For many people, prom is more than just a dance. It is the epitome of high school— the night all seniors are supposed to remember for the rest of their lives.
With senior prom barely two weeks away (on Saturday, May 17), The Talon decided to take a look into the prom experiences of several teachers at the school and find out whether or not prom really is that one special night that lasts forever.
Science teacher Carl Babb attended Savannah High School in Anaheim, Calif. Although his school had both a junior prom and a senior prom, Babb said that his senior prom was by far the more memorable.
“I sort of took a chance on this one girl, but she was horrible,” Babb said. “It was a disaster.”
According to Babb, the most interesting part of his senior prom took place at the country club where the dance was being held.
Two of Babb’s close friends, Gail and Terri, decided to spice up what Babb called a “real dull” senior prom.
“They decided to stage a fight in the middle of the dance floor,” Babb said. “And one of them had a starting gun from the track team.”
According to Babb, one girl pulled out the gun, pointed it at the other, and said “Get away from my boyfriend!” Babb said that the other girl dove at the gun-holder like it was a “‘Charlie’s Angels’ episode.”
Although most of the students knew that it was just Gail and Terri having fun and goofing around, one person did not.
“My dweeby activities director, this funky old guy, was just terrified,” Babb said. “The girls fought for a couple of minutes, broke into laughter and walked away.”
Although no disciplinary action was taken against the two girls, Babb strongly cautioned against seniors trying to pull off a modern version of the prank at senior prom.
“Now it would probably get kids in jail,” he said.
Math teacher Carol Evans went to North Shore High School in Glen Head, NY, where her parent-chaperoned senior prom was held in the gym. She went with a boy named Brian Small, who at 6’5” towered over Evans’ 5’3” frame.
Small and Evans met in their school band; she played clarinet, and he played trombone. According to Evans, Small and Evans did not have any classes together because “he was not an honors class student.”
Although they were both in band, they did not hang out much outside of school.
“It was the second time I’d gone out with him,” Evans said. “So [prom] was almost like a first date.”
Evans’ prom began at 8 p.m. and lasted until 4 a.m. Most students were 18 and at the time could legally drink in New York. Since parents didn’t want their kids drinking, however, the prom did not end until two hours after bars closed.
Because her senior prom was so long, there were activities to break it up, like charades. The meal was not right away either; dinner was not served until around 10 p.m.
After Evans left her prom, she went home, slept for an hour and then got up again to go to Jones Beach, where she got the “worst sunburn” of her life. About 80 percent of the senior class went to the beach after prom; it was the only sort of “grad night” they had.
Despite being burned so badly, Evans still has wonderful memories of her prom.
“It was great fun, and it was long,” Evans said. “Eight to four—that’s long.”
History teacher DeeDee Pearce never got to go to her prom, something she recalls with sadness.
“It’s awful, absolutely awful,” Pearce said. “I felt cheated because I felt that prom was a culmination high school, a rite of passage, and I missed it.”
Pearce was a “military brat,” or someone whose parent served full-time in the military; as a result, she moved around a lot. Pearce said she was planning on going to prom at 71st High School in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Pearce had a boyfriend with whom she was set to go to the prom, but it didn’t work out the way she wanted. With only six weeks left in her senior year of high school, her father was sent on a tour in Vietnam.
Instead of finishing the year in North Carolina, Pearce’s entire family moved to Okinawa Japan, where she began attending a Department of Defense school for military kids.
“I cried all the way to Okinawa, which was the longest flight in the world,” Pearce said. “And then I cried for another month after I was there.”
Because Pearce barely knew anyone at her new school, she decided not to go to prom. Instead, she did something completely different—she went to dinner with her parents.
Pearce said she as been able to get an idea of what she missed at prom because she has chaperoned several proms as a teacher and is planning on chaperoning again this year.