Friday, March 6, 2009

Club de Espanol

Throughout high school I was very active in a variety of clubs. My favorite club was Foreign Language Club. It’s a little ironic because my tiny high school only had 1 foreign language so technically our club was just a Spanish Club. Nevertheless, I have a wide variety of great memories from it.

In order to become an active member of Foreign Language Club, everyone had to go through a process we liked to call initiation. I remember my brother and sister’s stories of being initiated, and when my time came to be initiated I was really worried.

My sister told me she had to wash her hair about 5 times in order to get all the vinegar out. My brother was completely covered in mustard and ketchup. As you can imagine I was expecting the worse. Fortunately, the year I was initiated it wasn’t too bad. Eating baby food and bobbing for spam were the worst things I had to do.

One of the biggest incentives of going through initiation was that the next year you got to initiate the next incoming group. I personally thought planning initiation was definitely worth going through initiation. Initiation my senior year was the most fun. Since I lived out in the country and had a lot of open space, I was nominated to host the initiation. Ironically I found that planning initiation was almost as much fun as the actual initiation.

Most of our fun came while we were planning skits. We thought it would be fun to create different scenes ahead of time and make the new members act them out. Some of the scenes we chose were quite ridiculous. We would usually try to pair people for skits that definitely didn’t fit their personalities. If you’ve every played charades, then you know how entertaining it can be to watch people act things out they aren’t comfortable doing.

Since most of the initiates were freshman, we had a big advantage because they didn’t know much Spanish yet. We used this opportunity to really freak them out before they even got to my house. We gave them a pledge in Spanish the day before initiation and told them they had to have it memorized. We knew there was no way they would be able to memorize it all. At initiation they had to recite the pledge individually, and as soon as they made a tiny error we put a whip cream pie in their face.

This may sound a little harsh, but in all honesty, who doesn’t like a little whip cream? However, as the night went on, the activities weren’t quite as enjoyable. Another fun game we liked making the new members play was musical “chairs”. Instead of making them sit on chairs we made them sit on paper plates full of whip cream. The surprise was that when they sat down on the plates, there was an egg underneath the whip cream.

Most people would probably just lose on purpose so they didn’t have to get messy; however, we prevented this by promising to let the winner out of the next activity. This definitely lit a fire under the new members, and it was a battle to the end. The lucky winner was fortunate enough to get out of eating our mystery mix. We combined a few random ingredients most people don’t like. Some of the ingredients we used were mixed greens, Spaghetti O’s, and spam. I know this sounds awful, but we only had the new member’s take a small bite.

This final activity we planned for the initiates was called a gauntlet. Luckily my house had the perfect set up for this activity because we had access to a wooded are. We blindfolded the initiates and had them hold on to the rope. An old member would lead them through the path we planned out. At different points throughout the route, we planned pit stops. During these “pit stops” we would pour a little of this and a little of that on the initiates. We usually used ketchup, mustard, baked beans, and flour. None of these things are too terrible, but it definitely made quite a mess.

The most important thing about initiation was that everyone had a good time. Even though the new members were covered head to toe in goop, they still had high spirits. They all said they had a really fun time. I know the old members had a good time as well. It was a fun experience and it was a great bonding experience for our club. I also think having the initiation at my house made it even more special to me.

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