–by Libby Stupica
PUBLICATION DATE: 11.15.16
By the time you read this Halloween will be behind us, but I feel you should know that Notre Dame students take Halloween very seriously. So seriously, that I walked out my front door rocking a teal velour tracksuit, a cheetah print shirt, sneakers, and gold hoop earrings. Aqua the Cheetah Girl was making a comeback. Each year at NDA we have a costume contest where winners receive Golden Gourds in various categories, and I was dressed for the show. Walk through the halls on Halloween at NDA and you’ll have no need to scroll Pinterest!
As a member of Executive Student council, I had arrived to school early to pass out candy. I got my first glimpse of everyone in their Halloween finery as they made their way to homeroom. Halloween music played over the PA. However, the main event took place that afternoon in the performing arts center, where students could display their costumes on stage for the whole student body to see. The energy from all the students for one another’s creativity was so supportive. I’m not sure if this kind of enthusiasm for Halloween is universal among teens, but I find it refreshing that girls, grades 7-12, feel comfortable on stage sharing their creative spirit, while being judged by the whole student body. Their willingness to be so vulnerable illustrates a supportive culture at NDA; no girl went on stage and didn’t receive a resounding cheer from the crowd.
The cheers continued as the Golden Gourd award winners were announced. Two girls who dressed as Powerschool and the yellow “down” arrow (which appears when a grade drops) won Scariest costume. Two others dressed as North and Kanye West won in the duo category. The Most Creative was given to a girl who was a sky dancer, dressed head to toe in a red body suit with tassels hanging from her arms. She shimmied up and down like an inflatable outside a car wash. Finally, a group of girls who dressed as taxidermy animal heads with boards around their painted faces (which created the illusion that they were mounted on the wall) stole the show and took home the Group Golden Gourd.
Students weren’t the only ones being applauded and winning awards. The faculty never fails to show us up, and this year was no exception. My biology teacher dressed as a witch, sporting a flowy dress, black wig, and donning elaborate makeup. One of the Sisters of Notre Dame was a dragon, complete with dragon tail, feet, and hands. However, it was my math teacher that went home with the faculty Golden Gourd. He shaved his head and dressed up as Gru from Despicable Me! Being surrounded by teachers and administration that participate in the spirit of Halloween just as much as the student body makes it even more fun to go all out each year.
Yes, we take our Halloween at NDA more seriously than the students of Halloween Town High. I may no longer stroll through my neighborhood collecting candy in my jack-o-lantern bucket, but Notre Dame has instilled in me a new love for Halloween. It was a daytime celebration this year, and despite sitting inside working on schoolwork later that evening, I didn’t feel like I missed out on the holiday one bit. I just experienced it in a different way.