By Bridgett Scott '20
Like every busy week on the close, spirit week has its highs and lows, but the festive
costumes, excitement, and electricity in the air always make it a student favorite. Walking into
Davis Dining Hall each morning, students are greeted with thematic music and quite the display
of costumes representing different interpretation of the vague “relaxed dress code.” Usually, the
risk of breaking dress code is well worth it to sport patriotic America leggings, various swim
wear, everything you own in cheetah print, lower school uniforms, and many other creative
Unfortunately, these fifteen-minute dance parties every morning are rudely interrupted by
a regular schedule of classes Monday through Thursday. As students haul off to class they
remember how much more time they spent on their outfit than their homework the night before
leaving them slightly less prepared than usual for their imminent pop quizzes. Luckily, since
Friday is a non-academic day, the week only mandates three nights of homework, or lack
After four days of whisperings about the senior theme and anticipation for the big reveal
Friday finally rolls around. The entire day is packed with activities sending grades four through
twelve all around campus in school wide activities. The day starts off with purple and gold team
breakfasts filled with doughnuts, hairspray fumes and questionably hygienic purple and gold
makeup, then paired homerooms embark on a scavenger hunt that prompted students to traverse
Woodley multiple times, climb to the fourth floor of Hearst and even took us to the Bishops
garden. Down at the athletic center purple and gold students face off in games of musical chairs,
which always becomes shockingly violent, dodgeball, water balloon toss, and of course shaving
cream twister. Year after year the worst part of spirit day is putting shoes and socks back on after
a valiant fight on the twister mat.
The best part of the week is Friday afternoon, when the purple and gold teams come
together as a school to enjoy hilarious skits, and marvel in our classmate’s unique talents. To top
it off, the senior video is always flawlessly art directed to include many NCS memories side by
side with powerful movie clips. Many thanks to the electric class of 2018 for another great spirit
week to kick off the school year!
By Ellie Bailey '19 and Isabella Houle '19
While NCS girls are regularly enthusiastic and encouraging of their peers during the school day, they fail to show the same level of support to their fellow students after the school days ends during sporting events. There are a few reasons that are probably to blame for this occurrence.
The first barrier is the level of workload NCS girls receive. Between homework and students’ own sports schedules, it is simply not plausible for many students to attend sporting events. The school doesn’t provide a time, or any sort of weekend freedom in order to continually attend school games, and without that ongoing relationship and excitement surrounding our sports games, we cannot foster a connection to our sports teams and games unless we are a part of the team itself.
Also, when students do have free time, they tend to pick STA events over NCS ones. This trend reflects the idea in society that men’s sports are more important than women’s sports. Most people can name at least five major league male athletes but struggle to name even two female athletes. Many have the opinion that STA games are more exciting, or entertaining, or one would have a generally better time at an STA game rather than an NCS one.
Lastly, the NCS community does not have the equivalent of a spirited sports club such as the BEEF club at St. Albans. NCS solely has the “athletics board”, which is an elected, student government equivalent that tries to enthuse the student body in athletic events, but with less success as the STA BEEF club. From an outsider’s perspective, it seems as though STA boys are obsessed with BEEF club. Why is this? I have no idea. But NCS girls just don’t get as excited at their peer’s mention of sports games as boys do when the BEEF club tells them to “get out to that”.
So, what can be done? In an ideal world, we would have more free time, but that’s just NCS life for you. Although, students at NCS, myself included, should make more of an effort to support their fellow student athletes.
By Mia Millstein '19
As I walk in Monday morning all dressed in my red, white and blue, I hear the ever-so iconic Miley song, “Party in the USA,” blasting loudly in the cafeteria speakers. A rush of seniors past me jamming out and getting everyone hyped, but all I could do was smile because I was excited to start one of the best weeks of the year. From ‘Merica Monday to Throwback Thursday, spirit week is a time where NCS students can show up in the craziest and most spirited outfits without looking like a complete fool of themselves. Personally, I liked the idea that we could not get dress coded until the next week so on Thursday, I threw it back to the good old days where I could wear athletic shorts, basically the only thing I wore last year, without the fear of getting a detention. This sense of community that spirit week brings to NCS once a year is truly electric.
Concluding this exciting week is spirit day, music day and most importantly, the big senior reveal. Spirit day has always been a personal favorite of mine. The idea that the whole school whole school splits up into purple and gold, to compete for the title winner at the end of the year makes me feel part of a community. But, let’s be real. Gold is on fleek, while purple is on yeet (this maybe the quote of the century). Whether it be the classic obstacle course that I have been doing since fourth grade, to shaving cream twister, spirit day never fails to bring out my competitive nature. When my right foot is on red, left foot on blue and right hand on green, all I can focus on in the moment is doing whatever it takes to bring down the purple girl next to me and win. I love it.
After the fun-filled morning this year, music day is next. Some say it’s better than spirit day. Music day is basically one big talent show where varsity teams to individual singers can perform and electrify the NCS community with their humor or raw talent. Whether it be an embarrassing class skit (@2019), to a teacher dance off, music day never fails to make me laugh. At the end of this tightly packed day, the ever-so anticipated senior theme is revealed to the whole school.
