By Vy Nguyen
It has always been amazing how powerful love is.
Yes, the opening is totally cliché, but love is everywhere, and its existence in the OES community is undeniable. Since the day the school was founded, we have stood together as a close-knit community and developed as a whole. So it is expected and highly appreciated when the school comes together, each year on the second Wednesday of April, to commemorate over the Mt. Hood accident in 1986, the fatal hiking trip that took away nine lives, seven of them students.
The Sophomore Cultural Event was born for that reason. It was created not only because most of the students in the trip were sophomores, but also for the reason of honoring the victims and the OES members who lived through the tragedy. This tradition has been going on since 1987, sponsored by Mt. Hood Memorial Fund. The fund was maintained by the public and OES contributions as a tribute to the victims.
During the event, sophomores would participate in an arts activity. The options for this activity are variable, but just to name a few, seeing a play, visiting a famous speaker, or watching ballet. After that, students join for discussion and reflection about what they have observed and seen. The event usually lasts till the end of dinner time. For example, a few years ago, a class got sushi for dinner!
Usually, the class advisor makes decisions about the event, and it takes a lot of planning ahead so as everything goes smoothly. This year, unlike other years when the cultural event takes place in the spring, sophomores gathered to watch a play during Octoberim, one week ago.
It is beyond doubt that the play this year has caused some controversies and arguments, however, rather than being upset, let’s take this as an opportunity to talk about love again. OES can only be true to its mission and vision when the OESians: all students, faculty members and alumni stand together and support each other no matter what. This does not mean that we will plant kisses on cheeks whenever we greet, but it calls for an understanding of our differences and for us to use the dissimilarity as a catalyst to unite and strengthen our community bond. Different world views and insights do not separate us, or make us any less than a friend.