I got really interested in the Women’s World Cup this year. I grew up before soccer was played by girls, at least where I lived. Maybe the absence of good news made our favored-to-win status welcome in a summer marked by Washington stalemates and too much polemics. The U.S. was the favorite, and we were ready to win. Our team is fabulous, as the Stanford blog recounts. Millions of people were tuned to their smartphones, radios, televisions and other devices. We lost. Japan won. Great for Japan! They deserved the win.
It got me thinking what the women’s loss means for our School. Part of the message is: never become complacent. Never assume. Now, I don’t know that the women were complacent. But all those people telling them it was their game to lose must have had a psychological effect. As a School with over 70 years of excellence behind us, some might downplay the schools that have come along in the last 10 years. Many of these schools were started with substantial state and other investments. They want to move ahead and up in the rankings. Other schools have new infusions of dollars, new leadership and new expectations. We must keep working to be the best, not only because of the rankings (although rankings matter), but because that’s the only way to be. It’s not our right to be a top school; we have to earn it on our playing field every day.
Happy Monday. Barbara