Firsts, lasts and onlys

Jane Richardson ’19 tells us what’s on her Peddie bucket list for senior year.

June 5 started like any other vacation day: waking up way later than I should, watching some Netflix in bed before coming downstairs and nibbling on my favorite KIND bar. However, something was different today. As I got to the halfway mark of chocolate almond heaven, my dad lifted up an envelope and said: “It’s here.” I quickly snatched the envelope from his hand and tore open the seal. I stared down at the prints in my hand. There sat an unsuspecting seventeen-year-old in full graduation attire (Peddie students take their grad pics during the spring of their junior year). As I looked down, all I could think was, “Holy Tamole, I am a senior.” Soon, I will be walking across the stage and receiving my diploma. From the moment I arrive on campus for preseason, I’ll have 273 days.

273 days. Although it seems like a lot of time, I know that, just as all my other years at Peddie have, it will fly by. Only 273. I have to cram all of my firsts, lasts and onlys into 273 days. So, that leaves me to wonder, what do I still have left to do? What’s my Peddie Bucket List?

Peddie celebrates a Blair Day win.

Falcons storm the field after their Blair Day win.

1. Storm the field one last time.

Blair Day is basically an international holiday. In the weeks leading up to it, there’s this incredible feeling throughout the entire campus. The only thing I can equate it to is how a child would feel if they were waiting for Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy to show up to their birthday party, which just so happened to be at Disneyland. If this is how a normal Peddie student feels before Blair Day, you can’t even imagine how I feel (I am basically the most over the top person you will ever meet). Everyone has their reasons for why Blair Day means something to them but I think they all center around the same thing: community. Every single person on this campus, day or boarder, athlete or artist, faculty or student, come together as one. For the past four years, our united front has come back champions, and we have always stormed the football field in celebration of our conquest. The surge of Falcons at my back racing to the cup is one of the best feelings I will ever have. And I am going to have it one last time when we kick our winning streak up to five.

The rope line in the Campus Center stairwell.

2. Go to Narnia

Rope Lines. Normally, I’m a huge fan. Anyone who knows me will tell you I like things organized and orderly. Items designed for the sole purpose of keeping something organized and orderly are the things I treasure most. However, this particular rope line is different.

The rope line I am referring to covers the stairs leading to the third floor of the campus center. Every time I go to The Masland Room, or even the dining hall, I wonder: what could possibly be up there? I’ve heard rumors, of course, each more far-fetched than the last, but I have no clue what is actually up there. One great thing about Peddie is they foster your intellectual curiosity and help you explore your passions. A curious mind is a working mind, right? But unfortunately, I can only get my curious mind to focus on one thing: what’s on the third floor? A storage room? Most likely, but also most boring. Someone’s office? I suppose a little more interesting, but I prefer the outrageous. Thus, I have come to this conclusion: it obviously houses the wardrobe that leads to Narnia, and since we don’t want any students to go missing or fighting ice witches, it’s blocked off. To me, this is the most logical because it is the most illogical. This year, I am determined. I will go up to beyond the rope line. I will confirm everything I already know: Narnia is on the third floor of the Peddie School Campus Center.

A game of spikeball on Peddie Center Campus

Peddie English teachers Mr. Bennett and Mr. Roach play spikeball with a student on Center Campus.

 

3. Learn how to play spikeball

On any given day during Spring Term, you can walk across Center Campus and find at least one game of spikeball. Though I am a fan of lawn bowling, I haven’t quite figured out how spikeball works yet. I suppose the skills aren’t transferable. Not that I have any discernible lawn bowling skills anyway, but still. All I know is you hit a ball at a net, and it bounces up, and you continue to do so. My main sport is tennis, so this really seems out of the ordinary. Hitting a ball into the net means you lose, so why is it a good thing here? However confusing I may find it, this year, I’m going to learn how to play spikeball.

4. Finally, see a DeGray win

In all my time at Peddie, I have been DeGray* all the way. I even suffered through our orange t-shirt phase, when we all looked like traffic cones (if that isn’t love, I’m not sure what is). Though Heads Day may seem like a glorified field day of sorts, the reality of it may surprise you. Have you ever been elbowed in the face but kept going at some rinky-dink field day? No, that’s ridiculous. But at Heads Day, this has probably happened to you at least four or five times. Especially, if you, like me, have played Soap Twister every year. Heads Day is a prime example of the resilience and determination of the Falcon. Though we may have seen some devastating defeats, like losing for the past three years, we refuse to give up. The only way to rise up is to start from the bottom. So, DeGray will rise up to win Heads Day for the first time in all of my time.

*DeGray as in Thomas A. DeGray. He was Peddie’s Head of School from 1989 until 2001. All Heads Day teams are named after former Peddie heads of school. There’s also Potter, Seltzer and Green. You can find out more about them here.

5. Be able to say the Ala Viva backward

“Ala Viva,” when put into Google Translate, means “live wing.” Despite Google Translate’s incredible reputation for accurate translations, it didn’t quite get this one right. Ala Viva are the words that represent Peddie. In two small words, we define our community, comradery and spirit. The Ala Viva chant is the heart of Peddie life. It represents so much to us. My tennis team does not say the Ala Viva the entire season because we know that it is too special to say it anytime other than Blair Day. This chant, in victory and defeat, celebrates the fact that we came together, and we gave it 100%. That’s what Falcons do. And we all take pride in not only being a part of it, but being able to chant it at the top of our lungs without hesitation. So this year, I want to go above and beyond. I want to be able to say that I know the Ala Viva backward and forward.

What will you put on your Peddie bucket list? Share some info about yourself and we’ll send you an admissions packet, which includes 15 highly practical, life-altering, brilliant-ish ideas happening at Peddie right now. You can also register for one of our on campus events.

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