MCI Student Ambassadors' Blog
Post Title: Homecoming Dance
Post By: Ange Ariella Mugisha 2020
Post Date: 10/11/17
After years without one, we finally had a Homecoming Dance again this year, and it will be one of the best memories that I will keep with me after my years at MCI. It was a great occasion to catch up with friends that we hadn’t seen in a long time, and also a great place to make new friends from all over the world. From the music and the people’s outfits to the snacks offered, everything was great! It reminded me of days back home. I will have a lot of memories from that night but the best moment was when we got to play music from our home countries and share some of our moves. This experience proved how our school is diverse and open to discovering new cultures. My friends and I went on the dance floor and everyone joined us. It made me feel like I was home, if only for the length of the song. Everyone was dancing to all types of music, whether it was familiar to them or not. I can’t imagine a better way to end Homecoming Weekend than by spending the night on the dance floor.
Post Title: Big Bill's
Post By: Ziyang (Henry) Huang 2019
Post Date: 10/9/17
My name is Henry and this is my second year here at Maine Central Institute. Last year some of my older friends at MCI told me that there used to be an ice cream shop called Big Bill’s and that it was insanely delicious. This summer, Big Bill’s reopened after having been closed for two years. Now, new and returning students all stop by Big Bill’s for some sweet treats. Inside there a couple of beautiful sets of tables, beach chairs, and two huge sunshades. I took the chance to go to Big Bill’s myself and I found that there are countless offerings that will make you and your friends’ mouths water. Surprisingly, they also started selling lobster rolls this year. It is the best lobster meat I've ever eaten. If you have nothing to do after school, I recommend that you go to Big Bill’s. It’s worth a try!
Link to Big Bill's Facebook Page where MCI students voraciously eat away
Post Title: Cultural Heritage Day
Post By: Bao ( Bob) Duy Huynh 2019
Post Date: 10/9/17
Cultural Heritage Day at Maine Central Institute is a celebration of the diversity of the community. On October 2nd of this year, we recognized students and staff members representing 27 different countries.
Everything was prepared carefully the night before, and as soon as the bell for the last period rang, all the students enthusiastically gathered at Parks Gym. After everyone was seated, two representatives, Inna from Russia and Ariella from Rwanda, introduced the start of the celebration. A marvelous performance by MCI’s Bossov Ballet Theatre followed. It was so beautiful and amazing that it captivated the audience’s attention and received an overwhelming applause.
Ariella then proceeded to announce the 27 countries one by one. As each was called, one representative walked proudly in step to their national anthem towards their flag. Everyone applauded overwhelmingly as each flag was unfurled illustriously upon the walls of Parks Gym. It was a display of pride not only for the ones who represented their countries, but also for the whole school where such grand diversity is celebrated. The atmosphere was filled with happiness, pride, and appreciation.
The wonderfulness did not end once all the flags were unfurled. A piano and violin duet by two seniors, Connie and Michael, was performed - a beautiful piece from their home country Macau (China). Not to be outdone, Aaron Tian (also from China) sang and played an amazing guitar piece with every pair of eyes in the audience set upon him. It was a silent and peaceful moment, and the delightful song marked the end of the celebration.
Post Title: Winter Carnival
Post by: Inna Osetrova ’20
Post Date: 3/27/17
I’m eager to tell you how many interesting and indeed, funny activities the MCI students were up to during Winter Carnival.
As you might know, it’s my first year at Maine Central Institute and it’s also my first year in the US. During the Winter Carnival, I was fascinated to see how people from different countries showed cooperation, support and most importantly, social cohesion among each other.
The freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors got a great chance to compete against each other in volleyball, basketball, tug of war, softball, bombardment and quiz bowl. This Carnival lasted for three days and gave a great opportunity to everyone to meet people they hadn’t interacted with before. The students who participated in these activities got a huge portion of laugh, smiles, and I’m sure that even the chilly weather brought some sort of pep to everybody before the weekends. Unfortunately, the snow sculptures were cancelled due to the weather changes. Instead of the sculptures, “skits” were assigned to classes where students had to work with their groups and create funny mini performances.
During the Winter Carnival there were so many moments that were indescribable and indeed impressive. Sadly the amount of words in this blog is limited, otherwise I’d have told you more… But even if it is so, I totally encourage you, my reader, to come and join us next year - to see, to experience, and to be a part of this unique and fundamental event of the school’s socialization.
