Courtesy of Creative Commons
Controllers click-click-click as students compete against each other on a race course, skidding as they turn right and left to try and get into first place. Projected on the classroom smartboard are the players’ avatars in their custom cars. This is just another Wednesday STEP at one of Wilson’s many extracurriculars, the Mario Kart Club.
During the STEP period, junior Walker Price, the club founder, hooks up their Nintendo Switch to history teacher David Heckler’s smart board. The club started by playing Mario Kart, but eventually expanded to play Super Smash Bros and other games.
Price’s idea for the club was originally developed after finishing his class work early. “I was in AP World, I had finished all my work, and I was playing with someone and I was like, ‘Mr. Heckler, play me in Mario Kart,’” Price explained. Since their class was right before STEP, Heckler agreed to play Price during lunch.
Price’s lack of expertise in the video game sold him short, “He sauced me obviously because he had been playing forever,” Price said of Heckler. From there they decided to create the club and through word-of-mouth the interest spread, creating a small video gaming community. Price hopes in the future to create an obsolete formats club including vinyl, cassettes, and VHS because in their opinion, “it’s definitely been making a comeback recently.”
Another lesser known club is the K-pop club. Created by junior Judy Le, the club allows students to talk about groups that they enjoy listening to—or more specifically, stan. Stanning a K-pop group means you keep up with their lives outside of producing music. Not all members of the club stan groups, so there is a wide variety of K-pop listeners who join. “I love a bunch of groups, but there are people who only listen to one certain group, they don’t technically stan the group or artist because they don’t pay attention to what they are up to, they only listen to the music,” Le said. Le enjoys listening to BTS, NCT, and EXO.
Le also wants people to be open-minded and respectful about music in a different language. “I feel like with music, anyone should be able to listen to anything without being judged because music is something a lot of people use and everyone’s music taste is different and if you don’t like it then you don’t have to, no one is forcing you to like it, no one is forcing you to feel a certain way about it,” she said.
Along with listening to music the club performs dances based on choreography from K-pop random dance. They started two years ago at International night and have continued to perform at school events including the talent show and the spring concert.
The Minorities and Allies Unite club, which is run through United We Dream, is an immigrant youth-driven organization headquartered in DC. “Basically it is to inform people on how to get more involved with the community, especially minorities, so we can take a step forward to help locally before nationally,” founder Jocelyn Lopez explained.
Lopez visits the headquarters every Wednesday to get information to share with her club. From there, she brings the information back to Wilson to “see if [students] want to do outreach like go door knocking or data logging.” She plans on starting after the club fair, with meetings every two weeks on Wednesdays at STEP.
“Wilson is an unusually accepting place for high school and I think that’s a really good thing about it,” Price said. “I think joining clubs is a really good way to experience that and to make friends and meet people and have a good time while you can in high school.”