Dressed to impress: Senior Zarek Peris dresses up after Halloween

Sneha Gaur

Like any other Monday, U.S. Government teacher Ben Recktenwald scheduled a reading quiz for his AP classes on Nov. 2. Yet unlike any other Monday, his third period AP Government class didn’t frantically flip through their textbooks or catch up on the news using their phones. Instead, they stared at the door and fidgeted in their seats, almost as if they were waiting for something to happen. Minutes after the second bell rang, the door finally opened.

“I turned around to give whoever was coming in a hard time for being tardy, and here [senior Zarek Peris] is in some weird costume,” Recktenwald said.

After Peris failed to dress up for Halloween, Recktenwald jokingly told him that he should dress up every other day to compensate. While Peris heartily accepted the challenge, nobody expected him to go through with it.

“[The class] was pretty impressed that I remembered. On that first day, I was wearing an anime mask and a suit,” Peris said. “While everyone was taking their quiz, they’d occasionally look up and stare at me. It was pretty funny.”

In total, Peris had over 20 costumes, each one entirely unique. One of Peris’ favorite costumes was when he dressed up as an elf.

“After class I usually take my costumes off, but I didn’t have time that day because I had to talk to the office about my SSR. So I walked into the office in my elf costume, and they were all laughing. I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen Ms. Kruse so weirded out in my life,” Peris said.

Yet Peris never wore his costumes to any of his other classes. During the passing period before third period, Peris would change into his costume, and he’d remove it before AP Government ended. While changing, he often received glances from the other students, with the exception of one bold person.

“One of my costumes involved a dress, and as I was putting on my dress […] someone came up behind me and hugged me and said, ‘You look beautiful’. That was probably the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to me in my entire life,” Peris said with a laugh.

Both Peris and Recktenwald ended first semester with a memorable experience — Peris now has a testament to his creativity, and Recktenwald has a memory he can recount to future students.

“Now, when my students ask me ‘What’s the weirdest thing that someone has ever done in your class?’, I can say ‘There was a kid in my class who wore a costume 20 days after Halloween, every day,’” Recktenwald said.

Zarek Peris costumes

Photos used with permission of Ben Recktenwald.