The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

AHS Celebrates 12 Days of Arcadia Spirit

The Arcadia Quill celebrated the day of finals with a grade-level Window Wars competition (won by the seniors).

Counting down the days until “the most wonderful time of the year,” December officially marks the commencement of winter festivities. However, as students arrived at school for the last few weeks of the semester, many neglected the seemingly insignificant things that represent happiness associated with the holidays. 

In light of the 12 days of Christmas, for 12 days, we searched for ways Arcadia High School (AHS) added to the holiday cheer. After all, it’s during the stress of finals week that it is especially important to brighten the mood by acknowledging everything there is to be grateful for. 

Day 1: Festive Letters for Teachers

In finals and holidays season, schedules get tight. But one of the best things about this time of year was all the different ways students showed appreciation for teachers—whether that be through handwritten letters or carefully selected presents. Though not a requirement to join the festive spirit, gift-giving reminds our long-suffering educators that we’ll keep them in our thoughts over break, and hope they will too. Barring that, a well-worded letter can make late nights of grading and lesson planning just a bit more bearable. We ask only that you be careful with the glitter…

Day 2: Sra. Latham’s Christmas Music

After an exhausting first half day of school, the last 10 minutes of period 4 in Sra. Cynthia Latham’s class was dedicated to individual work time, accompanied by the comforting backdrop of soothing Christmas songs. As we approached finals, the mounting pressure—complicated grammar rules, intimidating oral productions, and occasionally incomprehensible listening activities—appeared to be momentarily undermined by the melodic tunes. Through these songs, two of which are the famous “All I Want for Christmas is You” and “Last Christmas,” a gentle reminder of holiday spirits permeated the classroom setting, fostering anticipation for the enjoyment that awaited us post-finals.

Day 3: Mr. Woodin’s Christmas Ties

Finding solace from the December chill in Mr. Woodin’s cozy classroom, students were greeted with the sight of his daily colorful Christmas ties. Though Mr. Woodin emphasized he prefers to celebrate Festivus over Christmas, a hallowed tradition spurring from the classic 90’s sitcom Seinfeld, his undeniable holiday spirit shined through. Whether it be through his unique fashion choices or eccentric Christmas music choices (the Shatner Claus album is a Woodin staple), he always finds little ways to alleviate the stress of academics at AHS with a little holiday cheer. From snowmen to mistletoe, Mr. Woodin’s vast tie collection is one of the small and memorable ways our community celebrated the joy of the season of giving. 

Day 4: Baseball Christmas Tree Fundraiser

As the winter season progresses, our Apache athletics have been working nonstop. Whether it be singing Christmas songs at practice or team Secret Santas, our student athletes have found a myriad of ways to show their holiday spirit. Though everyone feels the Christmas cheer, none are more spirited than the Boys Varsity and JV Baseball teams. To raise funds for their upcoming season, the teams continued their age-old tradition of selling Christmas trees, wreaths, and garlands at affordable prices to our local Arcadia community. With personalized pick-up at AHS and reasonably-priced quality merchandise, who wouldn’t love to support our Apache athletics whilst also celebrating the holiday season? Though they’re no longer for sale this year, make sure you check out this great opportunity next time you need some holiday cheer!

Day 5: ASB Winter Grams

Hosted by ASB, winter grams were a fun way to surprise friends and bring a smile to their faces. For only $2, students could purchase a customizable card and squishy for that special someone or a close friend. Although it may not seem like a lot, receiving this gift could make someone’s day and give motivation to someone studying hard for finals. Sometimes it’s the little things that make a difference, and winter grams were a reminder that your friends were thinking of you.

Day 6: S-Building Decorations

While students dread walking into class where the stress of finals awaited them, they were also greeted with the warmth of decorations that our teachers put up to lighten the mood. Colorful lights dangled from the walls of the classroom, a miniature Christmas tree dressed with a variety of ornaments stood on top of the desk, fuzzy green garlands hung in front of the room. Entering the classrooms in S-Building, teachers got creative with their decorations. Beakers filled with red and green colored liquids were stacked and arranged to resemble a Christmas tree. And to top it all off, a giant ball ornament hung gracefully from the ceiling, sparkling Christmas spirit to all the students sitting below. 

