An era never forgotten


Amanda Lira

From Jan. 8 to Jan. 18, Bernice Mendez, 11, takes part in the U.S. History challenge, where students and teachers wear the same clothes for two weeks to see how difficult times were during the Great Depression. “I feel so filthy everyday even though we could wash our clothes,” Mendez said, “I’m not wearing these clothes for months after.”

Sara Cabrera , Writer/ Copy Editor

To begin the 1930s Great Depression unit, U.S. History teachers are assigning a 25 point extra credit assignment to students who wear the same attire from Jan. 8 to Jan. 18 as a way of experiencing the hardships people underwent during the 1930s.

There are far more students participating this year than in the past, according to the history teachers. Students are convincing their friends to join them so that they are not as embarrassed being the only ones to wear the same ensemble every day. Some of these students are not only participating for the extra credit points, but in memory of The Great Depression.

“I wasn’t able to plan out what I was going to wear the next 2 weeks because my friends convinced me last minute-the day it started,” Cindy Bautista, 11, said. “I didn’t come prepared at all, so I didn’t bring a sweater, but I know I’ll last the whole 10 days. I think it’s worth it for the 25 points. I’m doing it for the people who had to go through the Great Depression.”

Students are approaching the assignment in multiple ways. Some are coming to school with several layers of clothing, allowing them to prepare for any possible change in the weather, and re-styling their outfit during the week. Other students didn’t think about it and weren’t prepared at all.

“I didn’t really plan out what I was going to wear or how I was going to layer,” Amanda Azurduy, 11, said. “I just had an under shirt already because it was cold today, but a lot of my friends are doing it with me to raise their grades. Like 3/4 of my class are doing it. I have 3 layers and 2 pairs of socks. We’re allowed to layer, but you have to wear every article of clothing at all times.”

Over the years, it’s been brought to teachers’ attention that students may consider cheating by bringing another set of clothes and changing before their history class. Some teachers go to great lengths to make sure this doesn’t happen by retrieving their student’s schedules to verify with other teachers that the student was wearing the same outfit in their class as they wore to their history class.

“If I see you around school in different clothes, even on block day, then you get no credit,” Mr. Castile informed his class. “I mean, you can try to get away with it, but any history teacher can easily email any of their students’ other teachers and say ‘hey is so in so wearing this today?‘”

Wearing the same outfit for 10 school days straight is not only an efficient way for 11th grade students to earn 25 extra credit points, but also a way to pay tribute to the strong and resilient people of The Great Depression.