Srini Says: Field Days and Harlem Shakes



Despite all the questions asking when my shift at Foot Locker started, I had a lot of fun on Field Day.

I knew I would be helping to run Catchphrase with Xavier. As riveting as standing in the gym for three hours sounds, I wasn’t particularly enthused; however, once I started getting into the game – the timer really is nerve-wrecking – I found my inner referee.

The highlight of Field Day, however, was probably the Harlem Shake, which I proudly recorded – check that out on Facebook. I can’t decide which was more cringe-worthy: John Kim’s dreadful pelvic thrusting or the fact that a sizeable portion of the male student body decided to reveal their ill-fated desires to be Calvin Klein models when they removed their shirts.

I’m usually not one for viral trends — Gangnam Style did, does and will always make my skin crawl; however, I’m kind of into this Harlem Shake video thing going on. Not only because there actually is a dance from the 80’s that is called the Harlem Shake – though it doesn’t always involve a motorcycle helmet – but also because of the reactions from the kids in Harlem. Politely put, they are a tad offended by the ridiculousness of some of the Harlem Shake videos. You can look up Harlem reactions to harlem shake videos on your own time —I’m not allowed to link them.

I’m not saying I’m a sadist. It’s not that I enjoy people being upset but that when teenagers from Harlem try to defend the class and honor of the Harlem Shake – they sound kind of ridiculous. It’s so silly that it reminds me of the fact that kids who live in New York actually do have normal high school lives — not necessarily “Gossip Girl” worthy. I’m aware New York is huge, and kids from Harlem are extremely different from kids in the Upper East Side, but hopefully you get my vibe.

As Houston residents, we fantasize that the metropolitan, glamour-filled New York City fosters a starkly different environment in comparison to Houston. We tend to think that attending high school in New York would be so fantastic, foreign, and ten times better than attending high school here in Houston until we actually talk to private or preparatory high school students from different cities.

I attended the student diversity leadership conference at the George R. Brown Convention center for a weekend this past December with junior Sloane Gustafson, and we met over 1,000 students from across the nation. It was a great experience to share stories with people for so many different backgrounds, and I’m sure Sloane would agree.

As cliché as it sounds, the most important thing I learned there was that we are all more similar than we like to think. Whether you live on East 55th Street like the Van Der Woodsens or off of Claremont in Houston—you have to remember that essentially, as humans, we all have the same trials and tribulations to some degree. I apologize in advance for sounding like a heart-wrenching preteen on Tumblr, but it’s true.

Srini Kumar


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