Spirit Week

Spirit Week is a tradition that started in the Bement Lab at the University of Wisconsin, where I had the pleasure of doing my postdoc.  If you remember taking part Spirit Weeks surrounding High School Homecoming festivities, it’s kind of like that, but a lot nerdier.  Spirit Week happens for one glorious week in the late summer or fall each year.  Prior to Spirit Week, we hold a sometimes intense debate and execute an involved voting process to choose the themes of the week based on a list of ideas that has been developed over the course of the year.  Friday is reserved for the top vote-getting theme, Monday the second choice, Wednesday the third choice, and the other two themes fall in place.  However, we’re often surprised by which theme ends up being the most entertaining in the end!  For each day of Spirit Week, everyone in the lab has to dress according to the theme – some go all out (Tomo’s papercrafting and hand-drawn T-shirts are legendary), some go for a more clever, subtle take on the theme.  We often do related lab activities (in fact, some theme choices are driven by the related activities (e.g. Making Breakfast Day) or take outings in costume (Comet Coffee is a favorite outing – the Baristas have even been good sports to serve as costume contest judges).  And we always take pictures…lots of pictures (gives me good material for thesis defense intros…of course, my lab members also have lots of “good” pictures of me).

Spirit Week 2019

Spirit Week 2019: Monday – Party Like a Frog Day

Spirit Week 2019: Tuesday – ANTI-party Day

Spirit Week 2019: Wednesday – TACO (Talking About Cool Optics) Day

Spirit Week 2019: Thursday – Azalea Trailmaids Day

Spirit Week 2019: Friday – British High Tea Day

Spirit Week 2018

Spirit Week 2018: Monday – Gene Wizards Day

Spirit Week 2018: Tuesday – Cooking Breakfast Day

Spirit Week 2018: Wednesday – Tomo Day

Spirit Week 2018: Thursday – 19th Century Presidents Day

Spirit Week 2018: Friday – Junk Baby Day

Spirit Week 2017

Spirit Week 2017: Monday – Mer-Cleaning Ladies Day (Mermaids who are cleaning ladies…do you get it? Took me a while…)

Spirit Week 2017: Tuesday – Pie Rats Day (Pirates! Rats! Pies!)

Spirit Week 2017: Wednesday – Beets by Dre Day

Spirit Week 2017: Thursday – Ann’s Dream Date Day (Fictional characters or John Gurdon)

Spirit Week 2017: Friday – Canadian Tuxedo Day (Denim on Denim…on Denim!)

Spirit Week 2016

Spirit Week 2016: Monday – Steve’s Grandma Day

Spirit Week 2016: Tuesday – The Real Slim Shady Day

Spirit Week 2016: Wednesday – Best Protein in the World Day

Spirit Week 2016: Thursday – Model Organisms Day


Spirit Week 2016: Friday – Excessive/Alternate PPE Day

Spirit Week 2015

Spirit Week 2015: “Dress Like Your Science Name Day”
group lab meeting Ciara presenting Rachel Bday

Spirit Week 2015: “Ken CATigan Day”
group casual lab

Ann Kayla Tomo

Spirit Week 2015: “France Day”
group walk nickels facial hair food mustardAnn

Spirit Week 2015:”Steve Day”
group Torey and Rachel RachelElaina Brandon Farah Tomo

Spirit Week 2015: “Vegetable Warfare Day”
group Torey Ciara lab Tomo Farah Rachel cooking

Spirit Week 2014

Spirit Week 2014: “Conspicuous Disguises Day
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Spirit Week 2014: “All Business Day
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Spirit Week 2014: “Favorite Cocktail Day”
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Spirit Week 2014: “Rhymes with ‘ox’ Day”


Spirit Week 2014: “Kentucky Derby Day”
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Spirit Week 2013

Spirit Week 2013: “Unicorn Day” It’s magical!
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Spirit Week 2013: “Toy Story Day” Come on in and feel like a kid again…
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Spirit Week 2013: “Other Lab Members Day” We’re ‘expecting’ you’ll love this one…
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Spirit Week 2013: “Cotton Ball Hair Day” We don’t get it either. Just go with it. It will be fun!
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Spirit Week 2013: “Decades Day” Prepare to be transported in time…
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