SUFC’s culture fair showcases individuality, forges connections

January 31, 2019 — by Allison Hartley and Alekhya Vadlakonda

The sweetly scented room was packed with students waiting to make crepes in French teacher Elaine Haggerty’s room during lunch for the cultural fair held last Friday as the final event in Speak Up for Change week.

The closely packed students enviously eyed the completed pastries as others fought to squeeze out of the room and preserve their cooked crepes decorated with whipped cream and strawberries.

Various clubs and teachers showcased cultures or hobbies during the 85-minute fair, which replaced tutorial and took time from each class. Other examples included calligraphy organized by the Chinese Club, basketball in the gym and crocheting in English teacher Amy Keys’ room.

The fair served as a time for students to relieve stress from the week and as a chance for “many clubs and teachers are doing different events to showcase their culture and individuality,” sophomore outreach commissioner Aliza Zaman said.

Zaman said that the ASB especially wanted teachers to participate in the fair to show students that they, too, have elements that that aren’t widely known such as their hobbies, background or culture.

French club president Trina Chatterjee said that she hoped students who attended learned about French culture and will even attend future club meetings.

Guidance counselor Alinna Satake hosted a cooking demonstration in the main office. Cooking is a large part of Satake’s life, and she wanted to share it with the students.

“I'd like students to see that there is value in knowing what you put in your body, a real satisfaction in eating something that you've prepared yourself,” Satake said.

Other students gathered in the library to hear Class of 2014 alum Nikhil Goel speak about his experiences at Stanford University and successfully navigating the high expectations for college that current students face. He recently co-wrote a book titled “Dreaming of Stanford.”

“I don't really have an idea for what I want to do in the future,” sophomore Carolyn Ding said. “His speech helped me realize that not everyone knows what they want to do at this age, and that it's fine to try a lot of things to figure it out.”

Overall, Zaman said the fair turned out as well as the the outreach commission had hoped.

“During the fair, many students went out of their comfort zone to different classrooms and activities to try new things,” she said. “It was kind of a way for students to understand that many teachers at our school have their own hobbies, interests and individuality that many people don’t know about.”

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