"Above the City Lights" was this year's Prom theme,
evoking a romantic snowy evening in New York City.
The annual Blue Ridge High School Junior-Senior Prom has come and gone. Hard to believe I'll only have one more Prom to chaperon, and then I'll be retired. Although, one of our counselors pointed out that I can always come back to chaperon as a volunteer! This year the event was held at the Hon-Dah Casino's conference center. This is the most common venue for Prom, although sometimes it is held somewhere unusual, like last year's Prom in an auto dealership. Probably the most unusual and fun location was the 2008 Prom (Sarah's senior year), which was held in a theater and under canopies between the businesses outside the theater. At midnight, after the dance, the theater showed the scary film Prom Night to the students for free.
Science teacher Carmel Raney (Sarah's geometry teacher in 2006-07) and
culinary arts teacher Kay Shores model the Prom Queen and Princess crowns
while guarding the Royalty voting table.
I really do enjoy being there to see the students all dressed up in their fanciest finery. In fact, I often find them difficult to recognize because they look so different from their ordinary classroom-selves. And it's fun to enjoy them at their best behavior. We haven't had a problem in many years with anyone trying to spike the punch or arriving drunk and disorderly. These kids (or their parents) spend a lot of money and a lot of time preparing for this night, and they don't want to ruin it.
Behind the scenes: math teacher/student council sponsor Kenya McKinney
and a student council member pose for a traditional Prom picture.
This is Kenya's final Blue Ridge Prom. She has accepted a teaching job in the Valley.
The worst problem we ever really see nowadays are occasional dress code violations. Which is crazy, because the Prom dress code is so very relaxed from the daily school dress code. Still, we see some girls arrive with too much cleavage, skirts too short, and dress backs much too low. I found it humorous that, at any moment throughout the night, I could look around and find at least one girl self-consciously hauling her strapless top higher up under her armpits. How much more comfortable would these girls have been with a little support, even spaghetti-straps?
English teacher Mike Morrin (in fact, he's Dylan's current senior English teacher)
as chaperon, along with principal Jay Cox and assistant principal Greg Schimmel.
Nonetheless, most of the kids were beautifully, colorfully attired. Best of all, their eyes were shining with excitement and fun while they hugged, visited, snacked, had their pictures taken, and, above all, danced the night away.
The deejays for the evening, who traveled to us from Tucson.
I always take my camera to capture the memories (which isn't always easy in the darkened venue), but three and a half hours of chaperoning can really start to drag after the first couple of hours. Last night went by more quickly, though, thanks to the company of Dylan's English teacher (pictured, above). This was Mike's first Prom at Blue Ridge, and we chatted throughout the night. Or, perhaps, I should say we yelled throughout the night, since the music was so loud we pretty much had to shout into each other's ears in order to be heard. And, like the aftermath of a concert, all sound to my ears was muffled following the Prom, due to my eardrums being buffeted all night.
Since it's Junior-Senior Prom and I teach mostly freshman and
sophomore English, I usually see only my former students at Prom.
However, this pair are currently in my 3rd period class.
Besides making the time go by faster, Mike's company was beneficial to my diet, as well. For instance, to fill the hours at Prom I will usually visit the refreshments several times during the evening and eat/drink things that are not low-carb. I was a bit concerned about overdoing it this time, since I'm working hard to lose weight and get healthy in 2016. However, since my fellow chaperon was a male-type person, I was too self-conscious to make a pig out of myself in front of him. I went to the refreshments table only once and got one each of the four sweet morsels. And I stuck with ice water; no punch for me. More sugar than I should have had, but less than I might have had!
The refreshments were more sparse this year than I've ever seen them.
Just these small lemon bar, cream puff, and brownie bites, plus a bowl of
no-bake cookies. Not as elegant as usual, but definitely less tempting!
Little New York City touches, all around.
The students had this area to relax, visit, and enjoy refreshments.
A quick 40-second clip of the dancing at last night's Prom, starting off with a conga line.