Bring On The Blankets

Blanket+enthusiast+Zenzele+Greene+%28%E2%80%9822%29+enjoys+unwinding+in+the+Senior+Rec+Room+with+their+Bishop%E2%80%99s+Bookstore+blanket.+Zenzele+can+be+found+napping+around+campus+and+often+%E2%80%9Ccompletes+the+look%E2%80%9D+with+hand+warmers+that+they+keep+in+their+car.

Zenzele Greene

Blanket enthusiast Zenzele Greene (‘22) enjoys unwinding in the Senior Rec Room with their Bishop’s Bookstore blanket. Zenzele can be found napping around campus and often “completes the look” with hand warmers that they keep in their car.

Shirley Xu, Staff Writer

There are many tell-tale signs that a cold day is coming at Bishop’s. Some students sport tights underneath their skirts. Others change from khaki shorts to full-length uniform pants. However, still others turn towards fuzzy and festive blankets to resist the cold. A winter fashion statement, a concession to cozy comfort, or a buffer from quarantine couch days– why are students, teachers, and faculty bringing on the blankets?  

Some students began wearing blankets in hopes of combatting lower temperatures before or after school hours. Brynne Faltinsky’s (’22) first experiences bringing a blanket, for example, arose when her sister would drive to school early in the morning in order to study before the day started. “It was always way too early and way too cold,” Brynne said. “I would always cuddle up with a blanket in the corner of upstairs Bentham.” Brynne considers herself to be very “cozy,” with plenty of blankets in her room. “Bringing one to school seemed like not that big of a deal to me,” she said. “I think of it like, if you don’t want to get out of bed, you can bring your bed to school.” On the other hand, Angie Robles (‘22) brought blankets to school to keep warm in the later hours, as she often had to stay into the night for sports practices. Juliette Levy (‘22), a senior that has just recently begun to bring blankets, recalled always being cold, which is a part of why she has joined the blanket community. 

Despite San Diego’s typically balmy, warm weather, many blanket wearers at Bishop’s consider the coldness as a leading reason for their blanket bringing.  Laurel Daly (‘23) started bringing her blanket in November and December of this year. “I’d seen people do it for years. I don’t know why it took me so long to finally bring one,” she commented. Laurel distinctly remembered being inspired by Eve Paris (‘23), who had brought a Bob Ross print blanket the prior year. “I think subconsciously I was trying to channel her,” Laurel laughed. As Juliette Levy (‘22) put it, “Overall, I think [blankets] make my mood better, because there’s nothing I hate more than being cold. It makes me unfocused.” The learning environment is way better when there are blankets. It fills you with warmth and fuzziness, and all of a sudden, learning isn’t so bad.”   

Both Angie and Zenzele Greene (’22) agree that blankets are most commonly worn by certain demographics of people, such as students that wear skirts. “I’d rather bring the blanket and wear the regular uniform skirt than wear tights underneath my skirt. Only a certain number of people can pull that look off,” Angie joked, “and I’m not one of them.” Zenzele also factored in the convenience of blankets. “Not everyone wants to wear tights, like Angie said. I find them uncomfortable, personally,” they added on. “Having the blanket—you can just walk around with it, wrap it around your waist—it’s really easy to carry around.”  

Students are not the only ones bearing blankets, however. Zenzele initially borrowed a blanket that Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice Mr. David Thompson brought in to keep warm. Relying on only a space heater, the blanket served Mr. Thompson well during meetings on the couch, or during impromptu beach trips. He recalled the blanket disappearing one day. “I remember not being mad about it,” Mr. Thompson reflected. “Someonesome senior, most likely, with too much going on in their world at the moment to be anything but absent-mindedwas probably just cold and meant to return it.” After moving into his current office, he bought two more blankets from the Bishop’s bookstore– one for his home and one for his office. “Students would use it when they laid on the beanbags or napped, but the blanket stayed. During the cold months, the blanket started to disappear during the day, and came back in the afternoon,” Mr. Thompson remembered, “so I bought another because it seemed like a need.”

Mathematics teacher Ms. Jessi Chrystal, who started bringing in blankets around 2016, also runs a small system of blanket-borrowing for students. Initially starting with a few blankets, Ms. Chrystal has since expanded to a whopping 14 blankets. Since then, Ms. Chrystal’s blankets have become more popular, too. “At first I would use my blankets at sports games after school if it was a cold day,” she described. Students and former advisees would occasionally use them during the school day, if it was especially chilly. Nowadays, Ms. Chrystal encourages students to grab a blanket off her bookshelf at the start of class if they want one. Equipped with a blanket, her students “can be comfortable and focus on their school work instead of thinking about how cold they are.”  

Both Zenzele and Juliette predict that blankets will stay in season year-round. Even when it is not cold, blankets are still useful, according to Juliette who can feel cold no matter what month it is. “It’s not about warmth, it’s more about comfiness,” she said. 

For many, bringing blankets on campus has been a lifestyle choice. As early as 8th grade, Zenzele was used to bringing blankets to various locations around school, and has been using them since. “I take a lot of naps all around campus: in the office, now in the senior rec room. Basically, you could find me napping with one of those blankets anywhere. One day I forgot my blanket that I brought from home, so I went to the bookstore to grab one and I’ve been using it ever since,” they said. Although on the pricier side, the blankets from the Bishop’s bookstore are “really good quality,” according to Juliette. “They don’t fall apart, but a blanket  doesn’t need to be [$58],” she said. 

Angie, Juliette, and Zenzele all encourage students to join the lifestyle, recommending that students look around for a fluffy blanket at home, or get one from the bookstore if there are no other options. Whether settling in for a nap, or keeping the cold out, the three seniors believe blankets can be used by anyone. Angie said, “Once you go blanket, you never go back.”