You might have spotted a tiger walking around campus, a goat in the dining hall, or a cat and a rat sitting in a class.
Sixteen International Student Ambassadors (ISAs) volunteered to help tell the story of the Chinese zodiac during an all-school meeting on January 26, which launched the celebration of numerous Lunar New Year festivities at Loomis Chaffee during the month of February.
The deans of students gave the ISAs permission to wear their animal onesies around campus and in their first-period classes before the 9:50 a.m. meeting to create some excitement for what was to come, a skit with all the animals that helped tell the story of how the Jade Emperor decided to name the years of the zodiac.
A good time was had by all, those learning while being entertained and those providing the entertainment and education.
“One of the things I encourage ISAs to do is think creatively and push themselves out of their comfort zones, in part because that is where we come up with our best ideas on ways to engage community on things that are both educational and fun,” Director of International Student Support Molly Pond said. “It also allows the [ISAs] to model for the younger students and their cohorts on how to get really involved at Loomis and put yourself out there.”
Molly, who interacts with many areas of the school, knows of what she speaks. “My role allows me the opportunity to work with all kinds of colleagues across the school to not only enhance the international student experience but also bring into the daily fabric of the Loomis Chaffee experience the fact that we have so many diverse perspectives on campus,” she said.
She also looks out for the international students. “I’m here to make sure that they are having fun, are feeling heard, feel valued, and that they are fully integrated into the school experience.”
The Lunar New Year celebrations on campus this month are plentiful for the Year of the Dragon.
Among the activities is the bestowing of red envelopes. In Chinese culture, red is associated with energy, positivity, and fortune, and ornate red envelopes containing money are given at times of celebration, such as Chinese New Year. In the Loomis Chaffee version of this custom, family members, friends, and others can purchase a red envelope for someone containing a coupon for a breakfast sandwich at the Scanlan Center Grill. The red envelopes will be distributed at the Lunar New Year Party on Saturday, February 10. The ISAs chose the design of the various red envelopes and created the coupon.
Here is the schedule of Lunar New Year events:
Friday, February 9: Classical Chinese Dance Workshop. Sophomore Claire Cen will lead this workshop in the Athletics Center Dance Studio from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Snacks will be served. The event is sponsored by the Norton Family Center for the Common Good.
Saturday, February 10: Lunar New Year Party. The International Student Ambassadors (ISAs), StuActs, the Pan Asian Student Alliance (PASA), and the South East Asians at Loomis (SEAL) organization invite the LC community to sample the flavors of China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam, 8–10 p.m. in the dining hall. Check the table for red envelopes.
Saturday, February 17: Dragon Dance, Tai Chi, and Traditional Tea Ceremony. A combination of workshops and performances led by Asian Performing Arts CT will take place from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the SNUG. The event is being offered by the ISAs, StuActs, PASA, and SEAL.