Superlatives: Some People Care About Them



Marina Smoske

This week FHS is abuzz with talk of the senior superlative ballots passed in on Monday.  Now that the initial flurry of pink paper has passed, another thinly-veiled popularity contest has begun.  Let the games begin! But first…

A “prior to reading my sass” disclaimer: I have no personal beef with superlative title holders of past, present, or future.

This is not an act of jealousy from the frumpy girl next door who never wins anything. (your writer to a T, ladies and gentlemen)  This is about the deeper implications of superlatives.

I can’t be the only one finding superlatives strangely reminiscent of the  prom and homecoming courts, where we honored what my brother cleverly called the “Kardashians of school functions.” (by which he only meant, “hey, they’re nice people, but why, exactly, are we handing them a crown and sash?”)

Let’s have a moment of brutal honesty, here.  We’re sitting around with pieces of paper that demand we compare our classmates’ personalities, appearances, and possessions to determine who reigns supreme.

Never mind what person would want their grandkids to know they were the “biggest gossip,” deciding who out of hundreds of multi-faceted students has the “best hair” isn’t done without damage- and some insulting dialogue.

Oh Regina George from the end of the movie, where art thou to help speak for us superlative nay-sayers?

And with that off my chest and saved on my laptop, I perused the library for seniors with something to say on the subject.

“I just think it’s a good way to recap the class,” says Steve Shea, a senior. “It’s a tradition, too.”

I pointed out that burning people at the stake was also a tradition once.

“Those things are very different. Those things are different in many ways,” He responded, cracking a smile.

And different they are, I suppose. So do they even matter?

“It’s an empty title,” said Gabby Belisle, a senior. “You’re campaigning for something that doesn’t even matter.”

But going back to the underlying question: is it a popularity contest?

“It’s not a popularity contest, if you fit the title, you’ll be recognized,” explained Zach Scafati, a senior.  Scafati continued to tell me what’s what as he contemplatively ate a sandwich, finishing with a clear sentiment:

“Well, in conclusion… concluding… closing… this is not a popularity contest.”

The diversity of student opinions surprised me, as I expected more of a uniform acceptance of superlatives. Either way, my opinion that they’re a bit ridiculous stands. Let me know what you think in the comments below and cast a vote in the poll.

…And also tell me what one has to do to win “most swag,” that’s a loose end I still need tied up.

How do you feel about superlatives?


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