• Lance Chou ’20 & Paul Komin ’20

The moment lowerclassmen hear about the secretive senior retreat known as Kairos, they are infatuated with the idea and want to know exactly what happens on such a mysterious experience. At least, that was how we reacted when we first caught word of the trip in our freshman year.

And yet, since its creation, not one student has broken their vow of confidentiality — or “spilled the beans”, as they say — about the events that transpire on each Kairos retreat. Today, we will make SHP history and change that narrative by publishing this highly-controversial article, in which we explain just what happens on the obscure trip known as Kairos. If you never see another article get published from either of us again, just know that we have accomplished our goal, even if it cost us our Heartbeat writer privileges.

So, what is Kairos? Kairos is exactly what you’d think it is. It is the culmination of the bus ride there, the retreat itself, and of course, the bus ride back to school. To be more specific, it’s a time where you can go underwater friendship-bracelet weaving, give exorcisms, and perform cultish rituals with your classmates to your hearts’ content, all at an undisclosed location. The Heartbeat’s very own Katie Ralston even said she was “baptized in fire”, displaying her willingness to grow spiritually and her aptitude for learning.

Although the events that occur on Kairos appear to be all-in- good-fun, there is a challenge that awaits the retreatants as they near the end of the experience. In order to earn their ride back home, students must perfect the ancient yoga planking technique known as chaturanga, holding it with perfect form, for at least four hours straight. In doing so, you attain both enlightenment and permission to get back onto the bus. It’s quite an exhausting feat, and many of those who fail are forced to practice until they can live, breathe, and sleep chaturanga. Alexi Stavrapoulus, Jake Birdwell, Schoettler, and Alan Kagari, for example, were all forced to remain on retreat the entire summer to train after failing their attempt at the 2019 Spring Chaturanga Exam while on Kairos 52.

If you were to ask anyone on Kairos 53 if they could perform the chaturanga, they would be happy to oblige and would display the fruits of their dedication to the practice right then and there. But don’t just take our word for it. Many of the other Kaironians came forward to share their personal experiences from the retreat.

Lauren Roque ‘20 explains, “basically, Alan, Alexi, and Jake were on their floor getting sweaty together… doing push-ups.” With fear in his voice, Evan DiMarco ‘20 recalled, “Paul nearly used 3% of his power on the volleyball court.” “Had he used 10%,” added Ethan Takaha ‘20, “Kairos 53 would have been the last one.” And finally, a quote from Aidan Cullen ‘20 perfectly sums up what Kairos is all about: “I had waffles for breakfast today… Oh, what? Kairos? Oh yeah, Kairos is just a big ‘runga with the boys.”

Now that we’ve spoiled everything, it’s hard to say how Kairos will change from here on out. In any case, we will continue to answer some of SHP’s most asked questions.

Photo from Tumblr

By Axel de Vernou

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