By Collin Burwinkel and Graham Quinn
Eagle Editorial Board
Fish Week has long been a tradition at St. Thomas. The idea is to initiate the freshman class into the brotherhood and camaraderie that has forever been firmly grounded as a staple of our St. Thomas community. This is accomplished through senior- fish meetings, games, lunches, and the infamous “Dress-Up-Your-Fish day.”
Many of the fish were nervous about what was to come.
Freshman Andrew Medina admitted to being anxious.
“I thought it was going to be rough, that the seniors would treat us badly,” Medina said.
The morning of Tuesday, August 20, came with seniors meeting their nervous freshmen. A prayer service and breakfast kicked off the week. Seniors and their freshmen were able to get to know each other and bond as Eagle brothers.
During lunch throughout the week, freshmen participated in games such as apple bobbing and frozen t-shirt contests. The excited freshmen were cheered on and positively encouraged by their loud and proud seniors.
As the freshmen soon learned, Fish Week is not so much about seniors beating up on their fish, as it is about having fun and bonding as men of St. Thomas.
“I like it, I’m having a good time so far,” freshman Krzysztof Kwiatkowski said. “I’m excited to get my costume.”
Thursday morning came, and Dress-Up-Your-Fish Day was here. Students walked the halls seeing everything from gorillas chasing bananas, to a medieval squire blowing a horn.
“I thought it would be a lot worse,” freshmen Thomas Patterson said. “But all the seniors have been nice and it’s been super fun.”
While the freshmen and seniors as a whole enjoyed the traditions of Fish Week, a large amount of seniors felt as if Fish Week was not like they remembered when they were freshmen.
“I like the freshmen, and I like hanging out with them. It’s been really fun,” senior Alex Perez said. “But we don’t have as many activities as I remember though.”
While 30 minutes is enough time to eat lunch, it cuts short on the amount of time freshmen have to participate in activities.
“There should have been more games and activities,” senior John Williams said.
While Fish Week displays true brotherhood, many red flags can be raised by the idea that it is controlled hazing. Some of the parents, as well as faculty members, are worried each year that freshmen are being forced to participate in activities that they might not want to be a part of.
“I encourage the seniors to get to know their freshmen and to be respectful,” history teacher Chrissy Gensheimer said.
There has been an extensive influence on seniors as well as other students on how to treat their brother eagles.
“If [we didn’t have] any rules to follow, it would be worse,” Perez said.
Though Fish Week may not be as the seniors remember, or too controlled as some students think, it still brings the seniors and freshman together as Eagle brothers. Not only does Fish Week provide a special and unique bond that seniors and freshmen form, but it also connects the entire student body through brotherhood and prayer.
“Fish Week solidifies the brotherhood that we Eagles have together. It brings us closer,” Perez said.
Fish Week 2013 closed, leaving seniors and freshman with lasting memories and a better understanding of what St. Thomas is all about. The spirit and enthusiasm displayed will be carried on throughout the school year, as the freshmen are now considered men of goodness, discipline and knowledge.