Being only a freshmen, I must say that the entire Winter Carnival was held on the highest level, including the referees, the cameramen, the judges, the rooters and the players. The creation of this event itself and the organization were an amazing structure to be a part of.
In my opinion, this Winter Carnival meant something even more to me. I could see how American society is different and what values it teaches to a non-American person. It teaches the creation of the unity and communitarianism. This particular aspect of American culture made a great impression on me.
Post Title: The MCI Math Meet
Post by: Yuxin (Issac) Bai '18
Post Date: 10/17/16
On October 6, 2016, an exciting math meet was held at Orono High School, in which the whole team had a really exhilarating experience. From the afternoon to the evening when we finished competing, every teammate reached his or her great moment doing math problems. First we departed from our home base to the location where we competed. Chats, jokes, tutoring and napping were all the activities we had during the trip. We did all this fun stuff not only because we all would like to have a good record from the meet, but also because we were looking for the actual emotional impact of excitement from solving mathematic issues. After a long drive, we finally reached our final destination, the place we were about to compete. The first thing we saw was a great deal of snacks when we first went into the gymnasium. We all rushed down the food court to take as much food and beverages as we wanted.
We began the preparation for the meet along with chats and mischief among teammates. I cannot remember how long we had fun with each other before the meet was started by the warm welcome of the supervisor. Along with the questions passed down to our hands, we intensely picked up our pens with our sticky hands and started enjoying our great moments. It did not matter how well did on the meet, nobody felt frustrated and furious with his or her low grade. All the things that remained with us were our happiness and our valuable experience. Dinner was necessary for sure, since all of us were starving after the intense competition. We dashed into the restaurant to pick up the food we ordered, and we came out with the food and of course with our happy faces. That was all about it! The most important thing was not about the results we had on the competition, but our great moment of sharing joyfulness with our teammates. A diverse team, which included over five nations from all around the world, gathered in a gym and having fun should be the greatest thing about math team, more than anything else.
Post Title: The MCI Experience
Post by: Jinsu Jang '18
Post Date: 10/4/16
After I decided to go MCI, my mind was filled with curiosity, expectation, and joy because of good education (including teachers), sports, friends, and MCI’s dormitory. As all of my friends know, this is my second year as an international student, and my first year at MCI. One month already has passed since I arrived here. I still enjoy these 4 good positive points of MCI. For the new international students, MCI has a unique festival, which is called the SOLI Cup. During the SOLI Cup, I made new friends, met some of teachers, and had enough time to learn more about MCI before school starts. During the SOLI Cup, teachers were working with new students kindly, so we could have more confidence before meeting with day school students. For me, meeting new friends is not difficult. But I think the SOLI Cup should be helpful for some international students who are not confident in facing and talking with the teachers and local students by using English.
More about the dormitory life: many international students are ready to help and welcome new students. Living next to my classmates is a convenience when I have some questions for my classes or homework. For the athletes, MCI will give a great experience because sports are one of the best ways to make more friends at school. All of our teammates are humorous and funny, and there is a close bond of affection between teammates. Some of the international students are afraid to join the sports team in the US, because they are afraid of talking and responding with their teammates. However the teammates at MCI are really kind, friendly, and they never rank you with your level of sports. No worries -- just challenge yourself. Go Huskies!
Post Title: Patterson Lecture Series - Philanthropy
Post by: Maria Carvallo '17
Post Date: 9/27/16
Not many people have the privilege to attend a school that not only forms disciplined and intelligent students, but also focuses on developing generous and kind people. That is why I feel exceedingly blessed to attend MCI. Last week, the school invited a guest speaker, Vaughan Woodruff, who graduated from MCI in 1992. After his high school years, Woodruff studied at the University of Maine and went on to develop a successful career. Despite the twists and turns in his career, something always remained, his philanthropic actions.
As an international student I didn’t exactly know what philanthropy was. Sure, I had heard the term before, but I didn’t know what it truly meant until this past Monday. During his speech, Woodruff made me understand the essence that a philanthropist carries at heart and how a single person can actually make the world a better place. As he talked I couldn’t help to remember something my mom always used to tell me, she would always say: “a millionaire might give a fortune to a charity, whereas a poor person will only give 1 dollar, but it doesn’t matter how much you give as long as you are giving whatever you can.” It feels so good to help other people and Woodruff’s speech made me recall how important it is to act in our communities.
