P is for Pep Rally

More trans-continental, cross-cultural weirdness and time for some parental reflections on the merits and de-merits of having brought our children to live in High School Musical land (minus the music). Last Friday the Middle School that Child 1 & Child 2 go to held a Pep Rally. Here is a photo from the event. Those in the know will see Child 1 there, wearing his football jersey and ‘taking a knee.’


‘We are having a pep rally at school on Friday,’ said Child 1. ‘I’ve got to wear my jersey.’

‘Ok,’ I said. ‘What’s a pep rally?’

‘Oh, it’s a really stupid thing where all the school gets together and cheers for all the teams.’

Child 1 is 13 and so pretty much everything is stupid these days but apart from that, it’s a reasonable explanation. A pep rally is a pep talk, just on a larger scale. It’s about spicing things up a bit and building team spirit. Etymologically, it’s about this:


In the case of the boys’ pep rally, I believe there were some words said by the Principal and then the cheerleaders cheered and then the teams all filed in and the rest of the school cheered them. Woo hoo. Both boys told me that ‘of course’ the football team came in last and got the biggest cheer because that’s the coolest team to be on. I do wonder what Child 1 is doing on it then… but not out loud.

Apparently Pep Rallies are common in Middle and High Schools over here,  although it was new to us. They are keen to build the community spirit in the Middle School and that should be applauded I think. But this? I don’t know. The teams ran in through pom-pom arches made by smiling cheerleaders – just something I can’t imagine happening in the UK. I’m trying to be very ‘When in Rome’ about it, but whenever I think about it, my head starts shaking. Some things about living in foreign take a lot of getting used to.


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