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Dalton Spirit Week: A Smashing Success

Updated: Jun 29, 2022

Teachers Dr. Sean Toland and Mr. Alex Sicurella, with the cooperation of nearly every teacher, faculty member and student, organized Dalton Spirit Week to fill in the void left by a postponed Experiential Learning Program (ELP) week. The original ELP week unfortunately had to be cancelled due to the resurgence of virus cases, however every setback is coupled with a new opportunity. The week-long event, was grand in scope, and impressive in its implementation.

As outlined in the timeline above, Dalton Spirit Week kicked off with the Dalton Art Festival on Monday, followed by a Student Writing Jam, Open Mic Day, Dalton Rock Talk and Dalton Sports Day, on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, respectively. Every day hosted an event that was paired with a dress theme for students and faculty to abide by. Below are some photos capturing enthusiastic Dalton Spirit Week participants.

The week began with a photoshop training session for students organised by Mr. Sicurella and Ms. Jackie Wheelock. During the same period, an event was hosted by Ms. Jun Zi in the elevator lobby where she created an ion guessing game. She adapted the game "萝卜蹲" or "Radish Squat" into one that would fit the theme of her content, the game was coupled with student presentations on anions such as Dichromate, pictured left. During lunch, a Career Development and Discounted Cashflow Workshop was held by Ms. Jaylyn Wang and Mr. Christopher Mahoney, intended to ensure students develop financial skills in lieu of those they may have developed through visits to HSBC, Xinjiang Bank and the Hejun Consulting group during ELP week. In the afternoon Mr. Wanyu Jiang hosted a film screening in his Game Theory course, where students watched then analyzed a movie in order to build their speaking and presentation skills. Monday concluded with a Fermented Food and Drink Sharing in the Microbiology lab organized by Biology & Chemistry Department Chair Dr. Zhang Weibo.

Tuesday began with a collaborative discussion of literature combining Dr. Garay Menicucci and Ms. Wheelock's classes, pictured right, on separate topics of the American South and Chinese Immigration. Soon after, the sixth floor open space came to life with the grandiose French Culture Exhibition. The exhibition included everything from waffle making and cheese tastings to charades and poster displays. Enjoy the video recap below!

Tuesday afternoon included a Special Effects with Photoshop class led by Mr. Sicurella, Historical Blackout Poetry class led by Mr. Ned Moffitt, a Violence Against Women Case Study led by Ms. Pia Olivari, Role Playing Games led by Dr. Toland, a second round of Historical Blackout Poetry with Jeannette Kranick and an Advanced Art workshop with Mr. Sicurella. The Violence Against Women Case Study Report required Senior III students prepare a report to understand the causes and reach a conclusion about the current state of violence against women worldwide. To prepare the report, students researched this topic across underdeveloped, developing, and developed countries. The senior three students came to class, shared their findings and strategies used in formulating their reports.

Wednesday kicked off with Mr. Jiang's Game Theory class reflecting on the movie screening while engaging in and learning about strategic game play. The students examined the scene of the "battle of the wits" which lends itself to an application of the Nash equilibrium. Read more here.

Pictured above, students in Dr. Toland's ELA II class participated in a Historical Blackout Poetry workshop, where they made blackout poetry on American historical documents. During lunchtime, Ms. Kranick hosted Creative Writing Time in honor of Novel Writing Month, which is held in November. Mr. Sicurella ended the day with showings of nature documentaries to supplement his biology curriculum, while Mr. Moffitt and Ms. Kranick capped the day off with the final two Historical Blackout Poetry workshops. Throughout Wednesday, teachers and students were seen rocking every kind of exotic hat you could think of in celebration of crazy hat day, many of which were captured in this group photo, above, taken by Chemistry Teacher Huiru Zhao. Another one of the days many highlights was the Open Mic event held during lunch time Students and faculty played the keyboard, French horn, electric guitar, acoustic guitar and sang a wide range of songs from Taylor Swift to traditional Chinese poetry.

Thursday was filled with excitement as everyone revelled in Thanksgiving festivities. In the morning, Mr. Sicurella hosted a Student Artist Presentation in his digital photography class, while Mr. Moffitt hosted a Black Culture Exposition. During the latter half of Thursday morning Mr. Sicurella hosted an Exquisite Corpse Drawings, Stratch Art and Open Art workshop. While all of these excellent classes and workshops were being held, a feast was prepared for faculty and students, comprised of donuts, pies, pizza's, fried chicken, baked chicken, corn, fruit salad, turkey, fried calamari and onion rings, to name a few, topped off by an assortment of drinks. The apex of the day was the inaugural Dalton Rock Talk planned and organized by Dean of Students Dr. Zeng Yao, Coordinator of the Independent Research Project (IRP) Program Ms. Wendi Cui, Mrs. Ma Hongshan and student speaker Runjing Wang, among others. Ms. Wang presented on her IRP Top 10 project which examined the procedures museums have for giving blind people access to their facilities titled, "Blindness" and Art: What do we know about the visually impaired? Her presentation was as interesting as it was insightful, providing a perspective to museums that we don't often explore.

The week ended on Friday with a celebrity dress theme coupled with student-faculty floor-ball and basketball games held in the Xinjian gymnasium. The games provided a great opportunity promote healthy activities and develop bonds between students, teachers, faculty and administration outside of the classroom. Below CEO & Superintendent Dr. Spencer Fowler gets back in the rink and shines with what was likely a triple hat-trick event. To keep the score balanced he voluntarily switched teams halfway through the game.

Today, Monday November 29th, Dr. Sean Toland provided his own recap of the week,

"The first annual Dalton Spirit Week was a smashing success, students were so glad to have a small break from their routines, that they jumped at the opportunity to participate in the many events offered. What they enjoyed most was the faculty's participation, in the daily dress themes and the student-faculty sports competition."

Thank you to everyone who planned this event and enriched it with their contributions!

Written by: Christopher Mahoney

Edited by: Hongshan Ma

Photos (majority) taken by: Huang Yihua


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