Radar readers, welcome to Grace and Victor’s article about Spirit Week! We’ll be summarizing the events of each day and discussing the controversy over senior cheating, so sit back and enjoy what we’ve written for you!
Spirit Week took place over the course of three days (Sept 28th-30th). This year’s Spirit Committee kept many old traditions alive, as well as introducing a new activity: a lip sync battle! They also took down a past tradition: seniors cheating. I (Grace) have a few things to say about that change, but I digress for the moment; Victor and I will first tell you all you need to know about Spirit Week’s events.
On Wednesday, the College Prep community dug out their loud flowered shirts, visors, fanny packs, and more—it was Tacky Tourist Day! As I roamed campus in too-big tan shorts, long white socks, and black sandals, I gloried in the sight of my peers dressed like fools. Tacky Tourist is a terrific dressup; well done, Spirit!
At Wednesday’s break, we experienced our first ever College Prep Lip Sync Battle! The techies created a great atmosphere, and a variegated collection of performers took the stage. Admittedly, I had expected to do homework and half-heartedly watch, but I ended up abandoning that plan because I found the show wildly entertaining. From a group of seniors performing Bomba Estéreo’s “Soy Yo,” to Ryan Dooley and Amy Clausen showing off their skills with Gaston’s song from Beauty and the Beast, the lip sync battle really displayed Prep students’ talent. In my humble opinion, Adrienne W. (‘19) totally stole the show with their rendition of Bryant Oden’s “I Got A Pea.” Hilarious, poignant, and with the help of friends and many vegetables, Adrienne really killed it on the stage. Another highlight (and the judges agreed) was the girls’ varsity volleyball team! The girls performed a mashup of several songs, including the Spice Girls’ “Wannabe” and Britney Spears’s “Toxic.” Part of their routine included successfully hitting a volleyball, something I’ve never achieved, so I found it plenty impressive. The team took first place at the lip sync battle.
The next major event on Wednesday? None other than the FIRST DODGEBALL GAMES OF THE WEEK! To start, freshmen faced off against sophomores. Honestly, I’ve never been so enthralled—or so shocked—in a dodgeball game. From the very beginning, it looked like the sophomore team had it in the bag. Within minutes, the freshmen had only one player remaining…yet this one young man, Brant H., kept on going. He brought the sophomores down a player or two, and then the unthinkable happened: Brant revived his whole team and the freshmen destroyed the sophomores. I know. I know. It was unbelievable. Next, the seniors faced the juniors and won, which was pretty much a foregone conclusion (not because they cheated, just because they’re bigger and stronger). In the final game of the day, the losers’ face-off (juniors vs. sophomores), the juniors took the victory. Well played, everyone.
Thursday was movie genre day! The faculty time-traveled back from a sci-fi future, little freshmen dressed up as their favorite cartoon characters, sophomores looked like they came straight out of a horror movie, juniors were popping with action and adventure, and seniors wore togas (as usual).
What was new about this year’s spirit week, however, was the variation on Zorb soccer. Last year, they played soccer inside giant plastic Zorb balls – this year, we had relay races (not soccer) inside giant plastic Zorb balls.
At the end, Dean Chabon himself got inside the Zorb! Writhing masses of teenagers unleashed their pent-up homework-and-hormone-induced frustration, surging towards the Zorb and tackling it one way and the other. (I personally got crushed underneath it and was dragged for about 20 feet.)
At lunch, the dodgeball series continued – the seniors crushed the freshmen (without cheating), and the freshmen went on to crush the juniors (cheating here may have been a possibility, but then again, I’m a junior).
Finally, fabulous friday arrived: the day of the rally, the day of class pride, and the day the seniors (in past) have dominated the younger students in every activity. Freshmen were purple, sophomores were yellow, juniors were blue, seniors were red, and faculty were green. If I may offer a few humble suggestions: 1. Purple and blue are too similar. I had to go by size to recognize my classmates. 2. Yellow is very risky. Caution tape becomes a viable option, and then sophomores might do something irritating like block off the entire gym deck by surrounding the stairs as if they’re a crime scene…not that they would ever do something like that, of course…
Break and Community hosted that most cherished of Spirit Week events––the RALLY. I have a love/hate relationship with the Spirit Week rally, because it brings joy, laughter, fun dressups, class spirit, and intense ear pain. I mean, would it be so hard to get ear plugs? Someone was walking around and handing them out, but due to the deafening gym atmosphere, they couldn’t even hear me ask for them. Nevertheless, the rally made up for my pounding headache. Sort of.
The Banner Competition: I was really impressed with the quality of the banners this year; they were definitely the best I’ve seen. The freshmen punned on “2020 Vision” with a stunning purple banner, the sophomores’ bright yellow banner brought “19NITE” to the party, and the juniors returned with their classic “DOM1N8.” However, the seniors, who took first prize in the competition, clearly defeated all other slogans and decorations with their fiery red “IT’S L17.”
The Screaming Competition: We usually can’t predict this contest’s winning class, because the decibels really vary from year to year. However, during this year’s Spirit Week, someone (oh, what a cruel someone) gave the sophomore class vuvuzelas (huge horns) to blow, a privilege they proceeded to abuse at all times and places. Once the class of 2019 banded together and blew their horns simultaneously during the competition, we all knew who would be taking the victory this year.
At lunch, the undefeated dodgeball champions (the seniors) faced the faculty. I was personally rooting for the faculty – while they might not have enjoyed the springiness and vitality of high school youth, experience and discipline were certainly on their side. Unfortunately, they met the fate of all who stood up to the seniors. In fact, Mr. Song injured his ankle and needed crutches for weeks.
Now it’s time for me to get a little frustrated, so bear with me, please. This year, the senior class, 2017, decided not to win questionably at the rally, preferring to emerge victorious by fair play. Doesn’t that sound like a good idea? Well, I didn’t like that decision at all, and here’s why: seniors winning during Spirit Week is a CPS tradition. “Just because it’s tradition, doesn’t mean we should do it!” you’re probably saying, and in many cases (such as racism, sexism, and other acts of hate), you’d be totally right. But I, for one, enjoy having the seniors win everything. When I was a freshman, I watched as the class of 2015 dominated the other grades by having their whole grade, instead of just a team, compete in something. I got such a kick out of it! It was hilarious and totally silly; their actions weren’t meant to offend or belittle the other grades. The wins are just a way for the seniors to blow off steam and assert their positions as the top of the campus––not because they’re necessarily better than the other grades, but because they work so hard to get to senior year and they’re in the thick of college applications. Why shouldn’t the seniors get to relax and know that they’ll win everything? Every grade will get their chance eventually, so it’s not unfair for long. The class of 2017 is lucky and talented enough to have students who are amazing at dodgeball, limbo, tug-of-war, and banner-making. They didn’t need to stack their teams; more power to them, I say, but I hope that future seniors won’t be discouraged from asserting their class pride if they want to. I’ve been looking forward to senior dominance since my freshman year! Well, now you might be saying “But Grace, our school motto encourages us to have a mind aware of what is right!” That’s totally true for serious things, like academics and sports. Spirit Week is a goofy time where seniors have always been allowed, even encouraged, to crush the other grades in the past, and my mens is conscia that the recti thing to do is win everything at Spirit Week. Thanks for reading!