CCDX Week: An Interview with Mrs. Back

Brina Crellin, Co-Editor-in-Chief '25

While some of us may think CCDX week is just an excuse to get an extra week of Spring Break or whatnot, this week means so much more than we care to think. Teachers, faculty, and even students put so much work into making this week one of remembrance and fun times for other students. We are encouraged to step out of our comfort zones and learn new things that are interesting to others.

I interviewed Mrs. Back and just asked her very general questions on what it takes to create CCDX and the kind of work that people put into it. Here’s what she had to say:


Interviewer: I just have some general questions about CCDX because it takes a lot to make it happen, but no one really knows how much. I’m just curious about how everything works.

Mrs. Back: We start near the beginning of the school year and teaches start brainstorming about what might be a good course. What you might do in a three-day course, like last year, is completely different than what you can do in five days. Think about the difference, you’ve got five full days and you want to make great use of that time. You want to do something interesting. So, the faculty started brainstorming pretty early on. This year was a bit later than we wanted, which was probably late September and early October. They try to think of creative ideas, things that are sometimes out of our comfort zones, too. It takes a lot of time to brainstorm and then once you kind of settle on the idea, you start to think about “Okay, what angle do I wanna take the whole week?” And by late December we’re really flushing out the course descriptions and brainstorming activities, even trying to start to line up stuff like field trips and speakers, which are always better to have way ahead of time. Then in early January we really start to work to nail stuff down. You have your field trips, speaker, and activities. You’re meeting with different course leaders to try and understand the plan for every day because you trying to plan out full days of activities and really can’t wing it. On a more of the behind the scenes look, Ms. Beyreis, Ms. Weinheimer, and myself start to get all the scheduling stuff going and get communication out to you guys. I actually wrote a Python program a couple years ago to do a lot of the scheduling for me. It takes me a decent amount of time to do it all, but at least I don’t have to do a lot of manual work. The program suggests schedules and then I’m like “no, print it again.” I can look at a bunch of simulations and figure out what really works best. Then it’s just crazy for Mrs. DiTullio because she’s trying to organize the buses for field trips and combine field trips and get the buses going to the right places and the right times. A lot of groups actually go off campus this year, so it’s a lot of work to organize all that and reserve spaces for all of us. You guys are the participants of the course end, but right up until the very end, course leaders have done a lot of work behind the scenes to get that stuff all together. Oh gosh, permissions! I forgot to talk about that. Getting the permissions to all the group leaders and everything else. It’s honestly just a lot of communication and just detailed stuff. I kind of look at it as event planning. I mean, you’ve got this big party you’re trying to plan and you gotta get all the ducks in a row and all the events and transportation. We’ve got people going everywhere, it’s a lot.

Interviewer: Yeah, I feel like people don’t necessarily think about how much and how long it takes to plan because they’re like oh it’s just a week of basically nothing and we can do whatever we want.

Mrs. Back: I think we’re just creating these sessions and opening up a learning experience for people. We’ve done CCDX now for a while, then we the COVID year off and then ended up having a shortened version last year. We’re really just trying to make engaging, interesting sessions for students where you’re actually doing something you’re interested in. Maybe it takes you out of your comfort zone, you’re with people that maybe you don’t know, but that’s a good thing. When you get into business, you’re not gonna know people and you’re not gonna be able to be with your friends, and it’s good to be in that situation and learn from other people. Sometimes even learn along with the course leaders. We’re really trying to find things that are interesting and take everyone out of their comfort zones and really learn new things.

Interviewer: Yes, I completely agree. I think sometimes the faculty or the teacher or the course leaders don’t get enough credit for how much work actually goes into these sessions.

Mrs. Back: Exactly. Especially if you’re going to go into the week with a bad mindset then you’re gonna make it a bad week for yourself. But if you go into it with and open mind, you never know what you’re gonna get out of it. Think about how many schools don’t even have this opportunity.


Overall, I think we as students should give more credit to everyone who put this exciting week together. While other schools may still have a week of tests and projects due, we are given a break to enjoy something and have some fun with new people and new experiences.