An Unexpected Coincidence
Homecoming and spirit week are classic high school traditions that AHS students are always exhilarated about, and American is known for its school spirit and enthusiasm that sets a tone for the rest of the school year. While some class drama inevitably exists, spirit week is a time when the team spirit and camaraderie among the four classes are put to the test. Sets are carefully painted and marveled over by many students, while chatter rings in the Rotunda. This year’s fast food theme was heavily debated but proved to be a success by the creative skits and dance performances that garnered bright applause. Each year, AHS students eagerly anticipate this celebratory week and the beginnings of a hopeful year filled with academic goals and exciting opportunities.
This year, the homecoming dance coincidentally fell on the October Saturday SAT date, and the football game was the Friday night before the SAT. Many students were not active participants in Spirit Week and did not make it to the game or dance because they chose to rest and prioritize SAT or SAT subject test preparation. Ingrid Shan (12), an active member of leadership for the past two years, said, “Every school has a different homecoming week, so it can’t coincide with the same one. FUSD determined the football schedule way before, by the end of last year.” For instance, Mission San Jose’s homecoming week was scheduled two weeks after the SAT.
AHS students were wondering why the homecoming and SAT date coincided because they would have been more involved in spirit week if it wasn’t for the SAT. “It depends on the football schedule. If the football game is on Friday, then the dance is on Saturday, and vice versa,” Shan continued.
Students, especially seniors, were despondent that they could not participate in their last spirit week since many looked forward to making cherishable memories of their last year of high school. Senior year is a time to look at how far you have come, from shy little freshman exploring the unfamiliar halls of high school to self-assured, booming seniors proudly marching around the Rotunda.
Juggling test preparation, which usually requires strenuous dedication, is a struggle. Monica Chandra (12), said, “It was really hectic. Not only did I have the SAT, but I also had the ACT.” In addition, many parents were not keen on sacrificing SAT prep in favor of spirit week. Chandra attended practices for the Bollywood dance during the summer but ended up not attending practices during the school year. Spirit week requires a huge time commitment, and it is important to attend run-throughs, which are consistently held the few weeks before rally week. “My parents did not want me to go to the rallies at school with the subject tests,” Chandra continued.
Andrew Chen (12), who attended the homecoming dance the night after taking two SAT subject tests, expressed, “Spirit week motivates me to keep going for the rest of the year.” Chen led the senior all-boys hip-hop dance, which was something unique during spirit week. “Leading a dance was a lot of fun. I didn’t think a lot of people would join my dance, but they did,” Chen chuckled.
While test scores play a significant role in AHS students’ futures, does participation in school events encourage students to de-stress and enjoy learning?
Photo by Sahil Jagad (12)