will all always be Vikings (and Hawks), but that story is over. The last page has been turned; this future generation’s story is beginning without us. Let’s embrace this moment with them, encourage them in staking this new legacy, and show them, through example, how to face change in a healthy manner.
Personally, after everything I have heard and read, if I could suggest one mascot (without looking too lame), it would be a phoenix. Because those kids, no matter what we say, are creating something new out of our history’s dust.