What Teachers Are Really Doing Over Break


Ms. Fields in the center, first row

Annabelle Deasy

Although students may have their own holiday traditions, do students ever think about what the Seattle Prep staff is doing on their holiday vacation? From chopping down Christmas trees to attending a fish festival, the faculty does it all.

After the Thanksgiving break, Science Teacher Ms. O’Brien not only ate delicious food, she spent her holiday watching the Macy’s Day Parade and reading thankful notes with her family. O’ Brien’s family started the tradition when she was little, but she still continues it to this day. She said, “It feels more meaningful because we wrote them throughout the month instead of coming up with the on the spot.”

For many, the day after Thanksgiving often marks the beginning of the Christmas season, especially for Mrs. Vincenzo’s family. As the holiday season arrives, Vincenzo recalled the years she went out to get her Christmas tree with her family when she was younger. Rather than taking the standard approach of going to a tree farm, Vincenzo’s family went out in their minivan to the forest to chop down to perfect tree.

Vincenzo said, “One year was particularly treacherous with snowy roads and whiteout conditions. This didn’t stop my mom. When we couldn’t drive any further, we pursued the perfect tree on foot. We cut down what we thought was a beautiful tree; however, when we got home, we realized the tree was far from perfect. Scrawny and misshapen, it was the ugliest tree we had ever gotten. But it turned out to be our favorite.”

Although students may only know her from her office by the Commons or heading to the sick room, Mrs. Fields spends her holiday season going back to her Italian roots. The Feast of the Seven Fishes or formally known as “Festa dei sette pesci,” brings Fields back to her childhood with her Sicilian father. Fields described the elegance of the festa and the beautiful Italian Christmas music playing. She said, “I tried to continue this tradition, yes, but the fondest memories come from childhood.”

The Christmas season allows time for everyone to look back and remember the seasons past. Ms. White recalls her special and simple family tradition of taking a photo with Santa and eating pizza for dinner on Christmas Eve. So many people look back at photos of them as a kid sitting on Santa’s lap but to this day White and her sisters still go out to get their photos taken as a gift to their mom. With White’s pizza tradition, she said “I love the pizza tradition because it is a simple way to enjoy Christmas eve before we had large meals on Christmas day. It was also something I never heard anyone else do, it felt like a unique family tradition.”

A holiday tradition can range from a large fish festival with many Italian relatives or just a Christmas Eve pizza dinner at home with family, but at the end of a challenging year, it is comforting to look ahead to what new traditions are to come and what the new year will bring.