Friday, May 22, 2009


Prom was a huge success. I could not have hoped for the night to go any better. We had 220 students out of a possible 300 students come to the event. Parents and Fulbright grantees helped pass out boutonnières and corsages as the students arrived. We found a florist in Spain who caters to the American international schools in Madrid who was able to make the corsages and boutonnières, and surprisingly they were really cheap. We only paid 30 cents for each boutonniere and 1.10 euro for the corsages.

This way all the students got a souvenir from the dance.
At the dance, the teacher seemed to have as much fun as the students. They were dancing to all the songs, and in a way it was their prom as well. Their main focus was not chaperoning the students but rather to have a good time, and luckily the students behaved themselves and there were no major problems. One thing I really enjoyed about the prom was seeing the teachers dancing with the students. This was not awkward. It just seemed so natural. I could never imagine teachers in the states dancing at a high school prom.

In addition to the teachers dancing, there was a couple of other only in Spain moments.
The prom was held on a Thursday night from 7 -10 pm, and we did not serve dinner. There were snacks but the students were sent home to eat after the dance.
The students were allowed to leave the dance area and go off the school grounds in order to SMOKE. My school really enforces the no smoking on school grounds rule but you have to be 18 to buy cigarettes and none of the students in attendance were 18 years old.
We used sheets to decorate a photo booth area, and our principal who really got involved in the event offered to do the ironing of the sheets in her office. What American principal would be this hands on? She also stayed to help set up and clean up!
We served some snacks and drinks including non-alcoholic beer.

One of the best parts of the dance was that a really nice but punk and alternative girl won prom queen. She came to the dance with a bandanna wrapped around her head.
I got to relive the music of my middle school days. The dj played a mix of Spanish and American music including grease lightning, ymca, wannabe by the Spice girls, and So Kiss Me. The only thing that was missing was some backstreet boys or nsync.

While the dance definitely had a Spanish flair, there were still some classic prom moments.
My friends and I started taking joking pictures with us the standard prom poses by the photo area such as the guy hugging the girl from behind and then the students started imitating us.
I witnessed one break up complete with tears, a girl storming away from a boy, and the boy throwing the corsage at her. I found the event hilarious now that I can appreciate how dramatic high students are.
The girls wore high heals and their feet were aching by the end of the dance.
The prom king and queen shared a dance.

Picture of the principal grabbing a student and dancing with him.

The next day at school, the teachers were more excited about prom than the students. In the teachers’ room, everyone was comparing photos and commenting on the clothing. They are already talking about prom for next year which means Jim and I did a good job. I am so happy the event was a success and we were able to expose the students to a fun part of American culture.

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