When Shifter Court goes pitch black, the reveal video starts, and the loud music rushes through the speakers, the whole school is on the edge of their seats. Truly a memorable experience. At the end of the video when all the seniors run out in their electric costumes, the floor shakes, as everyone is ecstatic and jumping on the bleachers for the new theme. Ever since we’ve been allowed to go to music day, this reveal moment has always been a favorite of mine. It truly exemplifies the energy that the senior class has. With large grins, and some tears on faces, the senior reveal is a great start for the homecoming weekend and the rest of the e18tricfying school year.
By Ashley Harris '19
How to survive an NCS Homecoming dance:
While different people have different opinions on school dances, this author is a firm advocate of attending. However, between the chaotic fist-pumping and giant STA seniors looming over everyone, Homecoming can feel more like the Hunger Games and less like a school-sanctioned event. Here are a few tips and tricks to make Hoco as fun as possible from someone who is absolutely, definitely, completely, one hundred percent qualified to be writing this article.
By Micaela Leroux Burch '18
AKA “Sailor Jupiter” AKA Dodgeball Gold Team Captain
On an unseasonably warm summer day in September, the NCS upper school community took a break from academic activities and celebrated Spirit Day. The morning was filled with games including Shaving Cream Twister, Water Balloon Toss, Dodgeball, Musical Chairs, and Relay Races. In the afternoon, the students performed skits, Sasparilla performed its first concert of the school year, and the e18ctric senior class revealed its class theme, “E18ctric.”
At lunch, I interviewed eight upper school students about the Games. Mckenna, Abby and Emnette, students from the class of 2019, excitedly talked about the morning’s games. One of them—it was hard to tell which one because they all talked at the same time—acknowledged that Dodgeball was her favorite game because she is competitive and enjoyed throwing the ball back and forth. The second student liked Dodgeball and Musical Chairs. The third could not decide which game was her favorite among them all.
The three juniors were forthcoming when I asked if they had any suggestions for improving the games. One opined that Twister would be more fun without the shaving cream. She likes Twister, but it was too difficult to play the actual game with shaving cream. Another suggested having two Twister games available, one with shaving cream and one without. They agreed that it was too hot outside and that they would have preferred to play the games inside.
I also interviewed a group of five freshmen. They liked the Water Balloon Toss; it was a challenging game and provided some relief from the heat. They also agreed that Musical Chairs was one of the best games. They looked forward to the skits and musical performances scheduled for the afternoon. They described Spirit Day as a day that you dress up and play, all in the name of building a sense of community at NCS. It is the best day of the year.
I was happy to learn from the freshmen that the seniors succeeded in helping them feel a sense of community. When asked whether they would have preferred to take the day off and stay at home, the students unanimously agreed that they preferred coming to NCS and participating in Spirit Day.
So there you have it: Water Balloon Toss, Musical Chairs, and Dodgeball are hits; Shaving Cream Twister may not work so well on hot days. This interviewer notes that Water Balloon Toss was not offered during Spirit Day for the past couple of years. Perhaps it should remain on the list of games offered annually on Spirit Day, especially when the weather is hot. Also, no interviewee mentioned Relay Races among their favorite games, but my sample size was small. Comments about The Games—including whether you loved Relay Races, and why—may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. By the way, my favorite game was Dodge Ball.
Finally, the Gold Team won the games according to the consensus among those I interviewed. Of course, I am not biased.
By Lucy Turnipseed '18
How to Plan a Music Day Skit (…successfully?)
Think of the worst case scenario for a music day skit: the music plays at the
wrong time, the banner is rolled out upside down, and a couple people who are supposed
to be in it miss the cue and do not come up on stage.
Surprise! That is exactly what happened during the CVT (Cathedral Varsity
Tennis, if you didn’t know) skit. Definitely a setback to a team that is trying to reinvent
itself as a more intense Close sport, hence the banner that read “Gr1nd S8ason.”
But while it might have seemed like a hastily planned and un-practiced skit, and it
may have been one in reality too, the creative process and the shared experience of
performing accomplished something for the team that a perfect show could not.
Flashback to team captains Nicole and Georgia asking, “Anyone have any ideas?”
about three weeks before Spirit Day. The only responses the first time around were self-
deprecating digs about how few fans regularly came to our matches, the long trek to the
tennis courts from Hearst, and the proximity to football and cross country practices. After
multiple dead-end conversations in our group chat (the name featuring the emoji of a
dragon holding a crystal ball—or possibly a diamond, the jury’s still out on that
one—which may or may not tell you something about our team, I’ll let readers decide),
Kate Nuechterlein had a plan. Her brilliant idea included classical music, a pump up
song, preppy outfits, and a little STA humor.
The idea grew into a full-blown skit that detailed the tennis team’s evolution.
Beginning as stereotypes of lofty tennis players, each team member became intense when
the team captains came to whip them into shape. And to top it all off, there was a good
dose of pump-up at the end.
So, after figuring out how to properly copy the football warm-up, changing STA
to NCS and bulldogs to eagles, we left practicing the skit to about 5:30 on the Thursday
night before, came up with our plan, and left details like unrolling the banner and playing
the music up to chance.
Now think of the best-case scenario for a skit: if you cannot imagine it, watch the
video of CVT’s skit.
Because later that day, with a huge turnout at our homecoming match and an
amazing, even e18ctrifying, energy in the air that helped us to beat Madeira 7-0, we knew
the mere actions of preparing for and carrying out our skit had brought us closer as a
We survived a fumble early on in the season and turned the borderline chaotic
experience into a joke we were all in on, Lucy Freemyer even declaring that she “loved
it,” because it, “captured the essence of CVT.”