So I encourage you, yes you, to stand up and go make a change. No, I do not mean it in a cheesy and cliché way, I actually mean that you should get up and go find ways in which to contribute to the revitalization and betterment of your community. For instance, MCI has so many clubs and organizations that focus on charity and altruism; this is the perfect way for boarding students, like me, and any other student to get involved with the community. So what are you waiting for? Volunteer, donate, help, even the simplest action counts!
Post Title: League of Legends Team at MCI
Post by: Quanyin (Hank) He '18
Post Date: 9/23/16
BIG NEWS FROM MCI! On September 13th, 4 groups of MCI students joined the LOL (League of Legends) team at MCI and each group has 5 members. It is the first time that MCI has founded an independent team and Mrs. Walden is managing this activity. After three months practice those 4 groups will have a match, and the winner will be the champion team at MCI. This LOL team is for the Maine competition. Last year we also had a small group who went to this competition, but we did not get a good rank. This year everyone can join the team, and it makes all the students very excited who really like playing League of Legends. I got a chance to interview Mrs. Walden about the main goal of doing this activity; she told me that about the Thomas Cup Challenge. She wants to get more students interested in computer programming and the best way is using computer games. League of Legends is one of the most famous computer games around the world.
League of Legends is a teamwork game that uses a gaming mode of 5v5. It's a real-time strategy game and this style can also help in training teamwork. Mrs. Walden told me that she will give all the groups a chance to practice their teamwork; the members can go to her classroom at Husky Time or after school. I also interviewed a member from the LOL team about his confidence for future matches. He has so much confidence that he believes he will defeat the other teams and join the competition for Maine. But he doesn't know yet if his team joined the Maine match what rank he will get. I am a player of League of Legends and I believe that no matter which team will represent MCI, that team is going to get a pretty good rank for MCI and we will learn a lot from this game!
Post Title: Bossov Ballet Theatre's Nutcracker
Post by: Hannah Folan ’18
Post Date: 9/22/16
Hi, I am Hannah Folan and this is my second year at MCI. I attend MCI for the opportunity to get a full high school education as well as a full ballet education at the same time. This time of year is one of my favorites, because of Bossov Ballet Theatre's annual performance of The Nutcracker. We have just finished some of the casting and have started rehearsals. This sounds amazing, which don't get me wrong, it is. But, Nutcracker rehearsals mean less time for me to finish my homework. This is difficult because in addition to my other classes, I have two AP classes, with no study halls, which means lots of homework. This rigorous schedule has helped me learn time management and dedication, two traits I believe are crucial in making it in the "real world."
Post Title: MCI's College Access Session for International students
Post by: Lanqing (Cathy) Huang ’17
Post Date: 9/21/16
This past Monday after school, the international seniors had a meeting about their college applications. Everyone was quite involved in completing their information for colleges such as the senior activity sheet, senior questionnaire and game plan, which provides the teachers a lot of information to write a better recommendation letter. I think that the college access session was quite helpful and instructive even for those who have not started to prepare. Ms. Cook told us what we need to plan for, such as our school transcript and financial support. She also reminded us to take the TOEFL and SAT tests, which are necessary for all international students. I think the meeting was very important because it provided us with the time to get the information needed in the common application and Naviance done. As we become seniors, school work increases and our lives become busier than before. So with the help of the counselors in the Academic Office, students have a clear feeling about how pressing the time for application is and how important it is to have a plan for the future.
For me, Mr. Giallombardo (my academic counselor) reminded me to give him my documents as soon as possible if I want to apply for early decision and arranged an appointment to talk about my application. This is a great chance for me to ask him all the things that have confused me.
Post Title: The New Tennis Courts
Post by: Shizhi (Vera) Tian ’17
Date Posted: 9/15/16
Last Friday was the first time for this school year's tennis club activity. We went to the Manson Park tennis court to play tennis. We got a new tennis courts this year, they are brand new and they took out the fence that was in middle of the old courts, which makes the tennis courts looks more big and broad. When we practice, some members who are good at playing tennis taught us how to play and how to use the tennis racket. Even though they need to spend a lot time with us, they are still really dedicated to teach us. We played tennis in a really hot afternoon and were playing under the scorching sun. Everybody was hot but it still won't change our love for tennis! We all have a lot fun playing tennis, but we think that maybe next time we will choose a day that is not that hot to play tennis!
