By Jacqueline Martinez ’18 and Yaneet Rodriguez ’18
On Sep. 7, freshman were curiously walking around in the cafeteria looking for an interesting after school activity to join. When you enter the cafeteria, you can hear the screams of some sponsors yelling to engage the freshman to approach their club booth. Additionally, the sports were located in the gym along with their sponsors and trophies.
Katie Curtin, Journalism teacher and Yearbook advisor, defined the activities fair as a way for clubs and sports teams to show off what they’re about to recruit new students. It is also a chance for students to explore their interests and get a sense if a club or sport is a good fit for them. This year, like all other years, Curtin was in charge of the activities fair.
Previous years, Julia Levit, Classical Literature, helped Curtin out in planning out the sports and clubs for the activity fair.
Paige Moran, Dean of Students, and Pam Johnson, Dean of Culture, were very helpful with the steps along the way: making sure Curtin had all the information needed, printing out name tags, and with coordinating. Victoria Allen, Teacher at Large, made photo copies to be sent out to the advisories, which saved Curtin a huge chunk of time.
Some of the freshmen were shy to ask for any help finding clubs they liked, but who is to blame? They are new to the activities fair and like most students, they were with their friends or groups moving around.
Rosa Mendez, a freshman in Ms. Nelson’s advisory, stated that she has been in a fair before, but nothing compared to the activities fair. “I’ll just walk up to one of the activities and they didn’t hesitate and they start telling me right away all the information and back in middle school everyone was way too nervous to speak up and it was very boring and awkward just standing there with nobody saying nothing.”
On Sep. 8, sophomores, juniors, and seniors were sent down to the cafeteria separately to do the same routine the freshmen had done the day before.
Brian Salgado, a sophomore in Mr. Stroud’s advisory, had mentioned that the students should get more time in the cafeteria “or ask who wants to go to the gym to sign up for sports and the ones who want to keep talking in the cafeteria until time runs out, so everyone gets a turn to ask questions and look at other clubs that might interest [them].” In a way he said that, it would help most students have a better understanding in what they would like to commit to for the year or the semester. Salgado had also stated that the chart they got from the teachers ahead of time regarding the clubs and sports was really helpful because they wouldn’t waste their time looking around for booths, which would not give the students a chance to sign up or ask any questions they may have. Senior Leslie Tito agreed with Salgado, stating that the chart helped her create a plan of what booths she would visit/join, which included Math Team.
While being at the Sports table, Griselda Jimenez, a sophomore in Allison Fifolt’s advisory, stated that she had joined an after school sport, which was Ultimate, because it caught her attention. Over the summer, she got to learn more about the sport and “it [was] very fun” for her. “The activity fair is really great because of how it could bring up ideas of who you want to be in the future, or enjoy the time getting to know people. My middle school did have a similar thing and everything was basically the same which brought many of the kids there to go to their future high school,” added Jimenez.
Overall, in Jimenez, Salgado, and Mendez’s opinion, the activities fair was not enjoyed by everyone because of how packed and “out of order it was when it came to signing up,” added Jimenez. They would rather have students line up to sign up for the club, or to ask questions.
Heriberto Munoz, a senior, thought a con of the activities fair was the space. He brought up the idea of having the activities fair outside in the blacktop because it gots too chaotic inside the Lunch Room. Munoz suggested to have two advisories at a time for each grade level in order to have more room to explore.
Cristal Maldonado, a junior, has been in math team for 2 years and is curious to try out something different. Maldonado stated, “I didn’t know we had an art club in Pritzker until the day of the activities fair. I like drawing in my free time, and find it very relaxing. The sponsors of art club really got my attention, and I’m super excited to be joining the art club.” Maldonado mentioned a pro of the activities fair was the timer on the projector, which was useful to see if there was time left to squeeze in another trip to a different club booth.
Junior Julio Arizaga said there was some cons to the activities fair. He felt that it was too crowded and felt rushed. Arizaga wanted to visit more booths, but there wasn’t any time left. He believes that more time should be added to have a deeper understanding of the club/sport in order to decide if the sign up is worth it.
So for those students who haven’t signed up to anything, do not wait until the last minute! Keep in mind that enrichment credit is needed to pass.