Kaleidoscope:The Faces of Homecoming

Under an archway of cheerleaders’ arms, 2012 Hood River Valley High School homecoming Queen Savvy Adams-Ronk and King Austin Kiyokawa begin their reign after being crowned Friday night during halftime of the Eagles game against St Helens.

Photo by Adam Lapierre.
Under an archway of cheerleaders’ arms, 2012 Hood River Valley High School homecoming Queen Savvy Adams-Ronk and King Austin Kiyokawa begin their reign after being crowned Friday night during halftime of the Eagles game against St Helens.

I think that this week went really well considering the cancellation of the Bonfire. Students were disappointed, but I commented on their maturity when faced with this big disappointment.

I was expecting a large backlash after I announced that we were going to be postponing the bonfire activities until November, but the students were all very understanding that issues arise that are beyond my control. They are looking forward to the new event Nov. 8.

We had such a positive group of students this year, homecoming went by really smoothly. Most years the class competition gets a little rough around the edges but I was exceedingly pleased when at the dance competition the freshmen boys that came out to perform were greeted with applause and cheers that were deserved, and not the all-too-familiar booing/hazing of the freshmen that has happened in the past.

This week is all about the kids here at HRVHS, and they really impressed me both in my leadership classes in getting work done and being prepared for the events and all those who participated in all of our varied activities.

This year one of the major changes that we knew about coming into homecoming was the alteration of the parade. We have been having fewer and fewer students showing up at Jackson Park and fewer and fewer decorating the floats that are usually a part of the parade. We made the decision last year that classes could create their own floats, but that the school would not be supplying the space or materials (often times this happens naturally with the junior and senior class, as they want to keep their float a surprise).

We didn’t have any takers on the float front this year, but we did have a lot of kids in the parade itself — which was great — and more ended up in Jackson Park. We still need to fine-tune what this parade will look like in the future, but I do think that we will be able to continue this tradition.

We have such great students in this school who spend a lot of effort throughout the year giving back to the community in various ways, whether looking at our numbers for the canned food drive in December, our blood drive, community service hours put in throughout the year — this week is really all about them getting a chance to unite and have a great time as a class and as a school.

Staff at HRVHS are always overwhelmed with both the amount of effort that students put into this week and how much some of them get wrapped up in the fun that is Homecoming Week. We will be spending this week cleaning/resting and critiquing each event to improve it for next year. This reflection really gets kids thinking about the future and about what part of each activity was meaningful for them.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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