The Art Of Sportsmanship

The Art Of Sportsmanship

Not the superficial kind...

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Shaking the other player's hands at the end of the game, being nice to the other team, screaming three hoorays; demonstrations of sportsmanship. No. Sportsmanship goes far beyond the superficial "niceties", thereby a trait that should be instilled in both the players and spectators as a form of dignity.

What's wrong with cheering for the Clippers when they miss a jump shot? What's wrong with cheering for Djokovic when his shot bashes into the net? We all have our favorite teams, what's wrong with that? The truth is, there are many things wrong with rooting for the opponent and his failure, rather than rewarding cheers for when your team player shoots a great basket, scores a phenomenal touchdown or even an elegant crossbar goal.

However, this does not mean that you must always root for both teams, or as I do, for the underdog. Instead, sportsmanship is an important embodiment of respect to any sport and the players, coaches, and referees. The following few methods and examples as to why true sportsmanship from both spectator and athlete showcases respect and class.

1. Respect

Paramount to good sportsmanship, the concept is very easily understood, however putting this into play can be very difficult. Treat others as you want to be treated is the golden rule, and adding another dimension of treating others as they want to be treated becomes platinum. In sports, this can extend to prioritizing the team instead of yourself; giving up your shot at scoring by passing to a teammate, something along those lines. Additionally, respecting teammates by encouragement, support and picking them up when they fail will not only build their confidence, and make them feel safer, but it will also render you more respect within that team.

Respecting the game, is a whole other type of respect, and learning and understanding the rules, though overlooked, is important. As spectator, calling out fouls and being unaware of what actually happened is nothing but snobbish especially if you don't understand the game. Another form of disrespect comes in the lack of hustle, that leads to giving up especially under losing circumstances, and even in the face of pressure.

2. Class: Grace and Maturity

It is heart wrenching to play the game of your life, and put everything into something, only for it to not be enough and still have to say "good job" and shake hands with the opponent. But it proves maturity when you can keep "losing" in perspective. By this sense, the most important phrase (applicable to anything) is that if it won't matter in 5 years, don't spend more than 5 minutes stressing about it. This does not dismiss the act of carefully thinking about certain things, but in the grand scheme of your life how much will it matter if you slap their hand, instead of shaking it with grace, and somewhat appreciating their victory. Therefore, it is important to accept responsibility for a loss, and not blame it on anyone else- the referee being the most common victim.

Additionally, a similar indication of grace is acknowledging the winner- which, though difficult, shows discipline and a high degree of emotional intelligence. On the other hand, winning with humility is the outcome of being respectful in the sense that it should be fun, for exercise rather than solely about being first or pursuing an individual goal. Therefore, we should learn to win and lose whilst maintaining perspective. At the same time that you win, someone else lost and keeping how they feel in mind shows grace. Striking the balance between celebrating your achievements and dejecting your opponent is difficult.

Team can mean anything, beyond sports, and in fact a lot of the goals of coaches, soccer- moms and dads and so on revolve around developing the athletes and even spectators into productive, balanced and caring people. The sports teams and individual players can serve as analogies for other life situations such as the workplace, family and even friends. And just like sports, life is tough wherein we must learn to deal with both success and failure rather than letting either debilitate us. Thomas Edison after failing to create a successful light build 9000 times said, "Why would I feel like a failure? And why would I ever give up? I now know definitively over 9000 ways that an electric light bulb will not work." Keeping positive spirits, and persevering can inspire motivation, result in dignity, grace and respect- ultimately sportsmanship and its' importance.

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To The Nursing Major During The Hardest Week Of The Year

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

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To the Nursing Major During Finals Week,

I know you're tired, I know you're stressed, and I know you feel like you can't go on. I know that no part of this seems fair, and I know you are by far the biggest critic of yourself. I know that you've thought about giving up. I know that you feel alone. I know that you wonder why in the world you chose one of the hardest college majors, especially on the days it leaves you feeling empty and broken.

But, I also know that you love nursing school. I know your eyes light up when you're with patients, and I know your heart races when you think of graduation. I know that you love the people that you're in school with, like truly, we're-all-in-this-together, family type of love. I know that you look at the older nurses with admiration, just hoping and praying that you will remain that calm and composed one day. I know that every time someone asks what your college major is that you beam with pride as you tell them it's nursing, and I know that your heart skips a beat knowing that you are making a difference.

