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Spirit Week: A Changing Perspective

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Spirit Week: A Changing Perspective

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Disclaimer: the following views expressed below do not intend to encompass the opinions of the entire Freshman or Senior classes.

One of the biggest events celebrated here at Oakland Catholic is Spirit Week! We decided to take a look at a Freshman and Senior perspective on this much anticipated time of year.

Freshman Perspective:

Alison Sinicki ’22 and Haley Moreland ’22 (Staff Writers)

February came and went with what felt like no time at all, and the Freshmen Class is eager to share their perspectives on their first OC Spirit Week! I’m sure all of the upperclassmen can remember their freshman Spirit Week and their expectations for the annual OC celebration. Whether they’re great memories of fun and laughter with new friends, or bad memories of feeling too afraid of the loud gymnasium, every student has a memory of Spirit Week to stick with them for the rest of their time being an OC Eagle and beyond!

For freshman class president Lily Giovanelli, Spirit Week started a month before the rest of us even thought about it. She was planning our hallway, picking teams for competitions, and getting us hyped up before we even knew what it was for. It’s a lot of work to organize, but Lily couldn’t wait. “I am beyond excited for Spirit Week,” she said, “and being in a position where I am one of the leaders of the freshman class I have been working hard with the other student council members to prepare for Spirit Week, and I can’t wait for myself and the other freshman to join the excitement.” All the hard work certainly paid off. Spirit Week was a huge success thanks to Lily and the other student council members. Of course, the freshman class hallway wasn’t as perfect as the Seniors’ Underwater Wonderland, but Lily is already brainstorming new ideas for next year! When asked about what she would change about the process of Spirit Week, Lily commented, “It’s hard to say what I would change about spirit week without truly experiencing it yet, but honestly I would make it longer. I mean, a spirit month sounds good to me.” A whole month to celebrate our wonderful school sounds great to us, too.

Similar to Lily’s involved point of view, Flayre Farina had no idea what she was walking into in regards to the Spirit Week festivities. Of course, she’d heard from upperclassmen about the extreme enthusiasm of the week as a whole, but as someone who is not as involved in the planning process behind the week, she didn’t know what to expect. When Flayre was asked about her expectations of Spirit Week, she replied, “I‘m actually really excited for Spirit week, especially this being my first one as a freshman. I think it’s a great way for Oakland Catholic to really become a community, bond, and just have some fun!” She continued by saying the week would be a good distraction from the stress of school and a great way for our class to connect. She also commented about her opinion on the freshman “Sleeping Beauty” hallway theme, stating, “I also really like the theme this year for my grade because I think it’s fun, feminine, and magical.” When following up with Flayre, she said that the week was so much fun and that she’d had an amazing time performing in the talent show and getting to be a part of her very first OC Spirit Week.

Many people helped make Spirit Week a success, whether it be participating in the festivities or helping decorate a hallway, it’s safe to say everything was a team effort. Audrey Pohlod was definitely a team player, representing the freshman class in ultimate football and drawing the beautiful fairies for our pink hallway. She put a lot of effort into helping out and enjoyed doing it for her fellow classmates. “I am excited about Spirit Week,” Audrey stated, “because I don’t really know what it entails. I also enjoyed Spirit Week, it was a nice break from the stress of classes.” Spirit Week was a mystery to many freshmen because we knew the point of it was to celebrate our school and that it was fun, but we didn’t know much more. We were basically walking in blind. Now that the week has come and gone, I think I can speak for all of the freshmen class when I say that we cannot wait for next year. When we asked her what she would change about Spirit Week, she replied with, “I don’t really know, maybe have it be a full week so that we could do more?”  More time to relax before really getting into the second semester sounds like a much-needed break that we would all appreciate.

Yes, Spirit Week was a fleeting moment – a sea of pink, yellow, red, and blue. It was loud, festive, and maybe a little bit stressful at times. Despite what individual freshmen may say about Spirit Week, I think the class, as a whole, feels that the week itself was a success. It was filled with good people, fun activities, and lot’s of screaming. The freshmen can’t wait to celebrate Spirit Week again next year as OC’s new sophomore class!

