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Prep News: Spirit Week 2022 Recap!

Updated: Oct 25, 2022

The sun was still hiding behind thick fog as we stretched across the grass, shoes crumpling into the damp blades. Crayons and calculators were falling out of our backpacks, and our lunch boxes were swinging so high they could have punched holes into the clouds. Even under layers of Bay Area sports merch, our faces were pinched by the cold, our hands pink and raw. The Spirit Committee was unfazed by the chilly weather, immediately taking charge by organizing an intense game of Four Corners. We observed from the sidelines as the number of players depleted until only the lucky winners remained. This X-block on cloudy October 10th marked the beginning of Spirit Week.

School had been in session for nearly two months, and during that time, we scratched pencils to blue-lined pages until we developed tough calluses on our fingers. For two months, we devoured textbooks until their content became tattooed onto the insides of our eyelids. Now finally, our achievements and efforts were rewarded with a week of amusement.

On a short break, we caught up with friends and ate a quick snack before piling into the gym, where the first dodgeball game was held. It was the freshman against the juniors. The countdown began. At three, the players lunged back, eyes hungry for the line of styrofoam balls in the center of the gym. At two, the audience stood on their tallest tiptoes, trying to see over the sea of heads. At one, players scrambled to their feet, hands cutting through the air, trying to gather balls. After fifteen minutes, the juniors and seniors were named winners of their separate games. The audience spilled out of the gym and onto the courtyard for lunch, anticipating the next day's dodgeball game.

On Tuesday, the freshmen and the sophomores took a leap forward into their lives and dressed as elderly folks and parents, while juniors and seniors took a trip down memory lane as middle schoolers and toddlers. We admired our classmates' outfits as we filed into the gym for the second round of dodgeball. The first games were sophomores in Lululemon soccer-mom jackets and stained barbeque-dad aprons versus freshmen in flowy granny skirts and cotton grandpa sweater vests. This intense match determined who would remain in the competition. The freshmen put up a fierce fight, but sophomores conquered.

Next, the juniors, in bright, mismatched middle-school style attire, and the seniors, in pigtails and overalls, walked onto the court. Juniors took action quickly, ferociously hurling balls until only one senior remained. For some time, the lone senior dodged the aggressive attacks, but they were no match for the large group of juniors that remained. Eyes were awestruck, mouths stretched open. Juniors had won and moved on to the championships. The freshmen left the gym with low spirits, but the sophomores and seniors were given another opportunity for a slot in the final game on Thursday.

We sluggishly arrived at school on Wednesday, donning silk pajama sets and flannel slacks. Behind us, we towed coolers, guitar cases, baskets, and Hello Kitty suitcases holding our books and pens in place of our typical backpacks. All morning, from the frosted windows of our classrooms, our eyes excitedly followed Dean Chabon as he directed the inflation of two bounce houses. When the bell rang, and X-block finally began, we rushed to form lines to enter the inflatable houses, eating popcorn and fruit-flavored snow cones while we waited. For fifty minutes, our attention was not controlled by numbers and grammar; we were able to savor precious time with our friends and peers.

Come Thursday, we returned to our grade-specific dress-ups: underclassmen were athletes versus mathletes, while upperclassmen were country versus country club. Dodgeball (sophomores against seniors) was re-established as well, but prior to that were several entertaining rounds of Zorb soccer. The audience’s laughter and shrieks powered the players’ might through the shoving and brutal toppling to the floor. After two violent games, it came down to a final match between the upperclassmen. At the last minute, the juniors and seniors faced a tie––two to two. On each side of the gym, the audience chanted, shouted, and howled. The numbers on the clock slipped lower and lower. The seniors frantically chased the ball onto the other side of the court, knocking away juniors attempting to disrupt their plan, and ran faster and further until the ball reached the goal. The seniors had won!

Friday was College Prep’s tradition of Color Day. Every grade and member of the faculty was dressed in their distinctive color. We showed our class pride with thick lines of face paint and colorful bandanas. Standing on the field, waiting for the games to begin, we resembled a rainbow.

After the seniors performed an innovative dance, the games began. Each grade had their chance to shine in tug-of-war, soccer juggling, egg toss, water chugging, and the famous poster competition. Then, for the fourth time that week, we filled the gym's bleachers for the last and most anticipated game: juniors versus seniors. The senior players were quickly eliminated: they stood nervously on the sidelines, eyes to the game, until only one senior remained. Despite being on his own, he raced around, firing balls until the team of juniors shrunk down to two. It was nearly even. The eyes of the audience followed every slight movement the players made. Our heads chased the bright foam ball launched into the air by the senior, unexpectedly caught by a junior's hands. After a dramatic, intense week of dodgeball, the juniors were crowned champions.

At last, there was one spirit activity left: cleaning up. Disposing our carefully-selected, cherished decorations was saddening; we confronted the fact that Spirit Week was over until spring. However, Spirit Week reminds us to celebrate ordinary school days and to strive for a balance between fun and work—to make every CPS experience, mundane or not, “spirited.”

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