A Short Look into Long Weekend

Choate Rosemary Hall is one of the busiest high schools in the country. With rigorous academics, challenging athletic programs, prestigious arts programs, and diverse club opportunities, students constantly keep themselves busy — maybe too busy. To provide students time to get enough rest or spend time with their families, Choate offers a Long Weekend every term. This year, in addition to an unofficial “long weekend” due to the unexpected President’s Day last week, students are currently gearing up for a break today, Friday, February 2, through Tuesday, February 6.

Whether it be going on a fun trip or simply resting, many Choate students look forward to Winter Long Weekend. Kelly Moh ’18, a four-year senior, will go to New York to spend time with her mother and hang out with Ploy Chirathivat ’18, Kay Ingulli ’18, and Mint Sethbhakdi ’18. “I plan to eat a lot of good food since it is restaurant week in the city. We will go shopping and spend time resting and alleviating stress.” Moh said. New York City Restaurant Week is a semiannual promotion that offers fine dining at an affordable price. The restaurants that participate will offer three-course prix-fixe menus.

On the other hand, Mary Gorman ’19, a day student from Bristol, Connecticut, will spend a majority of her time resting at her home. “I plan on catching up on my sleep and doing college tours,” mentioned Gorman. “I do not have much planned for Saturday and Sunday, so I will most likely spend that time with my family.”

Will Wu ’19, a three-year junior from China, will stay on campus and do his own projects in the i.d. Lab: “I will use a small, affordable computer named Raspberry Pi, which is commonly used to learn programming through practical projects. I want to incorporate it into a system so that it can display useful information like weather on the LCD screen.”

During the long weekend, the Choate Robotics Team will compete against other schools and clubs in the second annual Choate Invitational Robotics Tournament in the Winter Ex. This year’s challenge is to attain a higher score than the opposing team by stacking cones in designated areas and having the highest stacks. Brian McGlinchey ’18, one of the captains of the Robotics Team, will participate in the tournament to provide guidance to his teammates and to drive the robots during the competition. “After the tournament, I do not have much planned,” commented McGlinchey. “I’ll go back home and play lots of video games.”

Although the campus will be much quieter due to the absence of the majority of the student body, Choate will provide many different activities and trips for the students who will be staying on campus. The number of students spending long weekend on campus has been increasing, and in the past years, the number was between 125 to 175. The remaining students must check in with the Dean on Duty, Mr. Michael Velez, on the first day of the long weekend at four in the afternoon. The schedules and events for the long weekend will be posted, and Mr. Velez will inform about curfews and dorm closings.

“Students who remain in single-advisor dorms or are by themselves in their dorms have to move out to larger dorms so that the students are centralized,” mentioned Mr. Jim Yanelli, the Director of Student Activities Center. “This way, students will have more fun with their friends and be more convenient.”

Once Mr. Yanelli has a sense of the size of the group, he orders late-night snacks — pizza, dumplings, fried rice, egg rolls, and Popeyes Chicken. On the night of the Super Bowl, Mr. Yanelli will arrange the Super Bowl Party, which will start at dinner time and continue until late evening. Students can sit around in the common room television at St. John Hall and watch the game. Furthermore, there will be trips to cities like Boston and New Haven, as well as mall trips. The local non-stop shuttles will bring students to movie theaters, nearby restaurants, Walmart, and shopping areas.

The long weekend is a collective deep breath for not only the students but also for the teachers and staff,” added Mr. Yanelli. “Everyone on campus gets to take a little bit of a pause and slow down a little bit. Unstructured time that people value is so rare here, and it is nice to have nothing to do for a few days.”

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