Tiger Week: A New Experience For Teachers and Students


“Can YOU Save Spring Break: The Escape Room” Photo Credits: Verena W.

While the Interim week before spring break at Westridge is usually filled with school trips and activities, ranging from the on-campus to the international, this year was different. Due to COVID-19, Tiger Week took its place, including faculty-led workshops like learning about Bitcoin and making pies.

“Create Your Own Dutch Still Life.” Photo Credits: Tessie J.

Some students lined up their schedules with siblings and friends. Tessie J. ’24 and her sister Lucy J. ‘22 tried this approach. One of the classes they took together was an art class called “Create Your Own Dutch Still Life.” Tessie described her experience being in the same class with her sister as “nice, because we got to compare our work and work together.”

Other students expressed that they felt like the workshops were forced, or that they would’ve preferred an extension of spring break. Natalie A. ’24 was one of them. “The idea of Tiger Week seemed fun at first, but then actually doing the activities felt a bit forced. I understand that Tiger Week would be really different if school was in-person.” However, she also mentioned that she liked the STEAMwork activity because of how-hands on it was.

One of the most popular workshopstaught by Dr. Joe Busch, Upper School math teacherwas “Bitcoin: What is it, how does it work, and how can I get some for free?” This class was much anticipated by Westridge students, with over 100 students in total signed up for the two classes offered. 

“I found the Bitcoin class interesting because I didn’t realize how many [types] of cryptocurrencies exist and how there are different virtual communities/audiences for different cryptocurrencies,” said Simone O. ’22, one of the students who took the Bitcoin class.

While the workshop’s popularity seems fated due to the recent attention surrounding crypto-currency and NFTs, Dr. Busch was initially surprised at the response. “I didn’t expect [as many] students to show up as they did,” he said. 

For Dr. Busch, this class demonstrated real-life examples of math he teaches in his classes. Oftentimes, students would complain about how useless classes were if they don’t appear to have a practical application. This workshop was a way to prove that incorrect. It also gave students a way to learn financial skills and earn money.

Other teachers like Leah Dahl found it stressful to come up with ideas for Tiger Week. “When I heard that we had to come up with some ideas of workshops to run virtually, I got very stressed, and went to bed feeling like I was never going to come up with anything.” 

She came up with “Ultimate Tic-Tac-Toe: a strategy game,”a larger version of Tic-Tac-Toe where in each square of the board there is an additional complete board, as well as “Andy Goldsworthy-style Nature Art,” an activity where students go around their neighborhoods and build art installations with things they find in nature.  

“I was thinking about community building and things that people can do that are fun. I was thinking about how I have connected with people or connected with friends remotely,” Ms. Dahl continued.

Since there were some teachers who had a hard time coming up with ideas, Grant Wood, a third Upper School teacher, ended up running the “Andy Goldsworthy-style Nature Art” workshop.

Other workshops, like “ALL- Monoprints,” taught by lower school art teacher Ms. T, were open to all the grades, although it mostly consisted of Middle and Lower schoolers. “There was no intimidation and I think somes kids can get intimidated by the older kids,” Ms. T said.

Despite the challenges of online learning and thanks to the ingenuity of Westridge teachers, Tiger Week proved to be a success. As Maggie G. ’23 summed it up, “Overall, Tiger Week was super fun!”