The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

Anjy Fadairo, Web Editor-in-Chief • June 17, 2024

In May of 1979, following years of effort from Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii and Representative Frank Horton of New York, the United States...

Ms. Day speaks to Hockaday students as well as other students in the Dallas area as part of her role to involve Hockaday students in the community and lead them to fulfill their purpose.
A day with Ms. Day
Sarah Moskowitz and Melinda HuMay 19, 2024

How did you get your start in social impact? Day: Out of college, I decided to do a year in a program called The Jesuit Volunteer Corps. It...

Lone Star Royalty Q&A
Lone Star Royalty Q&A
Lang Cooper and Mary Bradley SutherlandMay 17, 2024

What initially interested you in beauty pageants? Roberts: When I was six I joined the Miss America Organization. This program is for girls...

Senior Splash Day
Senior Splash Day
May 13, 2024

We’re All(aso) in this Together


If camps were hotels, Allaso would be the Ritz and Mo Ranch would be, well Mo Ranch. Gone are the days of dragging your luggage up the hill to your “cabins” and making cardboard boats. Although we spent only a little over 24 hours at Allaso, the Class of 2017 cried, laughed and reflected upon years of both friendships and fights.

The bus ride there was accompanied by throwback ballads that got us all excited for the day ahead. For me, that fun paused once we got there as one of my best friends fainted. In the middle of the woods and unsure where any of the adults were, our grade’s athletic trainers knew exactly what to do and asked for a cold towel for her forehead. Without hesitation, another friend generously offered her water from her water bottle because the water from the sink was too hot.

I gazed in from outside our room, scared for my friend. At the same time, I couldn’t help thinking how incredibly talented and selfless people in my grade are – how always unbelievably willing we are to help a friend in need, how lucky I am to be part of such a caring group of people.

After an adult came and we knew my friend was safe, we went to lunch. Little did I know that the bonding would have already started. Sitting with friends, we were soon asked to choose a strip of paper from a plastic bag and go to a seat that matched that category. I got a strip with “dog” which meant I sat at the animals table. I soon found myself in midst people I did not talk to every day; nevertheless, laughter and conversation soon filled the room.

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No longer starving, we were ready to take on the day. The upbeat sounds “Don’t go Breaking My Heart” and “Single Ladies” rang throughout the worship center as a spontaneous dance party erupted. The voices of 120 students screamed the familiar lyrics as teachers joined in (Mr. Long, Dr. Lawson and Mr. Lyles are fabulous dancers).

However, as carefree and exciting as the Halloween planning and spontaneous dance parties were, it was truly the Mo Ranch letters and the bonfire that brought us together.

Honestly, I was scared to open my letter. I did not want to know how my freshman self sounded and what stupid things I said. However, with encouragement from friends, I finally gave in and found the $20 I had left for myself three years ago. I can hear myself through my letter, but at the same time I have changed so much.

I read a poem today in Literature and Philosophy class called “Marginalia” by Deborah Warren that describes how I feel pretty well. The speaker said, “…I met my former, unfamiliar, self, / some of her notes and scrawls so alien / that, though I tried, I couldn’t get (behind this gloss or that) back to guess what experiences she had in mind…”

Soon, we were all laughing about old crushes and how we wrote about how we hated someone who was now our best friend.

And of course, we shed tears. Lots and lots of tears (Thank goodness, one can never run out of tears).

Luckily, it had stopped pouring. In all the time that Mrs. Calhoun has been form dean, this was only the second time we actually had a real fire (yes!) to make killer s’mores. However, due to weather warnings, we moved our bonfire inside.

Sitting on the floor of the living room of Hideaway cabin, along with 119 of my sisters, I could barely move. With Mr. Benedetto and Mrs. Calhoun sitting in the corner, we were ready to start.

We apologized and we forgave. We told funny stories. We gave shoutouts to those who grounded us. We cried. We applauded each other. We cheered. We hugged. We were vulnerable.

Think about how difficult that truly is. Would you be willing to tell your whole grade at this very moment why you stopped being best friends with someone or how you had trouble at home and your friends were the reason why you got through it? Would you be able to shout that down the hall right now?

I can honestly tell you that I would not be able to do so. I am not sure why I was able to speak up that day. I have thought about what gave me the courage to do so in the past few days after Allaso and still have not come up with a sufficient answer.

Maybe it was the fact that we fit 120 girls in a living room area meant for 20. Perhaps, it was the Mo Ranch letters that made us realize how much we have matured.

I wish I could, but I simply cannot tell you what it was. But that night, there was something different within our grade. There was a sort of unspoken bond that all of shared. It was as if suddenly all those things we may have experienced individually or with our closest friends – HAM, skirt checks, health class, homecoming, JRP, Winter Formal, fights, break ups, laughter, happiness – suddenly joined us together.

It was as if our vulnerabilities, cry-laughter and burdens were distributed throughout all 120 people in the room and somehow that was enough.

We emerged eyes puffy, with open arms and open hearts. Hugging and crying and sorrys and smiles ensued.

I have never experienced anything more genuine. The other day I tried to journal about this and couldn’t seem to find the right words to justify what I felt in that room.

Allaso Ranch is so much more than losing your voice, dance parties, one piece swimsuits, games of Never Have I Ever, star gazing, lying in hammocks at 3 a.m. and pulling all nighters. In the midst of everything, I forgot about school, transcripts and college apps for an entire weekend. Trust me, this is a difficult task when you’re a senior.

Allaso isn’t just about growing closer to your grade. It’s a celebration of how far we have come. It gives me confidence that despite the difficult months of application season ahead, there will always be someone there to cheer me on and that I can be there to cheer someone else on.

As emotionally drained as I still am, I wouldn’t have traded those 24 hours of Allaso Ranch for anything.

If there was a finite number of tears or hugs or limited amount of love or joy in this world, they would have been exhausted by the Class of 2017 on the evening of the 27 of August 2016.

Thank goodness there isn’t.

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