Curiouser and Curiouser: Planning for the Spring Fair

On Thursday, February 25, the XIIIs and two parents, Mital Patel and Dori Raskin, discussed plans for the Spring Fair. This year, the theme is going to be Alice in Wonderland and parents and XIIIs tossed various ideas around about decorations, activities, and entertainment.

One may wonder how the XIIIs decide on such a theme. The XIIIs were stuck on an idea for the theme, so Ann Roberts, one of the XIIIs teachers, started to name past themes. This got the XIIIs thinking and once one of them suggested that the them have something to do with books, they went down the rabbit hole and ended with Alice and Wonderland. In addition, the XIIIs agreed that Alice in Wonderland would both be easy to understand and appropriate for the younger groups.

This theme led to some questions from the Parents Association. One of the questions was which version would the fair take after? Would the fair lean more toward the whimsical Disney version, the darker Tim Burton version, or something more in line with the original book? To answer the question Roly Levy, XIIIs, replied, “Each group can interpret it how they want to.”

Part of the reason why the XIIIs are not leaning towards any particular version is so the theme is not so specific, and to avoid copying Disney or pop culture.

During the meeting, various concepts and ideas were thrown around to describe decorations. Some of these concepts were, timewarp, distortion, hallucinations, surreal, and crazy, as well as more specific ideas, like clocks, cards, and keys. Other ideas included making the Ball Yard look like the Mad Hatter’s tea party, and making the Block yard look like the Queen of Heart’s lawn. There was also talk of turning a classroom into an inverted space with tables and chairs on the ceiling, making the room look as though the floor is the ceiling, and ceiling is the floor.

The XIIIs also discussed ideas for activities. These ideas included things like teacup painting and a Mad Hatter’s hattery, where kids could decorate their own “Mad Hatter hats.” Both of these would serve as crafts for the younger kids. Other activity ideas included a human chess board and karaoke, which would be for the older kids. One idea many of the XIIIs liked was some sort of scavenger hunt around the fair for Cheshire cat smiles, or other wonderland objects. The scavenger hunt around the fair would encourage many of the kids to fully explore the various places around the school.

In addition to ideas for decorations and activities, the XIIIs and parents discussed the entertainment. These ideas included magicians, illusionists, and fortune tellers to keep with the concept of hallucination and surrealism. They also discussed having hypnotists or escape artists, but both were seen as unlikely due to budget and safety. Another suggestion was having a puppet show of Alice in Wonderland and a balloon artist, which have been popular in previous spring fairs. There was also talk of a special food vendor selling cotton candy, shaved ice, shaved cream, doughnuts, or ice cream.

One may wonder why the XIIIs are involved in planning this year, as opposed to just picking the theme. Interestingly enough, the Spring Fair used to be run entirely by the students, but the job was slowly picked up by the parents. Eventually, the XIIIs decided they should plan the theme, and the role of planning is now falling back into the hands of the students.

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