Host family life: Kinkaid Week with Barbara


Juliana Aviles

Barbara and sophomore Sara Lichtarge enjoy the homecoming football game.

Sophia Kontos, Staff Writer

In this column, host family sister Sophia Kontos discusses her experiences with Barbara Paić, this year’s exchange student from Croatia.

Kinkaid week is, for most students, one of the busiest and best weeks of the fall semester. It is that one week where school spirit unites the Upper School into a cohesive community with one common hope. We all feel Maverick pride the moment we walk onto a decorated campus Monday morning.

Even though Barbara and I had to be on campus at 7:15, the twinkling lights in freshmen hallway and the festive decorations woke us up and filled us with Winterland holiday spirit (albeit three months early). Both Barbara and I enjoyed finding small, detailed decorations around the school. I especially loved the designs on the bathroom mirrors.

Another exciting part of Monday was seeing all the seniors in their Dress like Kinkaid outfits. Barbara was thoroughly amused to see boys in tutus, something that would never happen in Croatia.

One of the major events of Kinkaid Week is the homecoming dance, although ours is atypical of the traditional American homecomings. Barbara started to stress out about what she was I going to wear. My response, “clothes,” proved to be thoroughly worthless. Luckily, Barbara borrowed a white shirt that fit well enough into the Winter Wonderland theme. She did not expect a dance in a gym, and Homecoming did not live up to Barbara’s expectations. Still, Kinkaid Week had four days to redeem itself.

Barbara and junior Meryl Thomas sport winter wonderland outfits at the homecoming dance.
Devon Granberry
Barbara, right, and junior Meryl Thomas sport winter wonderland outfits at the homecoming dance.

A plus of Kinkaid week for many stressed students, including myself, is having a day off on Tuesday. Barbara wholeheartedly agrees. She was happy for a chance to sleep in and catch up with family.

The All-School Pep Rally is always fun, bringing the entire school together in a tradition that remains unchanged year after year. Although Barbara thought the pep rally was not the best part of the week, it was still something new. For American schools, pep rallies are a common occurrence, but Croatia does not have anything comparable to it.

Barbara’s favorite part of the week, as for many Upper School Students, was the Kinkaid Video. Although most aspects of Kinkaid Week never change, the Kinkaid video is new each year. This year’s video did not break the tradition of hyping students up for the big game and acting as comic relief from an eventful week.

Even though the final score was not great, Barbara and I still enjoyed the football game. So much from Kinkaid Week had led up to the game, and it was an opportunity to see school spirit on a large scale. For Barbara, it represented a truly American, Texan-Friday-Night-Lights sort of experience.