Wednesday, March 6, 2013

When the game loses its value (by anon)

Competitiveness and competition are bound to happen in any sport; that’s already well known and expected.  However, once people are overly competitive and just plain rude that is when the game becomes un-enjoyable.  I get that people like to win and most play to win and I myself hate to lose so I understand when people get upset or frustrated when losing, especially if they were once winning or ahead in the game.  But becoming unsportsmanlike and irritated not only makes the individual look foolish, but the whole team is given a bad rep as well.  The team itself may even be referred to as the team that complained, cussed, yelled etc.

Some may say “why do you get so worked up, it is just a game?”  This phrase has some meaning and truth to it but ultimately I hate this question.  It is not just a game, sports are something people compete in and most often do their best to succeed and win.  Even more than that games are a way to better oneself in any and all aspects of the game and in life.  Teammates learn to cooperate with each other and form team cohesion.  The ability to communicate effectively with them and essentially trust them is something that is greatly strengthened by playing in competitive games.

When someone on the opposing team becomes aggravated and yells at me, and my teammates, refs, umps, etc or become overly physical and aggressive, it truthfully makes the game hard for me as well as others to enjoy.  When someone on my team does it I honestly find it difficult to continue playing the game with them.  This has happened to me before and it is not only embarrassing but demeaning to me as an athlete when I just want to have a healthy and fun competition with my opponents.  Yelling, swearing, “talking shit”, pushing by another player puts a negative image not only on the player but the whole team.  Standing up for yourself and your team is one thing, but acting like an ass because you are losing or the refs/umps make a bad call is not an excuse.  Games are meant to be fun and enjoyed with friends, teammates, siblings and even the challengers.  Once anger arises and all sportsmanship had disappeared that is when it loses the components and aspects of a real game.

Friday, March 1, 2013

College and ideology (by anon)

Entering in to college on my own as an 18 year old was such a liberating experience. Coming from a religious background, the diversity I encountered here was astonishing. It was almost empowering. I was being exposed to things I was never exposed to. I was being taught HOW to think, and not WHAT to think. This was the first time I had ever experienced this. I grew to love college, and the institution of education, mostly for all of the autonomy of thought that these new concepts and ideas gave me. But things changed Nearing the end of my undergraduate career, I am no longer being taught HOW to think, and I no longer feel I have the autonomy of thought that I once had. I am being taught WHAT to think. I am being told what RIGHT is, and what WRONG is. I am being told which beliefs are valid and which are not, based on personal opinion and not reason. I am no longer rewarded for having an alternative opinion or a sound critical thought, but I am punished (either through public ridicule by a professor in class or diminished grades). I am beginning to draw comparisons in my mind of my past religious experiences, and am becoming discouraged to continue on with education.

My question is this- Why? Why is there so much ideology spewing from professor’s mouths? Have they forgotten what it was like to have meaningful discourse in which two people may disagree, or am I just getting the wrong professors? Was the general education program designed to lure us in, and then the ideology hits once we choose a major? When I came to college, I began to understand the dangers of ideology and baseless beliefs. But what I am slowly realizing is our institution of education is just as bad in terms of ideology. The authority of this institution is too strong and falls short in terms of objectivity. It is as if the institution, as a whole or in part, can no longer be questioned or criticized. It just is, and there is nothing I can do.