This week we celebrate Winter Carnival, which in recent years has become our graceful and enthusiastic way to slide into Winter Break. The week-long ramp up includes Twin Day (when students and teachers dress like a selected "twin"), Class Color Day (when each class wears their assigned color), and Class Theme Day (when students dress according to their class theme). This year, with the overall theme being Pixar movies, the Seniors dressed as characters in Finding Nemo, the Juniors as Toy Story, the Sophomores as the Incredibles, and the Freshmen as Monsters, Inc. On Tuesday, Chapel was filled with fishy, friendly, flexible, and frightening students—all filled with class spirit and ready to compete—and on Tuesday afternoon, we were treated to hilarious skits performed by faculty members Tim Lyon and Florian Rexhepi and highlighted by a lip-synching extravaganza performed by the Dean Team. Departing librarian Denyse Daly made her final appearances in both the Junior and the Senior skits, and overall Fuller Hall was filled with laughter and good energy.
I love words. I love learning them, and I especially love learning about their roots and etymology. I love the fact that the word "educate" comes from Latin roots that mean "to lead out of", emphasizing that a true education involves teachers drawing truths out from within their students and students allowing themselves to be drawn out of their provincial worlds. I also love the fact that "excellent" comes from Latin roots that mean "coming out of or being on top of a hill", meaning that Hilltoppers are, by definition, excellent.