Epoch Week 2023


EPOCH week reviews continue to come in. Designed to provide a variety of experiences which take our students out of the classroom and out of their comfort zones, and move them to think more deeply, see places, people, and events through a different lens, and broaden their horizons, this year’s EPOCH week realized all that and more.  

Seniors had the opportunity to spend a day “on the job”, gaining valuable insight into potential career choices. Those who dove deeply into the experience reflected that there is often more to a career than just doing a job. There were valuable lessons to be gleaned from the chance to shadow professionals in potential fields of study. They have the great gift of having a tour of the Detroit Opera House (where classmate Ava Camaj had a chance to sing on the stage). In keeping with an unwritten tradition, they also visited Immaculate Conception Ukrainian Church in Hamtramck, where they learned about the tradition and history of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, the largest Eastern Catholic Church of its own laws (Ecclesia sui juris). Special thanks to classmate Luisa Hnatiuk for introducing SCA to her Church. And in keeping with the Eastern tradition, the class had lunch in Greektown.  

The juniors began their week with a tour of Meadow Brook Hall, located on the campus of Oakland University, which was established in 1957 when Matilda Dodge Wilson donated her estate to Michigan State University – yes, when it opened, Oakland University was known as Michigan State University – Oakland.  After a quick lunch nearby, the juniors did have a tour of the Oakland University campus, which officially became Oakland University in 1970 (though it was renamed in 1963). The University offers 132 bachelor’s degree programs and 138 professional graduate certificates, master’s degrees, and doctoral degrees, including those offered by Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine.  

But that’s not all for the juniors. They had the opportunity to attend Mass at Holy Family Catholic Church in Greektown. Holy Family, founded in 1909, is a parish rich in Italian tradition, where Mass is still said in Italian on Sunday. And naturally, lunch was in Greektown.  

The sophomores also spent a day at Meadow Brook Hall and at Oakland University. Their week, though, began at Forgotten Harvest, where they spent the morning packing emergency food boxes which are distributed through Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb Counties.  They were, in fact, the first of two SCA groups to volunteer at the Warehouse. The freshmen spent Wednesday morning there, where they packed pounds of food.   The sophomores then spent Friday afternoon at DEFY, their Student Fundraiser Incentive Prize (Top selling class).  

The freshmen participated in a poverty simulation which gave them a hands-on experience of what it is like to cook for a family of six when living at the poverty level and receiving Food Stamps and WIC benefits. They learned about the Food Assistance Program in Michigan. Part of the experience was to walk to Meijer, shop for a specific meal, return with groceries in hand, and then prepare the meal. Those who participated in eating the meals prepared by the class felt that the students did a very good job on a limited budget. We hope they took away some valuable information from the experience. 📷  Click here for a photo album of the poverty simulation.

They had two off-campus experiences. On Thursday the class traveled to the DIA where they were let loose to explore the riches of the art world found in Detroit. After a few hours in the museum, they were taken to Campus Martius Park where they ate in many of the local restaurants. On Friday, the class traveled to Dearborn to the Ford Rouge Factory Tour.  Part of this day included a visit to The Henry Ford “Giant Screen Experience” where they watched “Great Bear Rainforest.” 

On Thursday, the entire student body (well, not the seniors), traveled to the historic Redford Theater for a “behind the curtain” tour and a show. They watched Roman Holiday, the classic 1953 film starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. 

A special thank you to the faculty, who on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday sponsored Faculty-led Enrichment Activities, including self-defense workshop with Mr. Davidson, jewelry making with Mrs. Shallal, the art of crepes making with Mr. Palizzi, and many more.    

On Friday morning, the entire student body heard a presentation by Rabbi Yarden Blumstein, Teen Director at the Friendship Circle in West Bloomfield, who is a certified safeTALK instructor who has now addressed both the faculty and the students on suicide prevention and offering advice on how to handle a crisis, stressing that they need to be and feel a part of a community and have people (adults) that they trust to help them cope with the difficulties of adolescence.  

EPOCH week 2023 was definitely a period of time in the life of the SCA Community for shared experiences, learning moments, and fun. We’re already planning for EPOCH Week 2024.