Post Title: MCI Picnic
Post by: Cai (Victor) Wu ’18
Date Posted: 9/13/16
All of MCI’s boarding students had a picnic in Manson Park on Labor Day Monday. Everybody in the dorm was excited after we heard that it would be happening. Some of them are new students here and they never heard there is a park near the school. But for me and some other returning students, we already knew that Manson Park is a great place. There is a river in it, with clean water, sometimes even some families come to fish. There are so many beautiful trees, that make the area look like a forest. Also there are many fields for sports, such as tennis, basketball and baseball. And we knew the picnic should be delicious.
On Monday, we went to the park in a great mood. At first, we had some free time to get to know each other and do some activities. I went to the tennis field and played tennis, and during that time, I met a new person called Clark. He comes from China and enjoys all the sports. I have a wonderful time with him during tennis. We had hamburgers for lunch; it tasted great. I had a wonderful time at the picnic, and also made many new friends there.
Post Title: My First Golf Practice
Post by: Inna Osetrova ’20
Date Posted: 9/6/2016
Hello world! I'm Inna, a student at Maine Central Institute and it is my freshman year here. I really want to share with you the emotions and excitement I had during my first practice of golf. As it turns out, my golf coach is pluralistically my PE teacher at school. His name is Mr. Foster! You cannot believe how wonderful it is to have such an energetic and positive coach! I'm the happiest person in the universe!
Golf. The best game in the world. The most painless. The one that requires so much patience and rigid control.
When I first played the game I was pretty much without any knowledge including the variety of disciplines involved in a swing. About 6 years ago, my mother had taught me to golf, which I did for a year but couldn't continue. We all forget the things that happened to us yesterday, so there is no sense to talk about what I did 6 years ago. Anyway, everyone starts something new one day. It's never too late to learn.
During my practice I was taught how to do the basics of golf and memorized a lot of rules and movements. For example, how to hold the club, how to aim at the hole, how to turn your body every time you hit the ball and in the end how to finish in the right position. Golf is the closest game to what we call life. Sometimes you play well, sometimes even worse but you just have to play in order to move on. I know that there are a lot of things I don't know yet but I'll do my best to prove that I can be good in the nearest future. I liked this game since the very moment I stepped onto the green golf course. I'll try to bring the best out of myself because I think this kind of sport is in my domain. It is a very beautiful and graceful game to watch and especially to play.
Now I'm under a great wave of amazing experiences. I made friends with all of the golf players, I'm very happy that now I have such friends. The most important thing for me is that I'm not afraid of asking them questions. They helped me get involved in their team very quickly and without any shyness. I'm extremely proud to be a part of all of it.
Post Title: Patterson Lecture Series Speaker Christy Gardner
Post by: Curi Xu & Patricia Thai
Date Posted: 3/18/16
On March 10th, we listened to a lecture by Christy Gardner. In the lecture, Ms. Gardner talked about her life before getting injured, how she got injured and the life after the injury. Although the accident changed her life completely, Christy Gardner still holds hope in her heart and has even become more optimistic. The speech was so inspiring that we felt very touched, and have great empathy and respect for her struggles. We knew that soldiers experienced many arduous tasks for the country but we never thought we would meet an individual as strong as she is. Thanks to her story, we have learned the lesson that happiness is found through simply being alive, and having family and friends. After the incident, she felt more alive than ever before. She felt gratification for being able to breathe, to live, and to enjoy life. Hearing someone with her legs amputated speaking with such passion and love for her own life rekindled our love for humanity and its conviction to conquer life's hardships.
Post Title: Thanksgiving Day with My Host Family
Post by: Jiedi Chen
Date Posted: 12/4/15
Thanksgiving is an American holiday with a historical significance. It is one of America’s oldest traditions and it is also a time when families gather together to celebrate.