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that a failed class doesn't mean you aren't meant to do this. I know that a 'C' on a test that you studied so. dang. hard. for does not mean that you are not intelligent. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

I know that nursing school isn't fair. I know you wish it was easier. I know that some days you can't remember why it's worth it. I know you want to go out and have fun. I know that staying up until 1:00 A.M. doing paperwork, only to have to be up and at clinicals before the sun rises is not fair. I know that studying this much only to be failing the class is hard. I know you wish your friends and family understood. I know that this is difficult.

Nursing school isn't glamorous, with the white lab coat and stethoscope. Nursing school is crying, randomly and a lot. Nursing school is exhaustion. Nursing school is drinking so much coffee that you lose track. Nursing school is being so stressed that you can't eat. Nursing school is four cumulative finals jam-packed into one week that is enough to make you go insane.

But, nursing school is worth it. I know that when these assignments are turned in and finals are over, that you will find the motivation to keep going. I know that one good day of making a difference in a patient's life is worth a hundred bad days of nursing school.

Keep hanging in there, nursing majors. It'll all be worth it— this I know, for sure.

So, if you have a nursing major in your life, hug them and tell them that you're proud of them. Nursing school is tough, nursing school is scary, and nursing school is overwhelming; but a simple 'thank-you' from someone we love is all we need to keep going.

Sincerely,

A third-year nursing student who knows

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Why Fordham Should Have a Safe Space Policy

On a campus committed to it's student's safety, why is emotional safety left out?

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Last year college Republicans were asked to leave Rodrigue's coffee house for provoking members by wearing pro-Trump attire within the shop. The reason they were asked to leave was because Rodrigue's upholds a "safe space" policy, which can be boiled down to the simple phrase: "No racism. No sexism. No homophobia." In the eyes of the members and patrons of Rod's, Trump embodied all of these things. Regardless of the politics of this specific incident, the phrase and policy seems redundant because this rhetoric can't possibly be allowed anywhere else on campus. Right?

As this incident made campus as well as national news Father McShane addressed the events in an e-mail to all students in which he made it clear he did not condone the approach of the College Republicans, as well as stated that Fordham has no official Safe Space policy and insinuated if it did this would silence voices on campus.

Let's examine what a safe space policy means and why it's important to so many members of the Fordham community. It simply means homophobic, sexist, and racist imagery and speech are not allowed. On a campus with racial minority, female, and queer students who chose to be members of the Fordham community as well as study here, live here, and pay obscene amounts of money to be a student, it does not make sense for these individuals to be subjected to abuses related to their identity. How can you focus in class when your professor misgenders you, a student makes a disparaging comment about your religion, or you fear for your physical safety due to the way you present yourself? Bigoted rhetoric is oppositional to academia.

Fordham is a private university, not a public one, and could easily legislate a basic safe space guideline on campus. I understand many of us that a safe space policy would protect do not experience outward aggression often, if at all, as the University does take steps to ensure our safety. So why no official policy? The answer is simple to me: money. Fordham receives hefty donations from conservative alumni whose own political ideology is contrary to the safe space policy. The choice to not outwardly support minority students is a decidedly economic and political one, despite Father McShane's plea for political peace on campus.

And what is wrong with silencing hateful voices? Tolerance is an incredibly important value, but should tolerance really extend to the intolerant? I found the logic behind not installing the policy as it would politically oppress individuals, incredibly interesting and telling. This means your politics are fatally bigoted and I would take a critical look at that. It's intrinsic to our perception of our school to remember that colleges are businesses and it is sometimes their prerogative to meet economic needs above the needs of their student body. However, this is hopeful. As patrons of this business, we can demand more of them and the most effective way to do this is economical. Invest money in places such as Rodrigue's to expand their voice, have your parents write letters to the school, tell at-risk individuals to not apply, and encourage alumni to earmark their money for minority student initiatives or withhold it unless the school legislates a safe space policy.

We as a student body should care for one another and above all respect the personhood of everyone on and off campus. Consider honoring the policy in your own lives and social circles, and demand Fordham to officially do the same.

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