Monday, October 4, 2021

Thoughts on Homecoming from a Geek.

On Saturday, I went out to eat at a local Greek restaurant and all these high schoolers came in wearing their formal attire. They managed to fill up the place. This Greek restaurant is usually slower at an early dinner around 5 p.m. Anyway, they were obviously there to eat before the Homecoming Dance. One of them even had a blue mohawk. Cute right?

This made me look back on my own uneventful Homecomings. Oddly enough I had no interest in the dance at all. I didn't like getting dressed up. Then I needed a date, which I did not have because I was so shy. Also, I was under the impression that I was ugly because my brother said things and I believed him. I viewed Homecoming as something that the popular or rich kids do. I had no interest in being a bored wallflower that people chuckle about. Nobody, from family to friends, had not encouraged me to go, so I wrote it off as bunch of BS that would mean nothing in the real world.

However, I was in the band (Clarinet) and I was always at the Homecoming Football game because it was part of my grade. I had mixed feelings about marching band and might not have even done it. However, to be in band it was mandatory because they needed everyone to have a decent sized band on the field. I also liked doing the concerts. Plus, I felt I was contributing to our class in someway, but I never really felt that I fit in.

Sometimes band students would arrange to have a party after some event. I never went to those because my parents were pretty strict. They always said they would disown me for things such as alcohol, sex, smoking, and drugs. I knew if I went there would be some pressure to do at least one of those things, so I didn't go.

I tended to be more social in the neighborhood. I liked to do outdoor things such as snowmobiling, baseball, boating, swimming, and exploring fields where nothing was built. Sometimes we would build forts too.

With my own kids, Homecoming turned out to be different. In the small country town of New Haven, Homecoming involves all grades. Even the elementary school kids participate. They have a spirit week, and do all these activities. One day they all had to wear a red shirt, and I had the hardest time finding a red shirt for a little girl. There is also a parade with floats. Then everyone goes to the football game. I ended up liking this because of the effort to include everyone. It was more of a family/village thing, rather than a popular/rich kids thing.

Ironically, when my daughter was in Highschool, she went to ALL of the Homecoming Dances. At first with no date, which oddly enough is perfectly acceptable now. Then in later years she went with a date. To her it was a big deal. She loves to get dressed up and while she can be shy, she doesn't take after me in most things. I don't like being stuck in a store, but every Homecoming involved a new dress that took hours to pick out. One time in a store at the mall, it was packed with girls, and we had to wait about an hour to buy a dress. Yet, I found myself willing to do these things for my daughter. It's like the motherly part takes over no matter how much BS you think something is.

Over these years and these experiences, I think Homecoming can be something worthwhile when teachers and students make sure to make everyone feel welcome. As in the examples of small school districts like New Haven and Armada. I also have overcome a lot of my shyness over the years, and I have realized the importance of social skills. If a school dance turns out to be a positive experience, then it can be useful for social skills. It could help gain needed confidence. It's just a matter of making an effort to make sure everyone feels welcome and included. That's the hard part. 

1 comment:

  1. I never went to any school dances or most of the sporting events in high school or college. Right now I live in an area where I don't even really know what school district I'm in. I think South Lyon is the closest high school but it's four or five miles away and the actual town is a few miles farther away so I don't really get involved in any of that.