How did we celebrate this famous holiday in the United States? Some students at Maine Central Institute spent Thanksgiving Day with a host family and learned about important American traditions while eating a delicious home-cooked meal. Others spent Thanksgiving Day with friends in different locations. Everyone has their own way to celebrate this day, but I will share how I spent this holiday:
First, I will say my family members, Emma and Emerson, entered MCI in 2012 and graduated in 2014. They joined many clubs. My sister was involved in Key Club, Cultural Diversity Club, Math Team and the Rifle Team. She also received the American Society of Women Engineers award and competed in the 2013 United States National Chemistry Olympiad competition. My brother was a member of the Math, Tennis and Rifle teams. He also participated in the Key Club, Anime Club, Tennis and Chess Club, Pingpong Club and Cultural Diversity Club.
It is my first time in the United States and also my first time to stay with a host family. I feel very excited and happy to live with five “family” members: Mr.Cushing, Mrs.Cushing, Max, two students from Russia and the Cushing’s dog, Moxie. I think Mr.Cushing is very nice person and nice host. He was very accommodating and even cooked me exactly what I wanted for breakfast -- a bowl of rice with some eggs.
On Thanksgiving Day we ate a big delicious supper with turkey together and had very interesting topics to talk about. Everyone was having fun! The day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Mr.Cushing took us to the Portland Maine Mall to go shopping. That was really wonderful!
Although the Thanksgiving Break was only 8 days, I learned so much living with a host family.
Post Title: Homecoming Window Painting
Post by: Yingning (Rill) Ye ’16
Date Posted: 10/13/15
Last week was Homecoming week, and we did a lot of fun stuff, including an annual event -- window painting. We went to the downtown and painted things about Homecoming on the windows, like 'Go Huskies!' and 'Go, Fight, Win! MCI!' There are lots of windows on the street, so we got a chance to draw anything we wanted. Some of the students are from different countries, and they wrote many encouraging things in their own language. The different languages made the windows look like an exhibition of different cultures. Although there were not many colors of paint, we still tried our best to draw some interesting and amazing things. After we were done, the whole street looked very appealing. It was fall, and it was a bit chilly outside, but all the colors just gave the town a brand new look. Window painting is a good way to challenge students' creativity, and we had a lot fun doing it. It made the windows more beautiful, and it truly brought people into the homecoming mood.
Post Title: American Math Competition
Post by: Quinn M. Dang '16
Date Posted: 2/9/15
Last Wednesday, the MCI Math team traveled 45 miles to Orono High school to attend the fourth math meet for Eastern Maine of the 2014 -2015 school year. Although there were only 8 people on the bus (2 people short of a regular-sized team) due to the upcoming challenging Manson essay, MCI’s team still had a great meet. We ended up among the upper third of all high schools in Eastern Maine with a 203 score, the highest team score MCI has gotten so far. This meet covered five categories: Arithmetic with Literal Equations, Log and Log Equations, Linear Coordinate Geometry, Functions, and Trigonometric Mechanics. In each category, contestants were given 12 minutes to solve 3 problems arranged by level of difficulty; and a problem was given the score of 3, 4, or 5 also due to its level of difficulty. Though we struggled in the linear coordinate round, our team quickly bounced back and aced the functions round with 7 members out of 8 getting the perfect score of 12. And we also finished strong in the team round, scoring 22, the highest score we have gotten in this round so far. Mr. Tyson, our Math Team teacher was happy with our result: "We had a good meet. Had it not been for the shortage in members, we could have had a better result. It was not first place, but it was a great effort, considering our disadvantage. Overall, I'm very happy with our team; I hope that we will improve in the upcoming meet like we have throughout the last meets, and be prepared for the State Meet in April."
Before the final State Meet, our MCI team still have one more meet in March with five challenging categories: Algebraic Fractions with Factoring, Trigonometric Equations and Identities, Circles and Spheres, Conics, and Arithmetic with Statistics. Our team members are working hard together to prepare for the final regular meet before the big states meet, and everyone is feeling very confident that we will score an even better result than that of the February meet. Currently, the MCI team is placed 11 out of 33 teams of Eastern Maine, with two students ranking in the top 15%. We are trying our best to get our team into top 5. It is a long way to go but I'm confident in our team’s ability.
