As I stood in Manuel de Falla’s gymnasium on a cold Tuesday morning, I could hardly believe how quickly a quiet and rather frosty gym transformed itself into a powerhouse of school pride jam-packed with excited students, hyped up players, and energized cheerleaders. In all honesty, I almost felt as if I had been transported back to my old high school gym in Michigan.
As a dedicated athlete throughout high school in several sports and captain of our school’s football, I always looked forward to our pre-game pep rallies. The opportunity to have the entire school together to support a common cause and celebrate everyone’s hard work will always be a fond memory of mine. I am absolutely sure that this past Tuesday in Coslada our students, staff, and the professionals from the ABC (including former Oklahoma Sooners player Corey Brewer) achieved that same sort of positive, prideful, and exhilarating atmosphere.
The air was electric. I could see small groups of students huddled together, looking a bit confused at first by all the commotion, but quickly realizing that this was the time for them to relax, open up, and have fun as they cheered on their fellow classmates. The teenagers that I work with daily were suddenly transformed into cheerleaders waving orange and blue pom-poms, basketball players sprinting the length of the court, and students taking advantage of the opportunity to scream at the top of their lungs – and be encouraged for it.
When a few of us met in a staff office room to brainstorm ideas for a mascot for I.E.S Manuel de Falla, we could only hope that the “Brujos” or “Wizards” would be able to produce so much magic. Admittedly, I haven’t yet had the pleasure of hearing the famous composer Manuel de Falla’s song Amor Brujo¸ but without a doubt, our school has begun to overflow with “Wizard Love” (a direct translation of “Amor Brujo”) since Tuesday’s pep rally. I found myself taking a walk down memory lane as I tried to remember the pre-game routines of my high school basketball team.
I almost laughed out loud as I passed on ideas like elaborate high-fives and chest bumps that we had thought of in my old high school locker room as this new generation of excited students took part in a tradition that is sure to continue for many years to come.
I am thrilled and ready for our game this coming Monday, December 21st. I know that I’ll be doing everything I can with cheers of “DE – FENSE” and shouts of approval as the players give it their all against the San Juan Bautista “Prophets.” My only regret is that I can’t be back out there on the court with them!