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Just another American cheerleader

November 17th, 2010 · 4 Comments


Yeah, I had the pep and I had the steam!

I was watching yet another video about job searching, this one on the elevator pitch. The woman with the bad bleach job was explaining how it is done.

“You don’t want to sound like some American cheerleader.” She said derisively.

Great. I thought my time on the field was well spent. I even did a segment in an AIGA 20/20 show on how being a cheerleader helped my design career.

Here are a few:

Proof it again! One poster I had done the year I was a cheerleader was used the entire school year when one coach called me over and said “Michelle, you did that poster?” I hopped over and nodded. “How do you spell Tigers?” he asked.

It said “We’re cheering for you Tigrs!” The worst part was that the cheerleaders used it again the next year, typo and all.

S-U-C-C-E-S-S: I could at least spell the word.

Most of all: I learned that if you can jump up and down on a sprained ankle for an entire game; smiling through tears streaming down your face, with your ass hanging out in front of the whole county, there isn’t much that scares you away from trying.

Though I am naturally outgoing, I learned to be tenacious, to work hard, to take insults with grace, to never give up. (Though right now, I am so tempted.) I am not a natural athlete. I had to work harder. I didn’t get cheerleader my senior year which was devastating. Everything I did then was completely on my own. My parents didn’t even come to my games because, as we know, the girls don’t matter.

So, here I am in a country where people actually shout at me because of my citizenship.

The only thing sustaining me are the great family of friends, a thread of hope that is sometimes as thin as the plastic in my pom-poms and the pathological optimism that maybe tomorrow this job application will find someone who can use an over-qualified, over-educated, overly enthusiastic, woman designer.

Tags: History · personal · Uncategorized

4 Responses to “Just another American cheerleader”

  1. Mark Says:

    I wonder if the gal with the bad color job ever got a job on an elevator? I know that every time I meet a woman with pom poms on an elevator it makes a lasting impression, and what is so wrong with cheering and pep? Within reason of course.

    Seriously though differentiation is what makes one stand out, perseverance helps too. I still wonder how many elevator pitches actually pay off? Keep us posted. I am curious.

  2. Kyle Jess Says:

    I like this article. During college when I was in your classes I never knew you were a cheerleader. You had bragging rights and never used them. All too many of the girls would be happy to tell you what title they won in beauty contest. Few were humble enough to keep it to themselves.
    One day after sitting in a room with 4 girls, and 1 cute guy in art, I heard each girls story of their beauty lives. I had nothing to tout. My future room mate said nothing, till much later. She said I didn’t mention my titles as my sisters pushed me in these contests. At least I placed each time I entered. She said of the bragging girls you have no idea how many beauty contest they were in and how many times they never placed. But they acted like they won them all.
    I appreciate her be humble enough not to rub it in, and keep her mouth shut during that time.
    So for you gals finding your own paths and not resting on your laurels “Well good for you” as they say in the Campell’s soup commerical in the USA.
    You will find a job, girls do matter, and our hope is in above.

  3. Michelle Says:

    I never thought it was something to brag about—and definitely not something you wanted to bring up in the art department—how uncool would that have been? Since I didn’t make the squad my senior year, it was more of a sore spot. It did a lot to shape my personality, I suppose. I’ve always had more tenacity and more guts than anything else.

  4. Jane carroll Says:

    You certainly do write well and describe things perfectly with wonderful insight. Maybe you need a writing career. Hang in there some more for in due season or past due season you shall reap.

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