 

Senior Perspective:

Clara Albacete ’19 Editor-In-Chief

Spirit Week. After four years experiencing what’s supposed to be the “most fun” week of the year, I have quite a few feelings about this special week. First, I’ve learned that as the years go by, so does the enthusiasm for spirit week. Coming in as a freshman, having a week with shortened classes, fun and games, and decorated hallways was a dream. Who couldn’t love it? Yet, with each passing spirit week, I gained less and less excitement for being squished in an extremely loud gym, rushed through a talent show in a room with terrible acoustics, and tripping over poorly placed decorations and falling wallpaper. Who would like a week like that? I was tempted to call in “sick” more than once this year, except, I reasoned with myself “it’s my last year, I should go…” The snow day in the middle helped to keep me coming the days we did have school.

Second, I learned how difficult, expensive, and sometimes wasteful decorating the hallways can be, especially considering only three days later everything must come down. I was particularly enthused when my class decided to choose Finding Nemo as our theme because there were so many different components to the movie that we could use in our hallway. As an ocean enthusiast, I was especially excited to come up with creative ways to make all the different kinds of fish. However, this enthusiasm came to a grinding halt when, as class treasurer, I began to see how much these creative ideas would cost and had to rethink our approach to the hallway. We had a big budget (the biggest of all four classes), but it felt wasteful to spent some $300 on decorations that would all be thrown away after less than a week. And that’s another thing–everything is thrown away. The amount of waste created from hallway decorating is enormous; very little is even able to be recycled and after a week of high-energy, those cleaning up would much rather tear down and go home than spend the time sorting through what can be recycled and what can’t.

With this in mind, the senior officers came up with an idea that we hope future classes will also adopt: using recycled materials (like water bottles and plastic bags) to make some decorations. The more difficult part of this is creating the decorations in a way that doesn’t contaminate the reused materials so they can be recycled or reused again later. However, with some creativity (example: wrapping water bottles like a Christmas present), many decorations were able to be made in a clean way. For me, this brightened spirit week because I was able to fully enjoy the senior hallway, knowing that a large chunk of the decorations was made of reusable and recyclable materials (which was also cost effective!). There is also, of course, a certain sense of satisfaction to see a beautiful hallway be put together and know you contributed to that final product. For anyone student wondering how to make spirit week more enjoyable, I would highly recommend participating in the hallway decorating. It becomes much more meaningful when you’ve put your own time and effort into making it beautiful.

Third, I’ve learned that spirit week is what you make of it. If you are determined to have a horrible time and go in with a negative mindset then you will, I guarantee, have a terrible time during spirit week and be ready to rejoice when it comes to an end. For me, that was a huge contributor to my lack of enjoyment of the week. No, I don’t like standing in a crowded gym full of screaming people. Yes, the acoustics in the auxiliary gym bother me to no end. Yes, I think the circle of life dress-up idea is one of the worst the school has had and can’t fathom why people enjoy it. There are many things I flat out dislike about spirit week. BUT, it’s important to try to approach the week with a positive attitude, take it for what it is, and at least enjoy that you don’t have as much homework. My involvement in the hallway decorating made me appreciate that part of spirit week much more. Even if I’m not the one playing, I like seeing my class win ultimate football (especially against the juniors). It’s fun to see all the pictures from the year compiled into a nice video (courtesy of Katelyn Ellery). And, ultimately, there’s something special about knowing it was my last spirit week. That didn’t make the week bittersweet, and I am not at all upset that my time with spirit week has come to an end, but there was a feeling amongst us seniors of a certain unity, a final hoorah as we all ran into the gym on Friday, decked out in blue, the senioritis coming in strong with most people already having, to quote Nina Fratto, “at least one foot out the door, if not more.”

It was, to say the least, a weird spirit week, especially since it was so early this year. However, I tried my best to make the most out of it, and while that doesn’t mean that I enjoyed every second, I can say that overall it was a pretty solid last spirit week.

 

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Spirit Week: A Changing Perspective