The Revival of The Lawrenceville Community
A great biologist will tell you that our bodies hold emergent properties; an individual neuron cell seemingly does not contain the key to thought, but when we combine these cells into the brain, humans somehow become conscious.
A great biologist will tell you that our bodies hold emergent properties; an individual neuron cell seemingly does not contain the key to thought, but when we combine these cells into the brain, humans somehow become conscious. In the physical body of Lawrenceville, Lawrentians are the individual cells that, when combined with a busy schedule of both academics and athletics, emerge into an unstoppably vibrant community. The return of sports has marked the true return of Lawrenceville.
Classes are not hard to replicate online. Modern technology has made it so that many teachers had experimented with video lectures and online submissions way before Covid-19 threatened our physical presence in classrooms. As awkward as a hybrid setup feels, the transition was not a hard adaptation, given our experience with both online and physical classes in the last year. It might’ve taken a day before classes felt normal again. However, even with classes back in session, it didn’t yet feel like Lawrenceville was back. The offputting atmosphere didn’t arise just because of the grab-and-go lunches or the blaring white tents surrounding campus. Rather, it was clear that the Zoom events and Instagram workout tutorials couldn’t replicate the authentic Lawrenceville athletics experience. Thankfully, with the return of sports this week, it feels that Lawrenceville has finally returned. Fear no more the isolation of post-class hours and fear no more the obstructive masks that fogged up glasses during a workout. Lawrentians have finally been given the opportunity to unite as a campus; the Lawrenceville experience isn’t complete until sports are held, whether it’s House Volleyball or Varsity Football, and everything in between.
s vibrant. By scientific definition, vibrancy is the movement of particles which expels energy. With sports in place, it finally feels that students have the opportunity to release their energy unchecked by protocol. Like the kids from High School Musical 2’s iconic opening song “What Time Is It,” students are practically counting the second hand’s ticks on the clock until they are unleashed for sports. At that magical time of 4:15, the House Flag Football teams all don their respective colors; the field hockey girls blast music on their way to Getz Sports Complex; and the football players head to practice as a clan, helmets and pads in hand. Once Lawrentians are on their fields, it seems as if time has paused; the athletes are focused and the coaches are dialed in, both unaware of the time passing by them.
Athletics serves as therapy for a lot of students on campus. Humans are biological animals that should be chasing deer and bison with spears among their tribal companions; our bodies aren’t made for lackadaisical sedentary hours and constant screen-watching. The modern human state has perhaps reduced us to a shadow of our primal selves. But when we have the opportunity to release the animalistic side of ourselves on the field, we return to our desk as better thinkers and students. Athletics has the ability to empower students to maximize the intent of both the human body and mind to be a cognitive and tribal animal. High-level interscholastic athletes are not the only students benefitting. Even for recreational House athletes, athletics is still an avenue to release stress. We are momentarily unrestricted by the masks covering our faces and the burdens of academic life. It’s literally and figuratively a breath of fresh air.
The Lawrenceville experience is best when it’s functioning at its highest potential, which extends beyond Zoom classes and even Harkness discussions. Reducing Lawrenceville to a school of teenagers that merely study would be a great miscalculation. Many students would lose a lifelong passion and the majority of students would be academically hindered if that were the case. It’s only when Lawrentians can unite and express ourselves as athletes that we create a new vivacity that rings around campus. As successful as the hybrid classes may be, the Lawrenceville experience is never complete without athletics.