BOB: Behind the scenes with ISSBA

Written by: Nicole Yoon, 11

Photograph by: Jupiter Lee, 10

Behind all the cheering and fun of BOB, ISSBA has the responsibility of planning the highly anticipated event and making sure that all runs smoothly. To keep the greatness of BOB in retrospective, BT has acquired some insight into the obstacles that ISSBA has faced, along with the student’s thoughts on the remarkable event.

Daniel Um (Grade 12, ISSBA Vice President)

Seeing as you were in ISSBA previously, what made BOB stand out this year?

This year, we added new events such as Mixed Doubles Tennis, Mario Kart, and the Bearcat Challenge.  We also instructed the Bearcat Council runners to bring the score sheets to the tabulation room immediately after the events finished, which made the tabulation process a lot more efficient.  Lastly, I noticed that many of the participants cheered for people from other grades, which helped create a synergistic atmosphere.

What were some challenges you faced on the actual day of BOB?

While not too many things went wrong, during the human calculator event, many of the answers were incorrect; I had to sit next to the judges and verify the answers as the questions were given. Additionally, the materials for the speed-painting event were not at the actual venue, so we had to frantically search for them in the art rooms.

Isabel Benares (Grade 12, ISSBA President)

What were some challenges you faced while planning for BOB?

Coordinating between the different parts of school is definitely a challenge every year. Getting Potato Corner, for example, required dozens and dozens of e-mails between Security, Mr. Woods’ secretary, Mrs. Mapua in the Cafeteria, and the actual company. Everyone was already on board with having them come in (who doesn’t love fries) but there were just so many things that had to be talked through with so many different people, like contracts, power supplies, and transportation.

Green forms, in this regard, were also a nightmare. Because BOB requires participation from almost all departments of the school – FAO, ATAC, the PE Offices, IT, the Service Desk – we had to spend a couple of afternoons chasing down signatures from all corners of the school. In addition, not all equipment for a specific venue could be sourced from one place: music instruments had to be requested from teachers, each and every console and video game borrowed from a friend, and projector set-ups were put in place by IT. It’s these logistics that pose the greatest obstacles. Every venue we book, every console we borrow, every cone and table and chair we request, has to be checked, double checked, and checked again. We can’t have any sudden schedule clashes or missing equipment on the day, so we work hard to ensure everything is ready and able to run smoothly.

What was the biggest factor in deciding to add new events this year?

We let out a survey at the start of the year, asking people to give us some suggestions on how to improve upon BOB 2012. We got a lot of new ideas from there. Some of the requests made, however, we could not fulfill. Any FPS games or violent video games (a lot of which were suggested) are pretty much banned by admin, so those were out. We took a look at every single suggestion from the survey, added in our own ideas based on what we thought worked and what didn’t from the year before, and put together a super list of events for the year.

What are some things you will miss most about BOB when you pass on your ISSBA legacy?

There are amazing, electric moments – especially in the opening and closing ceremony – where the student body comes together. It sounds cheesy, but there really isn’t anything quite like it. The raves in the cafeteria, Tri-M mosh pits, or the entire high school singing “We Are the Champions” – thinking about it still gives me goose bumps! Being on ISSBA definitely has it’s downs; seeing your senior class cheer without you is never fun. But, at the end of the day, amid the “Thank you!”s and sore throats, you can take a step back and realize you helped plan such a huge event that people will remember as a great day in high school. That’s pretty fulfilling.

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