Community Celebrates Holiday with Food Trucks, Hiking

Whole floors and even entire dorms joined a Zoom call to celebrate following a surprise email from Mr. Craig Bradley, head of school, on Wednesday, October 7. During the call, Mr. Bradley announced a Head of School Holiday in honor of every member of the school for their diligence in following COVID-related restrictions. 

The community kept up the tradition of singing “Fair Hotchkiss,” the school song, after the announcement. Although singing on Zoom was a change from the usual cheering crowd in Walker Auditorium, Harry Morelli ’23 noted that there was still excitement all around. He said, “The proctors and other students in my dorm were more than happy to scream at the top of their lungs to help contribute to the excitement of the holiday.”

The holiday was a single-day break for the whole community. However, the coronavirus pandemic made a number of holiday traditions impossible; for example, students were no longer able to take buses to Millerton. Instead, many students got out into nature, choosing to go on hikes or bike rides. Alex Tolis ’23 said, “[My friends and I] visited the Ranger cabin and Long Pond. It was a big change from last year, but it was nice to get back in nature, and discover some new parts of the Hotchkiss campus.”

Some familiar holiday activities persisted despite social distancing. Food trucks such as the Disco Forno Pizza Truck, Tacos El Poblanito, and Ice Cream Emergency visited campus. The school also offered outside games such as spikeball and badminton.

The holiday also gave remote learners a chance to relax. Isabella Wei ’23, a remote learner in China, said, “I was stressing about a history essay due the next morning and was really in need of sleep. Seeing the holiday announcement was extremely relieving, as I knew I would be able to sleep early, and it also let me have the day off to go out during the day with family and friends.”