Presidents Week v.s Ski Week: CAPTAN SETTLES THE DEBATE

Photo courtesy of (picture on the left) and (picture on the right), photos collaged together on PicsArt

As students prepare to bolt out of their classrooms come Friday afternoon the community takes into account the importance of recognizing ski week as presidents recess. Ski week and presidents recess are names used to title the 3rd week of February in which students are released from school, while they describe the same week, one is not historically accurate. The common misconception is that ski week and president’s recess mean the same thing however, according to CdM U.S. history teacher Mr. Captan, “if [students] choose to go skiing on presidents recess that is up to [them], but there is no such thing as ski week.”

Presidents day officially became a federal holiday in 1879 during Rutherford B. Hayes’s presidency as it joined the holidays where banks were to be closed. It was later moved to the third Monday of February to create a 3 day weekend in 1971. Later, the holiday also recognized Abraham Lincoln’s birthday since the country’s 16th president also had a February birthday. Because Washington and Lincoln’s birthdays were so close to one another, president’s week allows a one-week break instead of creating two four-day weeks for students and the country’s workers.

Southern California students are incredibly lucky to live both by the beach and near the slopes. Big Bear and Mammoth are Newport’s closest ski resorts which attract many Orange County residents. Despite this, it is not the reason why schools dismiss students for the week. Captan says that “ski week has never existed but people like to think that [Southern California] is so special because [they] get a week off for ski week…” when in reality it is to celebrate powerful presidents who deserve acknowledgment. With this in mind, CdM science teacher Walters “completely [understands] and supports the idea of remembering that students need to recognize that the holiday is celebrated because people want to pay tribute to [their] presidents.”

Many people like Walters say they “always knew it as ski week.” Presidents recess is a holiday that lacks proper recognition which is surprising since CdM students and staff “ live in the United States where President Lincoln and President Washington are honored with their birthdays.”

Walters explains that when she “heard Mr.Captain’s adverse reaction to it being called ski week and his reasoning behind it” she was more than willing to show her support.

Teachers often do not correct their students but Walters “will warn them because [she knows] how important it is, especially to Mr.Captan that students recognize it as presidents week.” Her students will not be chided for their mistake however, Mr. Captan says that “simply put, [his students will] get corrected very sternly.”

Captan settles the debate between presidents recess and ski week by saying that if students “look in [their] planners it’s called presidents recess, if [they] look on the school website it says presidents recess… there is no such thing as ski week.” Identifying the federal holiday as president’s recess as opposed to ski week is not only historically accurate but shows the holiday the respect it deserves. Captan expresses passionately that “the truth is important to [him]” and added that because he is a teacher “facts are important to [him].”

Have a wonderful PRESIDENTS RECESS CdM staff and students!!

Don’t forget to call it Presidents Recess when in the presence of Mr.Captan (warning if said there is no stopping Mr.Captan’s fury)