Walking down the UCC avenue you might notice signs that say “Great boys crossing,” displaying the sprinting silhouette of Marc Andre – as if all UCC students cross the street with impeccable athletic form.
The signs on the roads that run through UCC are not only annoying, but also degrading of the school’s character. UCC is generally looked as a place filled with students over-privileged and self-righteous. These signs are an epitome of the source that fuels this stereotype. The statement “great boys crossing” does not portray greatness, but is surely interpreted as a sense of affluent entitlement to greatness. They are not road signs with a purpose, but rather baby blue flags of assumed superiority that highlight our school’s pretention. No matter the success of any artists, athletes, and academics, which UCC prides itself in producing, we are not special, but privileged – and these signs represent a disregard for the humility that such privilege rightfully entails. Going to UCC and crossing its Lexus-filled laneway does not make you great. Marc Andre was great, but there is no greatness by association, especially to a high school. It’s easy to get swept up by the achievements of those around us at UCC and ride that energy, but we need to earn it: and I don’t mean by simply crossing the street.
So what do we earn at UCC? Trophies, tripods, medals, awards, ties, pins, our names etched in the bronze cup of the craft check bolt, or immortalized on the wooden walls of Laidlaw Hall. We sit for hours listening, and clapping duteously for first team tie recipients, MVPs, general proficiency awards, grade ten geography prizes, prefects, stewards, and all the rest. The unfortunate truth is that half of these accolades deserve such recognition and the appreciation we should afford to the ones that do deserve it is often undermined by the over-saturated soup of publicly recognized ‘great boys’. We are the victims not the beneficiaries of this accolade bombardment; so be wary and strive beyond the baby blue “greatness.”