By Eshan Gupta ’19 and Audrey VanValkenburg ’19
Monarch Madness, an electrifying class rally competition held in the City National Civic in downtown San Jose every year, has become a trademark of Archbishop Mitty High School. This event is about school pride, competition, and unity. After four years on Student Government, this event has been central to our high school experience. What might be described as a battle of the classes is actually an opportunity for students across campus to celebrate the school spirit that unites us as Monarchs.
The Monarch Madness creative process begins nearly three months before the event when elected student government officers decide on overarching class themes. Notable past senior class themes have included “Hercules,” “Dark Knight Rises,” “Toy Story,” and “The Twilight Zone.” Following a raffle-style drawing in January, where 50 members from each class are selected to a Monarch Madness team, the process truly begins. For six weeks leading up to the event, the teams practice before school and on the weekends to learn a six-minute dance, practice their ROAR — a percussion composition created entirely with household items, such as spoons, wooden sticks, and pots — and learn signature Monarch Madness games, such as tug of war, wheelbarrow races, and a Hula-Hoop relay.
While the teams are hard at work preparing for various competitions, the preparation of artwork for the event is carried out simultaneously. Each class prepares a hand-painted mural that is an 8-foot-by-8-foot depiction of their class theme. Additionally, an enormous banner is also in the works, with classes creating the 85-foot-long piece of art. Every little step along the way of this big event holds its own opportunities and memories. Although it is easy to get focused on the details, it is up to each and every one of us to embrace the madness, both in its preparatory steps and on the very night the magic unfolds.
To love and embrace the process is the key to loving Monarch Madness. In Student Government, we are always told to enjoy the process, and now having been on Student Government for four years, we can see why. Although the entire process is filled with countless memories, one memory truly stands out: the singing of our liturgical theme song at the end of the night. As we sing our theme song, the entire civic auditorium with nearly 3,000 people stands as one. The colors of the different classes begin to mix and everyone lives in the present moment. It is this moment that makes Monarch Madness all worth it. We are one community united in school pride, coming together to display school spirit, and above all, unity.