Pumpkin carving shows Halloween spirit


Vivien Xi

Romana Quick, ISP coordinator, helps Ochuru Ochuru (‘23) and Aidan Helgeson (‘23) with their pumpkins.

It’s Saturday afternoon and you decide to take a homework break after lunch. As you walk to upper campus and pass Jameson Archway, you see many International Student Program (ISP) members standing in front of the Quicks’ house; they grin happily and invite you to join their annual pumpkin carving activity. 

The pumpkin carving activity hosted by the ISP and Romana Quick, International Student Program Coordinator, was the first in a series of Halloween events on Saturday, October 26th, 2019. A week prior to the pumpkin carving event, Mrs. Quick sent an email to Student News, and 15 interested students from various grade levels signed up online. They gathered at Quicks’ corner, the cozy patio in between Jameson Archway and Alamo dorm, and began the pumpkin carving session. 

Sharply at 12:00 p.m., the event erupted; most students began by selecting their pumpkins from the back of Mrs. Quick’s truck. The pumpkins included a variety of shapes, which allowed the students to carve their gourds into personal works of art

The international student liaisons, alongside Mrs. Quick, organized this event for both day and boarding students. The event was aimed to get students interested in the tradition of pumpkin carving as it created an inclusive and lively atmosphere for the participating students. 

Chris Ma (‘20), co-head of ISP, said, “Since this is the first Halloween for many international students, we really wanted to introduce this American tradition and make them feel welcomed.”

Shuci Zhang (‘23) said, “The event was relaxing and I also got to bond with different people that I would not normally talk to. I had a good time talking to Mrs. Quick, who was very interested in my sustainability campaign.

After cutting off the crown of the pumpkin with a sharp, serrated knife and scooping out the seeds and fibers, students unleashed their  creativity and imagination. Using a Sharpie marker, the students drew an outline of their design on the pumpkin and finished their creation by cutting out the patterns. Jonathan Zhang (‘21) recreated his favorite Elmo meme and Laura Li (‘22) carved her version of a ghost emoji. 

Although the pumpkin carving activity was a new addition to the many Halloween activities this year, it was extremely successful, as Mrs. Quick provided various carving tools, templates, and music. Through this meaningful and nostalgic event, domestic students were able to bring back their favorite childhood memories and international students were able to experience American culture.