When Rachel Hogan left Canandaigua Middle School last week, the graduating eighth-grader also left behind her own little legacy of paper hats to cheer up future students and staff as she moves on to Canandaigua Academy.
It all started with boredom, a notebook and a phone online search for origami.
Hogan said she and a friend were in Ithaca for a state swimming competition and got bored in their hotel room. She doesn’t remember exactly why, but she looked up the Japanese art of paper folding and made simple hats for her team members, writing “Go CA” on them.
That was in seventh grade. It might have stopped there, had boredom not set in again when she had nothing to do after finishing taking a test, tore a sheet out of her notebook, made another hat with a message on it and gave it to Jamie Glover, her health teacher.
“She seemed to like it, so I made a bunch more and started giving them out,” Hogan said.
“I think you just gave me a few paper hats at the end of seventh grade and then it really took off in eighth-grade where she committed to a hat every day,” Glover said, noting each came with a special note, the first being “Have a rad day.”
Others examples were “Have a fantastic day,” “Have a magnificent day” or “Have a chicken nugget filled day,” with Hogan’s name inscribed inside each hat.
She also gave some to her English teacher, Kathryn Michalko.