Fall Term in Preview: The Hottest Events of 2009

The first weekend is always one of the best of the year. Make sure you know what’s up. Here’s a guide consisting of the best events of the weekend, what will be happening at them and why you should go. Don’t miss out. Quad Day (2:00 to 4:00, Sunday, West Quad) – What happens: Every dorm in the quad makes a booth where they sell various things and services to earn money for their dorms. Last year, some dorms sold henna tattoos and other highlights included grilled cheese sandwiches, raffle tickets for an Xbox and manicures or massages so you never know quite what to expect. Also, there will be a speaker system with music playing and probably a good amount of footballs and Frisbees to throw around. It’s a good way to spend your Sunday afternoon. Advice: Bring money. Every dorm will have something interesting, and if you leave your wallet in your dorm, you’ll regret it. Also, since the proceeds go to dorm funds, you’re helping out your friends when you buy their random goods and services. Another tip: Watch out for Taylor Hall’s booth. While we don’t know what they have in store this year, last year they ran an ambush kissing booth. So if you see thirty guys running at you, be afraid. Club Rally (7:00 to 9:00, Friday, Outside of Commons) – What happens: The club rally is one of the most exciting events on campus. Every club in the school (from the Andover Cricket Club to the Handbell Choir) will have a booth set up outside Commons with sign-up sheets. Also, the club leaders will entice you to join their clubs with free stuff and compliments. It’s ok to fall for their tricks. They mean well. When you’re not being solicited or called over, you can learn about all the random clubs we have on campus. Advice: Sign up for every club you can. You can feel popular getting emails from random clubs on campus. And hey, maybe you might even go to a meeting or two. Also, it’s easier to sign up for a club and leave later than to join two weeks in. Join clubs you don’t even like, because you never know if by the end of the year, you’ll be going to every meeting. It’s also an easy way to integrate yourself into the community. Video Dance (8:30 to sign-in, Saturday, Borden Gym) – What happens: The Video Dance starts the year off well. Everyone goes to this dance. Whether you’re a new kid asking people you don’t know to dance, or a returner who finds humor in the new students’ awkwardness, it’s a good time. One of the top dances of the year because, since no one really knows each other, there are no inhibitions. This dance is up there with the Gelb Dance and the Last Chance Dance as one of the best dances of the year. Advice: Everyone remembers who the first person they danced with at Andover was. So my advice to new kids is to pick a good one. Freshmen, you’ll remember this for the next four years. Make it count. Also, since so many people there will be new, there’s no reason to be nervous. Grasshopper Night – What happens: The biggest talent show during the school year, Grasshopper Night showcases the wide range of skills of Phillips Academy students. The audience will be surprised to see their peers displaying unseen talents. Advice: Don’t miss this one! If you miss entering your name into the lottery, sign up for the waiting list ASAP. Otherwise, you are guaranteed standing exercise Make sure you get tickets for your parents as well (Grasshopper Night takes place during Parents Weekend). International Festival – What happens: International clubs come together to sell ethnic foods. This variety of options allows students to get a taste of culture without the travel expenses. Following the food bazaar is the talent show. Students bring an ethnic flavor to the stage with international music, skits and dances. Advice: Save room in your stomach for the delectable food options available at the festival. Make sure that you don’t forget your wallet either. While the food isn’t necessarily cheap, know that the funds help the clubs. Halloween Dance-What happens: What happens at the Halloween Dance stays at the Halloween Dance. Students show up in colorful outfits, ranging from motocross racers to the Bell Tower. Even faculty members join in on the Halloween spirit. An annual costume contest tops off the night with students strutting down a runway to show off their aesthetic efforts. Advice: Dress up. Few students keep their casual clothing. The night is more fulfilling if you join in on the costume commotion. Exeter Geek Day – What happens: Every student wears bright red, geeky, awkward clothing on the Thursday before Andover/Exeter weekend. Advice: Walk pigeon-toed, speak in a nasly tone, wear a bike helmet, bring an inhaler. Go to SamPhil at conference period to join in on the Exeter geek picture! Sadie Hawkins Dance – What happens: The first of two semi-formal dances this year. For Sadie, roles reverse and girls ask the guys. Advice: Girls, don’t freak out months in advance. Guys, even though the ladies did the asking, you should still buy flowers. Andover/Exeter Weekend – What Happens: Major Exie pounding. This year, Andover goes to Exeter for the annual games. Football, soccer, field hockey, volleyball and water polo games are all played on a rolling schedule, allowing fans to travel in blue packs from the gym to the field to the pool without missing a second. Blue Key Heads will be patrolling the games, hooting and hollering and pumping up school spirit. Advice: Wear blue. Go all out, don’t hold back. Bring horns, buttons, beads, flags, foam fingers, anything you can think of. Also, check the weather in Exeter, NH before the big day – it’s not fun to freeze.