Upstairs Politics

I cannot lie; I acknowledge the student perception of the administration as disconnected. I, like most of my peers, roll my eyes at the All-School Meetings that sometimes feel like weekly pep talks training us for the supposed world leaders we are to become. I too smirk at mentions of what seem to be excessive capital campaigns that plan to add to the over 800 million dollars that now float around in Andover’s portfolio, which almost contradict the bragging of our “non sibi” effort to save the world. Regardless of these critiques, there is one notion I do consistently believe: the administration is here for a reason. Although the administration may seem to be just an intimidating and disengaged decision-making body that convenes in upper floors of G.W. to dictate the future of the school, they do have the core of the school at their best interests: the students. I so often hear my peers complaining about this administration and their misjudgment. We complain about their disconnect. We complain that all they do is raise money. They sit in G.W. all day in meetings. However, these claims are wildly ironic. Mrs. Chase does not fundraise around the globe to collect cash for her personal piggy bank. Ms. Edwards does not sit in Samaritan House on Saturday nights scheming up helmet rules so that students look nerdy while they ride their bikes. I’m sorry to disappoint so many, but the administration does in fact care about our best interest. Get used to it acknowledging it. Cynicism about the authority of “the man” is natural, but must our lives revolve around it. So why can’t we just get over ourselves already? About three years ago I read a piece in The New York Times regarding the MySpace photo phenomenon. What struck me in this article about a pretty irrelevant topic was a quote from an adolescent psychiatrist. He spoke about how self-involved teenagers are. He mentioned the constant paranoia that we have, sure that the group of boys laughing on the other side of the cafeteria is laughing at us. We must approach our views of the administration with a self-knowledge that seems to be absent. Just because we are insurmountably obsessed with how miserable our lives seem to be, we must understand that everyone else is not working to make our time any worse.We need to look at school policy with an understanding eye. We must put ourselves in the position of being in charge of over 1,000 students with parents all over the globe. Yes, question authority, do not blindly accept a thing, but please do not disregard the often-overlooked but well-intentioned people who are making the decisions.