BOBx: Bringing Bearcats Together Again

Written by: Eve

Edited by: Sarah

Visuals by: Yana

Last week’s BOBx event was truly something unexpected. Due to Zoom fatigue and our fond recollection of when BOB was in person, the apathy and apprehension felt towards the event seemed unanimous. However, so was the excitement and surprise that came on the day itself when we found ourselves united once again!

Personally, I was coming out of an exhausting week of assessments, assignments and the beginning of exam prep, and so had little intention of participating in the events. Sure, I’d watch BOB Dance, and maybe Drawful, but that was the extent of my plans. But after watching the opening ceremony, cheering along to the outstanding hype videos, and getting over the shock and horror of seeing my mother’s face morphed with Mr. Thibodeau’s, I sincerely enjoyed myself. It was heartwarming to see everyone supporting and cheering each other on, and even unmuting themselves. Voluntarily! It was a reminder that the sense of community at ISM is able to persist during these difficult times, a sentiment echoed by many students from all batches. Josh, a senior, said, “It was just so great to see that even though we weren’t physically together, we were still able to be united.” Chloe, a senior and ISSBA President, seemed to agree: “After the first round of events I was absolutely blown away by the amount of spirit displayed. Every Zoom event I checked on was electric, and I felt high school unity for the first time in a long time.”

The wide range of events gave a platform to an array of talents and creativity not often showcased or acknowledged, such as the T-Shirt Challenge, which senior Andres seemingly mastered, winning gold alongside his teammate Elizabeth. He shared his secret, saying, “I practiced the night before the technique of putting on multiple shirts in a span of seconds and I am proud to see that my hard work paid off.” Josh said his favorite event was Graphic Design, because “there were so many vocal compliments and so much recognition of every batch’s creativity. I’m pretty sure the freshman ended up winning the event itself, and it was extremely well deserved.” He also enjoyed the Minecraft PVP event, an annual fan favorite, saying, “I never thought I could lose my voice cheering for a Minecraft battle, but there we are. I guess that’s the power of BOB for you.” There’s the age-old evaluation: if you’ve never lost your voice during BOB, did you really participate? Other niche events included Speed Reading, which is more exciting than one might think, and the Cook Off, which garnered a cacophony of unmuted cheers and chat spam when each competitor unveiled their dishes. As a spectator of the event myself, let me set the scene. Sophomore Martina unveils her salmon dish to the raving crowd. Shouts of “Oh damnnn that dish looks fiiiiine” and “My mouth is watering right now, yesssss Martina” can be heard, while the chat is virtually inaccessible, filled with comments like, “Okay, drop the recipe” and “WOWOOWOWOWOW”.

Some students also experienced their fair share of challenges. Freshman Council President, Inez shared the difficulty of creating excitement around an event that the ninth graders had never experienced before and getting involved in the intimidating chanting they had only previously seen crazed high schoolers yelling in the hallways as middle schoolers. “We had to rally up energy, effort and enthusiasm for a virtual event,” she said, “which did require lots of online promotion and references back to videos from previous years.” She also mentioned her surprise at the unity and support across grades. She exclaimed, “Never have I seen so much support from all ranges of grades as my peers strenuously focused on their event.” However,  upperclassmen know this is the true spirit of BOB, and it was certainly in full force this year regardless of any online restrictions.

Despite concerns of low participation, it was clear that BOBx was a great success. On behalf of the entire HS, Bamboo Telegraph would like to extend our appreciation and gratitude to ISSBA council, Mr. Woods, Ms. Bee, the respective grade level councils and advisors, and everyone else who helped to organize such a memorable day. In the words of Kalani (11), “As far as virtual BOB goes, I think we got the closest thing possible to a real BOB.”