‘CAISH’ in to Hall’s Halloween costume contest

Phoebe So and Eric Lu

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As Spirit Week comes to a close at Palo Alto High School, one teacher hopes to revive the enthusiasm of dressing-up among the student body for one more day — Halloween.

Matt Hall, Student Activities Director and Japanese Teacher, recently posted a video on YouTube featuring himself and Science Instructional Supervisor Joshua Bloom announcing the inauguration of Hall’s Halloween Costume Contest, a contest open to students and teachers alike for the ultimate prize: $50 in cash.

Hall’s Halloween Costume Contest, nicknamed H2C2, offers a cash prize (or “CAISH” as Bloom calls it in the video) to the best individual student, student group or individual teacher Halloween costume. The contest will take place during lunch, Thursday, on the Quad, and costumes will be evaluated by a panel of judges. Each winner of their respective category will then receive $50 straight out of Hall’s own wallet.

Hall chose to use his own money as the prize in order to avoid any inconveniences caused by state or district rules.

“Rather than having to go through all the kind of bureaucratic rules for procuring costumes, prizes, awards and so forth, I said ‘forget it, I’m just going to pull $150 out of my own wallet,’” Hall said.

According to Hall, he began the contest in the hopes of curing Paly’s post-Spirit Week slump.

“I’ve been here [at Paly] three years now, and the first two years, after Spirit Week ended, Halloween happens,” Hall said. “I noticed that in previous years everybody’s kind of burnt out from Spirit Week and nobody wants to dress up for Halloween. … So I was thinking of ways we could get people involved in a contest and I just came up with the idea of Hall’s Halloween [Costume] Contest.”

Although not formally an Associated Student Body event, Hall stated that he received ASB’s approval before carrying out his plans for H2C2.

“I talked to ASB about it,” Hall said. “I said, ‘Hey, are you guys okay with me kind of doing this with my money and kind of starting it off and putting it in the Facebook groups for the various classes.’ And they all said, ‘Yeah, no big deal, go for it.’ So ASB gave me their little pat on the head and said, ‘Go on Mr. Hall, do your thing and we’ll see what happens.’”

Hall hopes for the contest to increase the festivities on Halloween.

“It’s just for fun and the contest is there just to kind of add a little extra umph to that day,” Hall said. “I think we’ve got some buzz going and I think we’re going to have a good time on Thursday.”