It is a major school event that seems to count among the great high school memories. But last year, my freshman self struggled to figure out how homecoming (HoCo) works. Due to the pandemic, last year we only managed to have the HoCo game and the celebration of the HoCo Queen and her court. But, I was clueless how the game and the school queen are connected with homecoming. Is it just me or are there more students out there who share my naivete? In a survey I conducted among my friends, almost all of them are in the same situation.
Now a sophomore and a Leadership Committee Member of our Associated Student Body (ASB) in school, I have become more knowledgeable. Some alumni came visiting during our HoCo week last month, which gave sense to the concept of homecoming. HoCo activities are open to all students and these are meant to welcome back everyone to another school year. After nearly two years of distance learning, this year’s HoCo also served to welcome students back to in-person learning. Hence, it is essentially homecoming, not just for alumni but for current students to make them feel at home. I finally nailed down the concept of HoCo.
How does HoCo work? The celebration runs for a week, also called Spirit Week, wherein students are encouraged to dress up based on a theme assigned to each day. This is designed to inspire a sense of community among the students and the school officials. The HoCo football game against the school’s arch rival is held on Friday night and a student assembly or a pep rally is held during the school hours to drum up excitement. Volunteer contenders for the HoCo Queen, which can only come from the senior class and HoCo princesses from the younger classes, are presented during the pep rally and the students vote for their HoCo Queen and her court later in the day. The HoCo Queen and Princess selection, and the HoCo game are meant to add glamour and excitement to the festivities. The HoCo week culminates in the dance, which many people consider among the major high school experiences. I participated in all the events and like most students, I looked forward to the homecoming dance the most since I was going with my entire friend group. I imagined it to be similar to my junior high fall dance yet there were some situations I did not foresee. For example, one of my friends wore her mom’s heels that were too high and ended up hurting her feet. Fortunately, I brought an extra pair of folding flat shoes that saved her from a night of misery. Besides the dance and a few arcade games, there were not many activities we could do to stay through the three-hour stretch so after the second hour, we called it a night.
Almost half of our school’s student population (1200+) attended the HoCo dance, breaking previous sales records, which is likely a reflection of students’ excitement to experience school events after almost two years of pandemicinduced isolation. As I tried to figure out possible reasons why the other half did not attend the dance considering this was regarded as among the must-have high school memories, I was aware that there were those who simply did not care. Except for the thrill of being with my friend group attending a high school dance, I could easily be among those who chose not to attend. After all, the three-hour stretch seemed like eternity to spend just dancing and hanging out. It could easily get boring. However, my thoughts went to those who wanted to go but couldn’t because they had neither a date nor a friend to go with. I have a couple of friends from two different schools who both did not go to their HoCo dance because they had no one to go with. No student should feel left out like these two. Among the 1,000+ students from my school who did not attend, there must be a good number who might have been in the same situation. I wish that the ASBs of every school could come up with ideas to support these students so we can genuinely make everyone feel at home.
Add a slice of cooked salmon, a dash of soy sauce and a little bit of science. For those who have been keeping up with TikTok and the latest food trends, this is all a familiar scene — Emily Mariko’s viral salmon rice bowl. Influencer Mariko, known for her short TikTok videos that reveal her daily diet and recipes while typically involving little to no talking, recently started an overwhelming movement on social media.
Her simple and healthy recipe includes cooked salmon, rice, Kewpie mayonnaise, soy sauce, Sriracha, avocado, seaweed, and an ice cube. Fascinated by her lifestyle and nutrition, millions of netizens added Mariko to their list of following and quickly hopped onto the trend in just a matter of days.
The 35-second clip that first introduced the recipe, has now garnered over 66 million views on TikTok making it the hottest video on her page. As one of the most popular influencers on the app today, Mariko offers healing through her wholesome cooking.
People around the world honor deceased family members by hosting funerals, burying or cremating them. Hispanic people are no different, as family is a huge aspect of their lives. However, many Hispanic people, especially those of Mexican roots, take their celebration one step further.
This November 1 and 2, a huge festival known as the Day of the Dead, or Día de Los Muertos is held in Hispanic communities. People go all out for this holiday because it is important that they show their respect and gratitude to their fallen ancestors. It emphasizes the belief that the spirits of dead ancestors come back down to Earth for a few days each year to have fun. Their relatives celebrate them by enjoying the things they loved the most when they were alive.
The first day, November 1, is dedicated to fallen children. People honor these children by decorating their graves with many items, including their favorite toys, and balloons.
The next day is for celebrating the deceased adult family members. People indulge in their deceased family member’s favorite foods, drinks, and games. To guide the spirits to their families, the family places flowers; usually, a type of marigold called a zempasúchil. These bright, exuberant flowers aid the spirits in finding their homes. Altars, known as ofrendas, are also built. These ofrendas usually contain many objects and items related to the deceased including a framed picture of them, their favorite foods or drinks, and tons of decorations. Ofrendas are loaded with flowers, candles, and skulls made from paper maché to represent the deceased person.
Día De Los Muertos is one of the most cherished traditions passed on by the ancestors of many Hispanic families throughout Mexico and parts of Latin America. Many people, including those who live in our own community, celebrate this event. Around 37% of Fullerton’s population are Hispanic.
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