CARLSBAD — It’s a club about nothing.
That’s how the pitch went when Sage Creek High School senior Sean Cooke, 17, posed the idea of a new school club to teacher Brian Co.
The idea was based mostly on the “Seinfeld” episode where comedian Jerry Seinfeld and his friend George Costanza pitched their idea to NBC executives about a TV show based on nothing.
“Just talking? What’s the show about?” Jerry asks in the episode.
“It’s about nothing,” George replies.
“Everybody’s doing something, we’ll do nothing,” George adds.
“I think you may have something here,” Jerry later says.
But besides being about nothing, at heart, Cooke’s club is meant for younger students who struggle to make friends. The club gives them the opportunity to do so.
Cooke had trouble meeting people and making friends in middle school. It wasn’t until he joined a drama class where his teacher preached a family atmosphere that Cooke was able to overcome his social shortcomings.
“It created this sort of group of people I was able to connect with,” he explained. “That became such a necessity I never had. I noticed in high school I was able to do that on my own.”
Co understood the club’s concept in “less than 30 seconds,” — at least the “Seinfeld” aspect of it — and agreed to be the advisor, he explained.
Co said the club is the antithesis of traditional clubs, which typically have a theme or cause, such as community service, speech and debate or LGBTQ issues, to name a few. In addition, students in traditional clubs use them for their college applications.
Their club though, doesn’t have any motive other than for those who do not want to participate in a traditional setting, and who can now do so with no agenda. They meet every other week in Co’s room and “hang out” and make friends, the educator said.
“I try to make it real for everyone,” Cooke said. “The ‘Seinfeld’ thing was a good way for me to get the platform and I thought it would be a good idea to get this tool out there.”
The club came about through the school’s “Genius Project,” which is for all seniors at SCHS.
Co said it’s a program where students implement and leave a legacy for future students.
“He took the ‘Seinfeld’ approach to it,” Co said. “If every other club is for something, why not make a club about nothing? Really, it’s turned into a club for people who don’t like clubs.”
The Carlsbad Unified School District Board of Trustees officially approved the club in December, along with more than a dozen others. Co, though, said there is no fundraising efforts or money needed for the club so it was an easy decision for SCHS administrators and the board to accept.
“It’s so genius because it’s so obvious,” Co said. “Every high school should have this because not every kid is going to be into school or in the clubs. This is kind of the place for them. They don’t have to fit a certain mold. It’s more of a humorous take on clubs.”
Cooke said about 12 kids attend the “meetings” every other week and gives them an opportunity to come out of their shell.
He said it is aimed more for freshmen and sophomores, since they are newer to high school and its social challenges.
“I don’t say this, but it’s kind of hidden within the club,” Cooke said of the underlying purpose. “It would be a really affable way to give a group of freshmen and sophomores a group of friends if they have no other way to do so.”
Steve Puterski covers Carlsbad and Vista. For tips or story ideas, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @StevePuterski.