Teamwork, Competition, and Friendship: the Holiday Locker Decoration Contest

Yilin Xie

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To celebrate the holiday spirit, the Sophomore Class Council organised the Holiday Locker Decoration Contest during the last week before the break. The student body avidly participated by decorating their lockers with all kinds of festive and holiday-related items for the grand prize of a basket of treats. The participants explored their maximum creativity to design the most eye-catching locker: some went for the classic holiday garlands and gift-wrapping paper, some took a comical approach, and others created beautiful artwork referencing Holiday movies. The winner of the individual contest was Alex Ha, followed closely by Rachel Havriliak. The group contest winners were the Sophomore AVPA-V girls, while a group of Freshman AAST students won second place.

Surprisingly, it was not always the ones who put in the most hours of work that were the most successful. The individual contest winner Alex Ha, whose design consisted of a simple holiday-spirited Photoshopped picture of his friend Abhinav Kumar and an interactive dispenser of photos of Abhinav, said his decoration took just about two minutes to complete.

Even though it was a minimalist design, Alex recalls how his friends aided him to win the contest: “I had the help of many friends, including, but not limited to, Jonathan Wong, David Du, Alex Golden and Joonho Jun. They spread the word to all the sophomores and plus some seniors and juniors.” According to Alex, the most challenging part of the contest was to win without an elaborate design, which he admittedly gave up on after seeing the Grinch decoration by the Visual students. He decided to take a unique route and utilise the contest as an opportunity to promote Abhinav’s political campaign for the Student Council next school year.

Another group of students, the AAST Freshmen that were the runner-ups of the group contest also used their Photoshop skills to create their decoration. However, this group found a different reward.

“We just had fun with it,” said Carrie Ward, one of the participants that created the Danny DeVito decoration.

“My favourite component is that our whole IGS collaborated on this project,” said Ellie Ushakov, another contributor of the Danny DeVito design, “It is very rewarding to see people appreciate the hard work that everyone put into their lockers.”

According to the group, they first had to get everyone in their IGS to agree that their lockers could be used for the contest so that they could decorate a whole unbroken row of lockers. Although their homage to the actor, Danny DeVito consisted of no more than Mr DeVito’s body Photoshopped to form “Happy Holidays!” plus some faux garlands to accentuate the holiday theme, the group received compliments from their classmates for their humorous showcase of creativity.

Through this contest, Edward Welch Morgan, who came up with the idea as well as Photoshopped the letters, learned persistence:  “I think people voted for us because we kept telling them to do it over and over again during the week.” Edward added, “But I would like to think it was because we had the best design by far.”

Like the AAST Freshmen, the winners of the group contest agreed that teamwork and collaboration were crucial to their success. From brainstorming to completion, the Grinch locker decoration took about a week and a half with eleven Visual students working on it. Commenting on how they finished the grand decoration in time, Anabelle Accetta-Beman, a member of the winning group, remarked, “The Visual academy is very close and we work well together; if we needed wrapping paper, someone would bring it in. Oh, I can grab the lights! Well if she gets the lights, I can work on the houses, et cetera. It was a huge group effort and I think that shows.”

Though she said it was just for fun, Anabelle described how many detailed components were in the decoration: “Emi Canlas painted the Grinch and Erin, Katelyn, and Julia painted the mountains. We all worked on wrapping little pieces of cardboard to look like presents and some people brought tinsel or lights. We also had to make the little houses …We had to wrap the lockers with wrapping paper, tape up the mountain and the Grinch, and then add the houses. The presents, fluff for the Grinch’s hat and shirt, lights, tinsel, and everything else were just embellishments that we added on in the end.” Eventually, their group effort and collaborative ideas brought the Grinch to life in an eye-catching mural with intricate details and were rewarded with the promised prize: a huge basket of treats.

In BCA’s challenging and often stressful environment, cheerful, school-spirited events like the Locker Decoration Contest ease the constant academic pressure and provide opportunities for the students to bond with their peers and do something just for fun. Often, we are too caught up fretting about grades to truly appreciate the ones around us that support us and cheer us on when we embark on journeys to conquer obstacles and the experiences done solely for delight, without a thought about grades and checklists and rubrics.