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Berit Ramstad Skoyles: A good day for the red block

When you think of school spirit, pom poms, pep rallies and school affiliated clothing comes to mind, right? That’s what used to come to my mind before I started attending Colegio Padre Hurtado.

“School spirit” does not begin to describe the energy the students of my school exhibit in representing themselves. It’s more like, “If I don’t lose my voice, break a leg or paint my whole body a certain color, I’m not doing it right.” If the school spirit we have at DLHS were to triple, it still wouldn’t compare to Padre Hurtado.

This past Friday was Dia del Alumnos (Day of the Students) in Chile and my school was not short of activities. We had a dance/skit competition, breakfast, a soccer game and a talent show. I was supposed to play in the girls’ soccer game, but it was canceled due to rain.

 At my school, there are five classes in each grade. The five classes of the senior grade are divided into three blocks. The underclassmen are assigned to serve under the senior class. My class was part of the red block.

Each block (green, black, and red) has a king and a queen. The kings and queens were determined about a month ago, as were the other activities. Each block participates in those predetermined events and whichever team earns the most points wins.

Before the activities began we all got geared up in our clothing and face paint. I sported some beautiful red face paint with a red superhero cape. Our gym was filled with hats, face painted people, animal costumes, clown costumes and basically anything red, black or green.

We all had different chants to insult the other teams. To make the chants even better, each block had drums to make a beat. If you don’t have drums to help cheer on your block, you’re absolutely pathetic. It’s unheard of not to be accompanied by drums.

We were jumping, screaming, chanting and beating our drums to give our respective blocks support. It was one of the craziest things I have ever seen. The students acted like their lives depended on whether or not they won. A girl in the junior year even broke her leg cheering for her block. One might argue that her enthusiasm went too far, but I admire her love for her block.

When the dance competition for the kings and queens started, the cheering died down so we could concentrate. My block was first, and the black and the green blocks followed.

Now, I’m not just saying this because the red block is my team and I might be a bit biased, but in my view, the red block was by far the best. Even people from the other blocks told us that our dance was better than theirs and our skit was funnier. In the end though, the green block won the dance competition.  We were robbed!

Our block did not let that little dance competition loss stop us. The boys’ soccer game was next and we dominated both of the other teams.

While we were frantically cheering on our team, a boy in the back row of the bleachers was up to something. The night before he had somehow filled a fire extinguisher with red powder.

Whenever our team scored a goal he would shoot this red powder out of his extinguisher. As a result, the rest of us were red from head to toe. Our hair was red, all of our clothes, our feet and even our snot was red. (Gross, I know). There wasn’t an inch of our side of the gym that wasn’t covered in red.

There was a red cloud hovering over the game while everyone was trying not to inhale too much.

For all of my friends, it was their last Dia del Alumnos. For me, it was the first, last and best Dia del Alumnos. Although I would have preferred not to have been gasping for fresh air, I was perfectly happy wearing my superhero cape. My red block was triumphant. We were the best at Colegio Padre Hurtado on this day. 

The fuss and the excitement was an amazing thing, and it really was a great day to be a member of the red team; it really was a great day to be in Chile.

Berit Ramstad Skoyles is a senior at Detroit Lakes School and is studying abroad in Chile this year.