Character Week swept through campus last week in the form of daily dares, posters and lunchfests. The daily dares advocated the four pillars of character–compassion, respect, integrity and responsibility–challenging University High School (UHS) students to demonstrate different aspects of character throughout the week.
Monday’s daily dare focused on compassion. Students were asked to make a new friend by introducing themselves to someone they had never talked to before. Tuesday’s focused on integrity; students were encouraged not to tell a lie the entire day. Wednesday’s advocated responsibility, as students put extra effort into arriving on time to class. On Thursday, IMPACT mentors distributed UHS “respect pins” to freshmen and later decorated the school with chalk murals that displayed the four pillars of character. On Thursday, at the Speaker Series, the CEO of Wahoo’s Fish Tacos passed out more respect pins to all attendees.
Artists in fifth period homeroom classes decorated homeroom posters depicting the pillars of character. Tina Zhou, (Jr.), who decorated a poster for her AP Psychology class, said she “thought it would be most meaningful to UHS students to fit the definition of responsibility into their personality in school.” She drew a picture of a tired student fighting the urge to fall asleep before completing his homework.
Character Week came to an end on Friday with the Fall Sports Pep Assembly and the first lunchfest of the year. At the lunchfest, several staff members, including Mr. Pate, Mr. Pehrson and Ms. Lenert, rapped for students in front of the theatre. Also at the lunchfest, students received free “character cookies” for writing what responsibility means to them on a large sheet of butcher paper.
The week was a huge success as it reminded us, as students and citizens, to respect others. Tristan Malhotra (So.) said, “Character Week leads us away from the stresses of grades and school and reminds us that our character is the most important thing in our lives.” Hyun Park (Fr.) said that Character Week “allows us to think about the most important values that we usually forget in our daily lives.” Gopal Vashishtha (Jr.) said, “good character is a selfish thing” and that helping others gives us a sense of pride, achievement and fulfillment “devoid of self-doubt and guilt.”
Demonstrating respectable character is not only something we are expected to do, but also something we must strive to achieve as we mature. The respect we show for our school, our friends, our acquaintances and our teachers reflects our own character and integrity. Although developing character is not the focus of any AP class, ultimately it constitutes the most important lessons we learn throughout our lives.
By TAMARA LIN