World Cup brings new sense of community to WA

Pravar Mukkala, Co-Managing Editor

Students cheer as the team on the TV screen scores a goal. When they miss, there are discontented groans. The class’s teacher watches from a desk, happy to let students have a moment to relax and enjoy something that doesn’t usually happen—the World Cup.

Propelled by the U.S.’s success in this year’s World Cup, many in the country have been following the World Cup, and WA is no exception. From spirited hallway chatter to watch parties during classes, students and teachers have brought the World Cup into their own classrooms, and have even tied it to their lessons.

For German teachers Tim Welch and Ashley Smith, both of whom put on Germany’s game against Japan in their classes, the World Cup was a way to integrate learning about the students’ foreign language’s culture.

“It was good to feel like we’re connected a little bit to the Germans,” Welch said. “But it’s still been a nice change of things.”

English teacher Lynn Bonakdar agrees with this sentiment. Although she is not a soccer fan, she was happy to put on a game at the end of one of her classes, and was glad to see students having fun in their classes, which are usually work-packed.

Many students have agreed that it was exciting to have a little break between school activities and watch a game with their classmates—an experience which has created a greater sense of community within and throughout individual classes.

“Teachers playing [games] during class was good to release some stress and relax for a bit,” junior Darren Hau said. “The entire class was so excited.”

In addition to releasing stress, watching and discussing the games has led to enjoyable and unique moments for everybody involved.

“One of my favorite moments at WA was cheering for Morocco to beat Spain in the penalties alongside my fellow students, teachers, and administrators,” senior Roman Munichiello said.

However, that is not the only reason why students have had a good experience—for some, like junior Clem Bower, discussing the World Cup has had a deeper impact. Bower, who is Brazilian, has had trouble expressing that part of their identity around the school community, but celebrating the several wins Brazil had has brought them closer to that aspect of their self, and has helped them become more open and enthusiastic about it with their friends.

“Even though Brazil was eliminated in the semifinals, I can root for Argentina and continue celebrating my Latino heritage,” Bower said.

Sophomore Lara Rodriguez agrees that the World Cup has been a good way to be able to talk about her Argentinian identity.

“I think it’s really fun that I get to [watch] it during school, and get to talk about it with my peers,” Rodriguez said.

With the finals to the World Cup coming up this weekend, the buzz around it will come to a close, but students want WA to use this event as a blueprint for what to do as a school for other worldwide events.

“I think [the World Cup] has increased students’ communication and support of each other,” Munichiello said. “I would encourage the school to continue to support these worldwide events.”