Post by: Marina Evgenia
Date Posted: 11/3/14
Post Title: Leadership Camp
Leadership Camp is a place where members of Student Council meet, discuss their problems and learn how to build teams. Last week we went to this camp and it was amazing. There we met many interesting people from different schools. As part of the camp, we went to a park in a forest, which was pretty challenging as we had to climb a big tree. Of course, everybody supported each other emotionally and physically. Then we got to have a master class from Mike Smith (a famous team building coach).
Mike Smith shared with us how to promote our leadership successes:
- Have high expectations
- Everyone has value
- Be seen and heard
- Be what you want to see
- Check with your team to ensure understanding
This trip was very informative because we learned a lot about leadership. I'd love to go there again.
Post by: Desai Chu (MCI senior)
Date Posted: 10/29/14
Post Title: MCI's Cultural Heritage Celebration
Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Georgia, Guatemala, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Korea, the Marshall Islands, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Vietnam were the countries represented at MCI in the flag ceremony on Monday, October 20th. Students from each country marched to their national anthem to unfurl their countries’ flags. This ceremony celebrated MCI’s diversity and acceptance of people from all walks of life. MCI is a place that welcomes newcomers and makes them feel at home no matter where they are from.
Included in the celebration were presentations of traditional ethnic dances, songs, and music and a ballet performed by MCI’s Bossov Ballet Theatre. Russian folk music was played, the Chinese Gu Zheng piece “Butterfly Lovers” was strummed, the Italian classic Volare was sung, and the Vietnamese bamboo dance was performed. The students and faculty were all entranced by the music and dance showcased by MCI’s extraordinary students and gave a standing ovation to the young artists at the end of ceremony. This ceremony highlighted the diverse and hospitable community in which MCI thrives.
Post by: Diyun (Didi) Wang (MCI junior)
Date Posted: 10/22/14
Post Title: Readak
Hi, I’m Didi, a junior in MCI. Since English is my second language, I chose to join Readak, an advanced learning skills course. In the past few weeks, I learned a lot of strategies that could help me study more efficiently. In my first class, I learned how to create a nice environment for doing homework, how to take Cornell notes and how to reduce inattention whenever in class or doing homework. The teacher also used my Manson Essay idea as an example to teach both reading and writing strategies and made me feel more confident about my Manson Essay. All the things that Readak taught me are useful and I can practice or use them for school. This is also an international program, my teacher will go to Mexico to teach international students next month. The program is really worth spending your after school time to join, and you will get benefits in return.
Post by: Tierra Bianchi (MCI junior)
Date Posted: 10/3/14
Post Title: Homecoming 2014
Homecoming was kicked off Wednesday night when each class built their own floats right on campus for the Homecoming parade on Thursday. Each class chose a theme for their floats and went from there; the creativity was flowing all over campus! Thursday, each class and sports team hopped on their floats and expressed their school spirit by dressing in their class colors and chanting and holding signs while getting pulled around town. After, all the students gathered down at the football field. The students were separated by classes: freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors - this is when the games began! Everybody who wanted to was able to compete in three games, which included races, spinning around, and popping balloons without your hands or feet! It was loads of fun. In the games the seniors placed first, juniors second, freshmen third, and sophomores fourth. After the games there was a bonfire for the all the students to enjoy for about an hour.
Next, on Friday during Husky Time there was a pep rally in Parks Gym. Everybody sat in certain spots according to their class year and the loud mouth competition began. The loud mouth competition is when the cheerleaders scream a chant and each class takes turns screaming it back. Whichever class is the loudest wins. At the end of the chant the judges get together and decide who was the loudest and add those points with the ones from the games and from the float competition. Everyone’s scores are totaled up and the judges reveal who won Homecoming. This year the order was: 1st place seniors, 2nd place juniors, 3rd place freshmen, and 4th place sophomores. After the pep rally every one stopped competing as classes and came together as a whole to enjoy and embrace the rest of Homecoming Weekend! Friday night there was a football game that everyone attended, including teachers, students, and dorm parents. Everyone went to support the MCI football team and watch them win against Bucksport! On Saturday there was a series of different sports games going on throughout the day at Manson Park. Some people even brought couches and sat on them in the same spot all day as they watched all of the sports teams play! Overall, Homecoming here at Maine Central Institute is an unforgettable experience. It brings all of the students closer together as well as the community. Homecoming 2014 was a success.