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The Student News Site of The Kinkaid School

The Falcon

The Student News Site of The Kinkaid School

The Falcon

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Class project turns into a grade-wide bonding activity

In+the+days+leading+up+to+the+tournament%2C+freshman+ping+pong+participant+Kaitlyn+Manning+mentally+practices+her+ping+pong+serve+in+the+Commons.
Sophie Lighvani
In the days leading up to the tournament, freshman ping pong participant Kaitlyn Manning mentally practices her ping pong serve in the Commons.

When freshman J.P. Whiteley helped brainstorm his final project for the required ninth-grade class “Decisions for Leadership,” he had no idea that it would turn into an event of friendly rivalry and bonding for the whole class.

“As we started to plan, we had some trouble,” Whiteley said. “We couldn’t think of what to do.”

Whiteley’s project was meant to culminate what students had learned in the three-week leadership course that took place during Interim Term.

He and his group began to think.

“What do people in the school like to do?” Whiteley said he had asked.

He found the answer at the ping pong table in the student commons of the Temporary Upper School building.

“We came up with a ping pong tournament because everyone loves playing it before, during, and after school,” he said.

Whiteley said he initially felt doubtful that the project would succeed.

“We ran into a few communication problems, so we couldn’t send out the sign-up sheet until a day before,” he said. “We thought it wouldn’t be successful, but we were surprised by the great turnout. Tons of people showed up to cheer on their friends.”

On Jan. 24 and Jan. 25, ping pong competitors and their supporters alike flocked to the student commons in excitement for the tournament.

“I went there to support my friend Macyn,” said freshman Sienna DeSimone, who spent an entire lunch period in the student center just to watch the tournament. “Even though she got beaten by Bo, it was a fun experience for all of us,”

One student supporter even enjoyed the competition.
“I was on the edge of my seat,” added freshman Alexandra Gordon.

Freshman Bo van Winden prevailed in the final round and took home the laurels—a sweet treat that Whiteley and his group provided as a reward for the winner.

“I knew I would win,” van Winden said. “I used to regularly play in the commons, and ping pong is a game I play with my family, so I was reminded of those memories while I was playing.”

Speaking on behalf of his group, Whiteley described the event as successful—an unexpected bonding experience for the ninth grade, with some friendly competition thrown into the mix.

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About the Contributor
Sophie Lighvani, Staff Writer
Sophie Lighvani serves as a Staff Writer for the Falcon. This is her first year on the staff. She enjoys pitching convoluted exposés and waiting until the last minute to give her articles their titles. Outside the newsroom, she has perfected the art of baking banana oat muffins and enjoys pastimes such as hiking and setting the air conditioning to 72 degrees.

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