Beyond the Grades: Exciting Extracurriculars


Chase Bagnall-Koger

The students of Coral Gables High School find interesting ways to fill their after-school hours.

Chase Bagnall-Koger, News Editor

After the last bell of the day rings and class is dismissed, students everywhere get the chance to pursue their passions outside of school. For many, that means joining one of the many clubs Gables has to offer, practicing a sport or playing a musical instrument. With so many opportunities available to students some Cavaliers have taken up some quirky and fascinating after-school activities.

Estelle Erwich
Some of Erwich’s favorite pieces she has drawing calligraphy letters are quotes which resonate with her.

Junior Estelle Erwich first became interested in the art of calligraphy while attempting to stay organized for her vigorous classes in the International Baccalaureate program at Coral Gables Senior High. Her trusty planner helped her keep track of her assignments, but she felt it was still missing something.

“As I looked around for inspiration, I found a lot of people writing in calligraphy for school notes and journal entries. I really wanted to learn how to do it,” junior Estelle Erwich said. 

Erwich dedicated time each week over the next several months to the fine-tuning of her calligraphy skills. She watched videos on YouTube and Instagram, trying to mimic the curvature of the letters and the easy glide of the artist’s hand. However effortless calligraphy may look to an outsider, Erwich quickly found that the ancient art form is as tricky as it is beautiful.

With superior instruments and several months of practice, Erwich’s polished her skills. Though she still incorporates calligraphy into her weekly notes and planner, she also sells her work in the form of invitations, academic organizational labels and decorations. She credits the multi-faced hobby with helping her to stay interested in her coursework and keep herself occupied. For people just starting to practice calligraphy, she wholeheartedly recommends the fool-proof practices of patience and repetition.

Sophomore Irene Martinez practices on of the most unique athletic hobbies found on campus – competitive figure skating. Her days of figure skating began about four years ago, inspired by a trip to an ice rink where she saw these athletes in action.

Irene Martinez
Sophomore Irene Martinez strikes a pose as she competes in a figure skating solo competition.

“I went skating one day with my friends and I really liked it. I saw other people figure skating and I thought; hey, I could do that,’” sophomore Irene Martinez said.

Martinez began mastering the basics of the sport and then the finer points of figure skating technique. To viewers, figure skating often looks graceful and effortless, but the control and poise required to be successful also take mounds of athleticism and physical fitness.

In preparation for her solo competitions, she religiously practices twice a week at Pines Ice Arena. She also volunteers at an ice skating summer camp where she serves as a group leader and role model for young aspiring skaters. 

On and off campus, it seems that Cavaliers of all ages practice a huge variety of hobbies and sports as a form of self-expression. From the athletic to the musical to the eclectic, the possibilities are as endless as they are interesting!