Red/White Week has been a long tradition for Manual. Students dress up in costumes all week leading up to the Male/Manual football game on Friday. The week is usually considered more relaxed, with teachers giving less homework and no major tests or projects in an effort to allow students to enjoy the festivities.
Four Manual teachers have shared how they celebrate Red/White Week and how their classroom is affected.
David Richards, Math
Mr. Richards explained that his classroom isn’t affected by Red/White Week other than the shortened schedule on Friday because of the pep rally.
“I treat it like any other week. Students take quizzes and tests,” Richards said. “Whatever costumes they want to wear, we will still take notes, and I’ll be in costume.”
Mr. Richards explained that while his students are excited about Red/White Week, he doesn’t really see a change in work ethic.
“Everybody’s a little more amped up and ready to go, but half the time [the class] isn’t focused anyways so Red/White Week doesn’t change that,” Richards said.
He went on to say that Red/White Week is important for the relationship between the student body and the staff.
“I didn’t go to Manual or Male, so I didn’t have anything to do with it,” Richards said. “Tradition, in my opinion, is one of those things you have to keep up, something that you can hold onto and believe in. It’s something you can look forward to doing and base your future and past on.”
“It’s a football game, but it’s something that brings the student body together and brings students and teachers closer,” Richards said. “I like seeing my class as a whole hodgepodge of characters.”
Mr. Richards considers himself to be a pretty laid-back teacher normally, but he still likes to surprise his students.
“One year I wore a hula-skirt with a coconut bra, and the class wasn’t expecting that,” Richards said. “I think it’s just a time to have fun and show students that teachers are people too.”
Doug DeWeese, Visual Art (VA)
Mr. DeWeese is preparing for Red/White Week by helping students make posters and making adjustments in his class schedule to encourage students to have more fun.
“It’s totally important, it’s a tradition. It brings the school together so it’s totally worth making adjustments for,” DeWeese said.
Mr. DeWeese’s only complaint about Red/White Week is losing a lot of class time, especially with his all-junior classes.
“My schedule is affected because you can’t have a whole lot of homework due during the week because there are so many events. As always, you lose class time and last week was already a three-day week. It makes it tough to stay on schedule, but it’s worth it,” DeWeese said.
Though the schedule is different this week, Mr. DeWeese believes that is it important for students to be able to experience Red/White Week to the fullest and participate in the events.
“I think the students would rather go to Ramstock than work on their stuff in my classroom after school,” DeWeese said.
Andrea Nacionales, Science
Ms. Nacionales explained that she enjoys student participation and incorporates the different themes into the classroom flow, but doesn’t let the fun-filled week affect her schedule.
“My classroom schedule doesn’t really change. [The students] get a little hyped up with the costumes and the dress-up, but otherwise they come in and we do a little five-minute talk about it and then we get back to work,” Nacionales said.
Ms. Nacionales is hosting a canoe field trip on Oct. 20th for her sophomore biology students — the day of the pep rally and football game.
“I think my field trip will be fine because students are more comfortable with the field trip because their classes will be shortened. It will be a great day because [the students] get to go canoeing and get back just in time for the pep rally,” Nacionales said.
Ms. Nacionales is ready for Red/White Week and encourages students to take part.
“I think it’s a fun aspect of Manual High School and I would encourage students to take part in it, but understand that we are still in school,” said Nacionales. “It is part of what makes the student body glued together.”
Nicole Finley, English
Ms. Finley explained that while her class has a test, she also has lots of fun activities planned throughout the week.
“There’s not as much homework,” Finley said. “We do have a test but we scheduled that weeks ago.”
Ms. Finley said that her classes usually have trouble focusing during Red/White Week but it’s not a big deal because she understands.
“Red/White week really shows the rivalry between Male and Manual. I think it really goes back to the historical background of the Manual vs. Male game.”
Ms. Finley explained that she plans to dress up for Red/White Week in conjunction with her two daughters who both attend Manual.
“I don’t know what we’re going to be,” Finley said. “My girls want to do thing one, two, and three, but I think that’s kind of boring. I was thinking some kind of Motown theme since we all have natural hair with the big ‘fros and big heels, or do a soul train theme.”
Ms. Finley is also a graduate of Manual. She says that Red/White Week has “toned down” since when she experienced it as a student.
“We had so much fun. We covered all of the windows, and it would be dark in the building. We didn’t have to be in dress code compliance. It was just amazing,” Finley said. “All the teachers dressed up. We had competitions for the best costumes and all kinds of things like that.”
“We didn’t have themes per se, so groups created their own themes. You might get 15 kids who would dress up and do stuff on their own, and it was a lot more spontaneous,” Finley said.