Day 7: Mr. Nielsen’s Christmas Tree and Lights

As students walked into J-208 in Mr. Nielsen’s classroom, eyes were immediately drawn to the various Christmas lights draped over the skeleton figures and whiteboards. A mini Christmas tree was standing on a table with a stocking attached to it, hanging on the edge of the table. Decorated with red, green, blue, and yellow Christmas lights, the whole classroom sparks holiday feelings, spreading Christmas cheer just by looking at it. After a long day of school, period 5 felt like a sense of relief and a way to brighten the long days of worn out students from dead week.

Day 8: Secret Santa Activities

Despite the stressful dead week, numerous clubs and organizations buzzed with festive fervor as they organized Secret Santa activities. In Period Poverty Club, excitement filled the air as everyone eagerly anticipated uncovering the identity of their gift-giver. This added an extra layer of thrill to the holiday season, making the atmosphere even more festive and exciting. For many, opening each thoughtful gift was like going on a roller coaster of feelings—an adventure where wishes came true and kind actions were received. Laughter and surprises filled the room as people discovered the special treasures picked just for them. The care put into each present sparked new friendships, and made lasting memories. 

Day 9: Ms. McConell’s Ingredient Christmas Tree

As students began to enter Ms. McConell’s classroom located at C-103 for the Diary Aesthetics Club meeting, something special was awaiting in there. Instead of the usual pop music and sunset lights, a Christmas tree illuminated the whole room, filling our hearts with Christmas spirit and holiday cheer. Unlike the normal Christmas ornaments, the ornaments on this tree were quite different. From butter to pizza, the Christmas tree was covered with different food (e.g. ice cream) or ingredients (e.g. salt bottle), contributing to the collective holiday spirit. Distinct little things like these add and contribute to the holiday spirit, transforming a normal classroom into a festive and joyous party. 

Day 10: Winter Chicken Nuggets at the Cafeteria

On holidays such as Thanksgiving or St. Patrick’s Day, AHS students can expect the Apache Cafe to serve festive and delicious sugar cookies. This holiday season, however, Nutrition Services swapped their classic sugar cookies with a new addition to the menu: Winter Chicken Nuggets! The Apache Cafe’s “Winter Chicken Nuggets” were holiday-themed and shaped like stockings, stars, and gingerbread men. Students enjoyed their festive chicken nuggets on Monday, Dec. 18 before three long days of final exams. Though simple, this gesture most certainly boosted student morale, brought smiles to the faces of hungry students, and brought holiday cheer to Arcadia High School.

Day 11: DeStress Fest at the Arcadia Public Library

After a long day of finals preparation, AHS students made their way across Duarte to The Arcadia Public Library for its bi-annual DeStress Fest. There, they were greeted by volunteers handing out hot cocoa, pastel paints and brushes, and therapy dogs. The atmosphere was a pleasant contrast to the rigor and bustle of the classroom, with pleasant Christmas instrumentals setting the mood. In one corner, students decorated ornaments and dipped into the painting materials; in the other, friends topped their drinks with colorful sprinkles and sweets. The night ended with a quick gift card raffle for those who completed every station, and choruses of “Happy holidays!”

Day 12: Quill Holiday Window Wars

The Arcadia Quill has its own annual tradition in A-213, known as Window Wars. In an exciting competition between grade levels to determine who constructed the best design, each group was given full creative freedom to decorate a window that best commemorates the holidays. It was a time to come together as a unit and collaborate on something fun. Whether it’s classic Christmas sayings or stocking cutouts, each window had a unique concept to create a spirited classroom environment. 

As we recall the various ways AHS has embodied the winter season, we remember the significance of appreciating the little things that are oftentimes overlooked amid academic tensions. From colorful lights in the classroom to festive attire, it’s even the simplest of things that make this time of year so special.

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