Spirit Week Takes Cue from Pixar

Members of ASB held the “Find the Swedish Fish” spirit activity, a nod to Pixar’s “Finding Nemo,” during breaks on Feb. 2 and 3. Students took turns trying their hands at locating the fish-shaped candy under one of three cups after a series of shuffles.

ASB’s first spirit week of spring semester, held across two weeks from Jan. 26 to Feb. 5, drew from such Pixar films as “Toy Story” (1995) and “The Incredibles” (2004) to inspire dress-up days, breaktime activities, and a pep rally on Feb. 1.

“I think that it has been difficult in years past to say yes to [Pixar], because there’s so much copyright issues when it comes to a Homecoming halftime show in terms of the music and the images,” ASB adviser Sarah Alewine said. “This year, not having a Homecoming halftime show, it was like, ‘This is perfect!'”

The pep rally itself, in the form of a 19-minute video broadcast to students during advisement, featured an array of visual and performing arts, an assortment of clips showcasing the athletics program and whimsical segments with both students and teachers. The result of multiple layers of production, including collaboration between members of ASB and the PNN team, the rally contained subtle choices to create an upbeat, nostalgic experience for the audience, according to producer and junior Tiffany Park.

“Within each segment, I personally really wanted little things with production design where you can visually see the little elements of Pixar. So with the Speak-Out [segment], we got flashcards that looked similar to Dory and Nemo,” Park said. “When you hear ‘You’ve Got a Friend in Me,’ when you hear the ‘Monsters, Inc.’ music, it sort of triggers that memory in our brains, like ‘Oh, this is Pixar! I know where this is from,’ so that’s the route that we chose to take.”

A collection of handmade posters in purple and silver ran through the center of campus, and four ASB-staged activities — College Day, Paratrooper Drop, Find the Swedish Fish and Flamingo Squat, all tributes to Pixar films — attracted dozens of participants: a welcome sight, according to ASB member and sophomore Caroline Wang.

“I was really impressed by the amount of participation during the lunchtime activities, because there were a lot of students that wanted to be involved,” Wang said. “We came up with different ideas for the spirit day to make it COVID-friendly and also make it something that the students would want to participate in.”

Even while celebrating school spirit through shared nostalgia, it is important to retain an optimistic mindset through trying circumstances, according to Park.

“With all of this, you can always look at it as a glass half-full, where it reminds us to be more adaptive, and with what’s happening, you learn to sort of work around something or learn to accept the reality,” Park said. “It’s something that I think a lot of us are doing.”