Intersession 2021

written by Adeleine Halsey `21, school writing intern

This year, EDS took an unconventional approach to its annual outside of classroom experiential learning - Intersession. Typically, the Upper School offers a series of trips on local, national and international levels. Despite the pandemic, the faculty at EDS wanted to continue the long-standing tradition, even on a local level. 

The week of Intersession required months of rigorous planning, especially with COVID precautions to consider. It was the biggest undertaking that the Student Leadership Council (SLC) had yet adopted, and it took coordination across all the committees. Day School uses endeavors such as this to help develop resilience in students through the organization and leadership required to orchestrate a successful week. 

Students gathered supplies, made posters, designed Excel spreadsheets, and worked with other committees to lay down the groundwork. Wednesday was the first official day of Intersessions, rendering global-mindedness in students through International Day. Students with familial or cultural ties to countries from around the world orchestrated presentations for their peers, as students in grades 8-12 “travelled from country to country,” or classroom to classroom, to learn about different cultures, try ethnic foods, and play interesting games. “Intersession, and especially International Day, was different, of course, due to the pandemic, which made it very difficult and rigorous to plan,” said Shriya Naraya `23. “It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears from all of us in the end. However, it ended up being worth it because International Day was amazing! We learned so much about culture and history, and it was enlightening. I loved seeing everyone in their traditional attire and eating all the different foods!” After lunch, students increased their cultural understanding by watching international movies in other languages such as French, Spanish, and Japanese. 

Thursday’s House Olympics provided a rigorous, fun-filled, and action-packed day with a variety of competitive and non-competitive activities to earn points. Students across the school are assigned to one of four houses and compete throughout the year for the prestigious honor of earning the Founders’ Cup. House Olympic activities ranged from capture the flag to improv games, freeze dance and rap battles, and a gigantic water balloon fight, allowing students of varied talents to contribute to the success of their House. The day also provided a much-needed sense of  carefree normalcy and light-hearted fun in the wake of a strange and uncertain year. 

Friday concluded the week with Upper School Field Day. Students took part in a wide variety of traditional and non-traditional Field Day activities, including kickball, “How Well Do You Know your Friend” marathons, and Fear Factor themed eating contests. “My favorite parts of Field Day were playing soccer and watching the video game tournaments,” says Ava Yune `22. This was also a point scored day, in which the seniors came out on top.

Intersession is a unique opportunity that sets Evansville Day School apart by giving students the ability to create their own experiences. It provides an interactive, unique method of learning, while rendering the integral values of the school - global-mindedness, resilience, balance, and entrepreneurial learning. Despite pandemic constraints, the experience was a success, nonetheless, for both students and teachers. EDS exemplifies how learning and adopting life skills can better equip students for a future outside the classroom to be independent, well-rounded, and qualified individuals.