By J1 Reporter Libby Schimonitz
From losing their voices to screaming demo songs, to dressing in head to toe cardboard, March and April are arguably the most stressful months of the school year for Marian girls.
But those new to the Marian community? They have no idea what they’re going to get into when the day, or even the month before, comes up.
“I know that you have colors that you get to choose. I know that there’s themes you get to choose for the class. And isn’t there like a choreographed dance,” Ms. Aimee Rischard, a student teacher who is new to the Marian community this year, said. “I saw a little demo of it, but I’m still really confused.”
So, yes. We do have a semi-choreographed “dance,” We do have colors and themes. And, of course, we have the “big float thing,” as Rischard said. But you might be wondering where it all begins.
“I have a lot of questions. I guess I just really want to know how it all comes together. I want to know how much time it takes. I know you have the whole week, but it has to take longer than that,” Rischard said. Her student teaching is done in December, but she promised to return to Baxter next April to see just how all the magic comes together.
As the days and months of the school year wind down, hushed whispers of potential themes fill the halls, and tension continues to grow and grow until the day of color block, which typically falls at the end of March. The classes are told their final colors and theme, and students decide which committee they want to be a part of out of demo, costumes, walls, cheerleading, mascot, or judges booklet, and things either begin falling into place, or falling apart for the classes.
For the next month or so, things are still happy among the students of Marian. Constant chatter of the stories we want to tell through our demo songs, what kind of songs we want to use, and any other details we are allowed to discuss pre-field week.
It’s the week leading up to Field Day when all chaos breaks loose. Field Week.
Energy is high as each class’ demo committee meets and comes up with lyrics to popular, classic songs and finds ways to relate the words back to their class theme, and the themes of the other three classes.
The walls teams, who are able to meet and discuss a few weeks in advance, build and decorate 3D models of walls, all based on the themes of all four classes, but mostly based on their own class. And to add fuel to the fire, every wall has to be done by 4 p.m. on the Tuesday before Field Day. Yes, they have two days to fully complete four 3-dimensional walls and present them to hundreds of parents and faculty, or more importantly, to the Field Day judges.
The judges booklet is hard at work, creating and practicing a skit to present the class theme, as well as crafting the perfect booklet itself, which also reflects the theme.
As for the mascot team, or “the big float thing,” team as according to Rischard, they are busy building a typically exquisite mascot, which will be large, and home to either one or several people when the big day comes.
The costume committee is sent off into different classrooms with glue guns, scissors, and fabric, and throughout the first four days of Field Week, they produce costumes for each and every single one of Marian’s students.
While all of these groups are at work, the cheerleaders, typically groups of about 20, are off perfecting their cheers. They work in a similar system to the demo committee, coming up with lyrics to other songs that fit into a fun and entertaining presentation. It’s all early mornings and late nights for these girls.
And after a week of paint-stained clothing, too many finger cuts from x-acto knives, and so, so many tears, the day finally arrives. Friday. The day everyone has been working towards for weeks now…Field Day.
All of our students, teachers, and faculty meet at Baxter Arena bright and early in the morning before parading in, chanting and screaming cheers. This is just the beginning.
Tension is high in Baxter, and everything the Marian community has worked for over the past week, or even month, finally comes together in one big day full of yelling, cardboard, and tears.