Tradition to a certain extent is good, but I think that sometimes at Deerfield we have a tendency to emphasize tradition for the sake of preserving it rather than for its actual benefits.
For instance, we are constantly being harassed about dress code. What is the message behind requiring students to wear expensive clothing to class? We’re here to learn. I do not really see the benefits of a dress code.
I also disagree with the idea of the Deerfield Boy and Girl. I think the fact that we even have symbols of two “model” students gives the wrong message.
Although this isn’t case, the Deerfield Boy and Girl appear to represent one type of person. They aren’t all encompassing. It is as though we are saying that we do not promote individuality.
Part of the problem behind our portrayal of tradition is our interpretation of Deerfield’s motto, “Be worthy of your heritage.” Because it promotes the past, we as a community are always looking back. We should instead be worthy of our futures and those to come after us because they will be affected by what we do here.
I also think that our interpretation of this motto can become easily confused and allow for a degree of apathy. Just because a tradition is a part of history does not make it good.
Tradition can sometimes create an exclusive atmosphere. Because Deerfield used to be an all-boys’ school, a lot of that culture and tradition still runs deep in social life here.
From a girl’s perspective,Deerfield can often feel male-dominated. I have noticed that there is a sense of entitlement, and even belonging, that does not fully extend to the girl population.
If we really want to progress as a community and as a school, I believe that it is imperative that we become less obsessed with the Boyden era, because it makes it seem as though we are promoting the homogeneous culture of that time.