By Vicky Gu (VI)

The high temperatures of the final days of September thankfully began to subside by Saturday, October 5 on this event-packed day. By 8:30 a.m., the Basking Ridge campus was swarming with parents of Middle and Upper school students for Pingry’s annual Back to School Day, where they sat for ten-minute versions of their children’s classes. There, parents could learn about the content of their children’s courses while also getting to know the teacher. Parents who were new to Pingry also had the opportunity to tour the campus.

Following their simulated school day, parents joined others in the Pingry community for a bountiful fall lunch. The spread included barbecue, Italian food, and cider, but the dessert was particularly exquisite. To gear up for the upcoming autumn season, guests dined on apple cobbler, pumpkin spice mousse, and apple cider doughnuts. Another tent offered spirited goodies, such as car stickers, t-shirts, and blue-beaded necklaces in preparation for the upcoming sports games. Visitors were able to participate in other activities as well, such as checking out the Pingry Credit Union booth or having a chance to meet acclaimed world traveller Denis Belliveau.

Throughout the afternoon, Pingry’s sports teams competed against a slew of other New Jersey high school teams, with each game starting approximately half an hour after the last began. At 2 p.m., girls’ varsity soccer kicked off the sequence, defeating Livingston 5-1. The co-ed varsity water polo team, played next, winning their match against Saint Peter’s Prep 9-6. Varsity football was also victorious against Montclair Kimberley Academy. Girls’ varsity field hockey was unfortunately defeated by Bridgewater Raritan, losing 0-2. The second water polo game, this time with Pingry’s co-ed junior varsity team, also won 9-6. The last two matches by the boys’ soccer team ended in stunning victories; at about 4 pm, the boys’ junior varsity soccer team prevented Princeton Day from scoring a single goal, winning 9-0. Boys’ varsity soccer did the same, beating Princeton Day with a score of 6-0.

“[The girls’ varsity soccer players] are a formidable team,” says Alison Lee (VI). “Their finesse and teamwork is absolutely astonishing, so it is no wonder that they won the game.”

As the sun fell, Pingry students began to gear up for the Homecoming dance. The theme, “Storm Area 51”, had decisively won when proposed in a vote to the student body. It was based on a popular Internet meme: supposedly, if enough people raided the US Air Force facility, the government would not be able to stop all participants from freeing whatever secrets, particularly aliens, kept there. Student raiders were appropriately dressed in glamorous, alien-themed attire.

“I really liked the Area 51 theme because of how uniquely relevant it is to 2019,” says Anjali Kapoor (VI). She states that students would be able to look back at this particular dance and “remember how this was the year that millions of people signed up to storm Area 51 in search of aliens.” Alison Lee agrees: “yes, outer space has been done before, but I think what was unique about this year was that we took a current event as our theme… Honestly, I feel like it might even be the best theme that we’ve had so far because of its uniqueness to our time.”