By Banyan Ryan                                                                                    

Connor Wagner, fellow journalist at North Eugene, believes that we should remove the plastic bottle sculpture of a whale that is currently hanging in the glass lounge.

His arguments against keeping it up are that after a certain accident when it was broken in two from being hit by a ball, they had to reattach the bottles with tape instead of pasting it back together, as it was originally made. This lead to the sculpture looking far worse than it used to, as well as causing several parts of it, such as the fins, to loosen and fall apart. It also doesn’t help that the plaque that hangs on the wall beneath it, which explains who made it and what it represents, is far too small for anyone to notice, along with being very old and quickly falling apart itself. While these are all very legitimate arguments, they alone are not compelling enough to explain why we should remove the whale permanently rather than just fixing it.

Yes, the whale does look sufficiently worse after it was brought back to life using nothing but tape. Yes, the fins are starting to fall apart. And yes, the plaque that hangs beneath is far too small for most people to notice, along with the fact that it too is also quickly deteriorating. But these are all problems that can easily be fixed if some extra effort was put into refurbishing it and making it look new again.

Are any students who care enough about it to be bothered to help fix it? As Wagner mentions in his article, only two of the ten students he interviewed had any positive feelings toward the whale. However, I chose to do the same and traveled around the school asking others for their opinion on whether we should restore it to its former glory and keep it up or if we should not even bother and just take it down permanently. I interviewed 50 students and teachers in total.. The results came out 35 students (or 70%) in favor of keeping the whale, with ten requesting that we take it down and five saying that they don’t care either way.

So there are still plenty of students and teachers in this school wishing that the whale would stay up. It would not be too difficult to repair both the whale and the plaque that describes it. Buying, or even building, a much larger picture frame, hanging it beside the whale as to help people notice it, and rewriting it on paper big enough so that people could read it from the ground wouldn’t be that difficult if enough people were to put in even the slightest bit of effort towards it. And from the data I’ve collected regarding the majority of students’ opinion on the whale, it wouldn’t be that hard to find some willing volunteers.

Not only that, but we could also glue the bottles back together as they originally were. It would no longer look ugly and it would stop the fins from falling apart. None of what I’m suggesting is very challenging, I think that’s obvious. Yes, taking it down would require a lot less effort, but if 70% of the teachers and students honestly care about the whale and would rather see it brought back to life than just thrown away, is putting a bit more work into fixing it really asking for too much from our school?

I love the whale. I think it’s a very unique piece of artwork that really adds to our school in a generally positive way. I do agree with Wagner that it does look a lot worse since it was rebuilt using tape, but to take it down for good just because of its appearance when so many others care about the whale and don’t want to see it go really doesn’t make much sense.