Oakman High Etc. Club offers socialization for students

By NICOLE SMITH, Daily Mountain Eagle
Posted 4/1/17

OAKMAN — Oakman High School has a club for students where everyone fits in and can meet people with similar interests.

Oakman Spanish teacher Nelly Fielding started Etc. Club at the high school last year to give students who don’t participate in sports or other extracurricular activities a chance to have fun doing things they enjoy and socialize with other students.

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Oakman High Etc. Club offers socialization for students

Posted

OAKMAN — Oakman High School has a club for students where everyone fits in and can meet people with similar interests.

Oakman Spanish teacher Nelly Fielding started Etc. Club at the high school last year to give students who don’t participate in sports or other extracurricular activities a chance to have fun doing things they enjoy and socialize with other students.

“They were the kids who were not involved in school activities. All of these children were that way,” she said.

Fielding said the club was originally born at Curry High School as an anime club for students who enjoyed Japanese animation. Other students had expressed an interest in also starting a music club and a chess club. Fielding said she decided to start a club where students could enjoy a number of activities, while meeting other students with similar tastes — the Etc. Club.

“They got together and they all did their thing,” Fielding said. “They watched anime, they played chess and they talked about philosophical things.”

When Fielding began teaching at Oakman, she said students expressed an interest in starting the same club there, and since its inception at OHS, the group has grown to roughly 20 students.

Students in grades nine through 12 meet once a week at the school to play video games and music, watch anime, play chess and dress up as some of their favorite characters, known as cosplay.

Oakman junior Tyler Nelson said the club has improved his social skills and has made him feel more comfortable to talk with his fellow classmates.

“Last year when we had it, my 10th-grade year, I never really talked to a lot of other people,” Nelson said. “At school, I had my select group of two or three people that I talked to. I noticed that when I was outside of Etc. Club, I would be talking to people that I usually didn’t talk to.”

He attributed that to the Etc. Club, “because I got more used to talking about it to other people, so that really helps me with my social skills.”

Senior Arlie Brown added, “I went there and made my base of friends, and with that base of friends I was really able to talk to anybody in school about anything.”

Fielding said Etc. Club still exists at Curry High, and there is also an Etc. Club in Hamilton.

Etc. Club members at Oakman were involved in the school’s homecoming parade last year, and the group plans to make some trips in the future, catered to their similar interests.

“I never tell the kids, ‘The purpose of this club is to get you to be more social.’ I don’t tell them that,” Fielding said. “It’s just so that they can get together and be themselves and open up.”

Brown said he has learned one important lesson from being in Etc. Club: “Keep being weird.”