Quest has been compared to Hogwarts in some ways. We have a headmaster (President, in reality) with a long, white, snowy beard, we all live on campus in 4 different villages (I’ll leave you to determine which is Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Slytherin and Ravenclaw), we live in academia on a secluded hilltop away from the ‘real’ world, and some might say that our astounding ability to survive through the rigor of the block plan requires some degree of magic. This analogy continues as we prepare for our annual Christmas feast and formal dance in fine robes and attire. At ‘Questival’, everyone dresses up, eats ravenously, laughs gaily, and reminisces about the past year’s experiences. We watch videos, share stories, and acknowledge and celebrate the cultural differences on campus.
Another festive activity planned around the holidays at Quest is ‘Secret Santa’ where students engage in random acts of kindness towards their peers. These acts have ranged from baking cookies to making candles to sending Christmas greeting cards and happy thoughts. It sure makes the last block more bearable when students take a few minutes out of their busy lives to think about others. In addition to random greetings and gifts, some of the residence villages have been organizing open house potlucks of goodies. The sugar crashes don’t help the studying but they sure are a nice way to share delicious recipes, build community, and experience the generous spirit of Christmas.
All these festivities are helping me get through my final block before the holidays. My current block is ‘Sex, Gender, and Sexuality’ taught by 3 tutors; a biologist, a psychologist, and a linguist. We are looking at these three concepts from very broad perspectives. We are playing around in societal expectations of gender and stereotypes. In fact, we are inviting the rest of the campus to think about the material we are parsing by encouraging the rest of the school to engage in ‘Genderfuck Fridays’. I highly recommend you Google this term if you are unfamiliar with it (I was before this class). Essentially, this is a day where people are encouraged to play with gender roles as we know them and to bring them into question. If you are particularly ‘masculine’ (whatever that means) in how you dress, perhaps step out of your comfort zone and dress in a more ‘feminine’ way, depending on what that means for you. Or combine ‘gender’ stereotypes. I like the idea of bringing gender roles to peoples’ attention and continually questioning what is ‘normal’. Some people go all out:
We’re all hoping and praying for snow so it will start to feel a bit more like Christmas on campus..
Until next time,