Decking the halls with pipe cleaners and googly eyes is a Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary School tradition going on a decade.
Every year, during the last week of school before the holiday break, each class is given a gift bag filled with paper, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, pom-poms and other decorating items. The students work together to cover their canvases — their classroom doors — with the best holiday art they can create.
Five members of the LTSS Alumni Association came out this year to judge the entries: Rachel McCallum, Rob “Turkey” Kielesinski, Alan Clegg, Jamie Brown and Bob O’Brien.
Entries are judged based on three categories, creativity and presentation, use of items, and colour, brightness and “eye-grabbing-ness.” The highest score in any category is five, with a final score marked out of 15.
The judges roamed the halls for nearly an hour, arguing and laughing over what door should get which score.
Extra points were given if a class gave their snowman mittens. Did they use the clothespin included in the gift bag? Automatic point.
At some junctures, it becomes necessary for the judges to deliberate over the particulars, to find the method to the madness of pipe cleaners. Is that a manger or Mount Crumpit? they asked. Did they mean to spell that obscenity, or is this a case of door decor sabotage?
“This door gets four-and-a-half, even though I don’t know what the hell it is,” said Turkey, faced with one colourful display.
“We’ve certainly never seen this before,” said Brown, of a certain pipe cleaner sculpture.
The afternoon was also a way for the alumni to reconnect with staff and students. The joke of the hour was that Alan Clegg kept peeling away from the group to say hello to someone, or to make an introduction.
“Pay attention, Alan,” said Jamie Brown at one point, laughing.
The judges also catch up on some new lingo, asking a passing student why so many doors incorporate the word “supreme.”
“I don’t know, it’s hype,” said the student.
“Hype,” the judges repeated.
After all is said and done – the “hellos” made and the scores negotiated – a winner was declared. Room C100, which had incorporated a strand of lights into their design, was the victor. The class that decorated the door will receive a pizza lunch. Supreme, indeed.