Wednesday, May 24, 2006

"Get into Yale. Get love"

There's an article (and video multimedia!) in the NYT about the Seekers, Stuyvesant High School's evangelical Christian club. I remember the Seekers well. They met in the first floor lobby at the same time as the girls' track team, which meant that as my teammates and I sat in a large circle doing various stretches that seemed to fascinate our male classmates, we were stretching to the sound of this club singing, "I love Jesus." I remember finding this combination hilarious.

The irony here is that we were all looking for ("seeking") the same thing. One of the prayers posted up by a Seeker on "Jesus Day" was apparently "Get into Yale. Get love." Well, there were two reasons anyone joined the girls' track team at Stuyvesant, where few runners could possibly hold their own in any sort of serious competition: to get into college, and to get a better body. I'd still go with track over prayer, as colleges really do care if applicants have done a sport, even if they are miserably untalented at it, and the effect of running four miles a day and doing endless crunches cannot possibly be matched by asking for salvation in the Stuyvesant lunchroom.

As for why Stuyvesant allows such a public presence for both the Seekers and their "Jesus Day" celebration, it probably something to do with the fact that most non-Seekers found the group dorky and ridiculous. Evangelical Christians in Tribeca, at a high school full of sarcastic non-believers of all stripes, are less likely to peer-pressure their fellow students into believing than to get thoroughly mocked by groups of stoned, culturally-Jewish kids from the Upper West Side or Park Slope.

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