We’re All Mad Here

Family and consumer science classes hold Mad Hatter Tea Party


Nereyda Espinoza, Staff Reporter

If you don’t care for some tea, you could at least make polite conversation. ”

— The March Hare, Alice in Wonderland

The modern life often takes away from traditional meal-time customs. Family and consumer science teacher Laura Craddick holds an annual Mad Hatter Tea Party for her classes to just have a “polite conversation” without any technology.

Craddick’s classes held this year’s Mad Hatter party on October 5. The skills developed for this party will apply to both social and private settings.

“I started this project last year and it was such a success,” Craddick said. “The students loved it so much that I have started to just make it a tradition.”

Many things happened before the big day. About three to four weeks before the Mad Hatter party, Craddick covered topics such as Personal Brand, Identity, Character Traits, Communication Skills, Resources, Time Management, Professionalism, Manners and Customs.

“We learned correct table manners and how to set the table nice and neat,” freshman Jaycee Jobe said. “That stuff was very useful because of opportunities later in life. We will need these skills so it’s nice to learn them now.”

Two weeks before the date, students were given the Mad Hatter Hat project. They created their own personalized Mad Hatter Hat within a week.

“The hats should represent their character traits and personal brand,” Craddick said. “There are no right or wrongs and they can be as simple or elaborate as the student chooses to design them.”

Students were graded based on their use of resources, creativity and most of all time management. This project was unlike many others, there were no “MUSTS”.

“Thinking outside of the box with no parameters is difficult and the students typically struggle the first day or two,” Craddick said. “ Being good at being creative and freely thinking takes practice and having to design your own personalized Mad Hatter is a perfect way to do just that.”

After completing their hats days before the party, Craddick spent time covering manners and customs.

“It wasn’t necessarily hard to learn the table set,” junior Margie Savage said. “She made it fun to learn in her hands on approach.”

Finally the day arrived and her students showed up wearing their hats. Craddick was in full “Mad Hatter” costume and throughout the whole day, students glanced and took a peak in the room.

“Life is intended to be enjoyed, to smile, to laugh, to share and have fun,” Craddick said. “What more fun could be had than wearing crazy hats and having a tea party.”