by Ela Passerelli and Lilly Rothschild
Another homecoming dance has come and gone, along with the usual hype surrounding the night. It takes a lot of energy to prepare for this special event; finding a dress, asking a date (if preferred), planning dinner, getting rides, and doing everything else that needs to get done can be extremely time consuming and stressful. We saw many different pre-homecoming rituals and attitudes this year. Although before and after homecoming was very important, the true test of our 2016 homecoming’s success came when everyone joined together on the left side of the HB gym. In the halls the next Monday morning, opinions were heard everywhere in response to the inevitable question by teachers, family members, and friends, “How was homecoming?”
As the seniors, juniors, and sophomores know, this year’s homecoming was very different from previous years. The seniors played a huge part; directing the music, setting up before, and cleaning up afterwards (a huge thanks to Ally, Jacqueline, and Arya, the senior senate representatives who made it happen). Seniors were allowed to bring two guests instead of one. Each student and guest were breathalyzed. The largest change by far was the one everyone noticed: the hours. For the freshmen and those who didn’t get to make it, our new homecoming ran from 8:30pm to 10:30pm instead of previous years’, which were from 9:00pm to 10:00pm.
In general, homecoming is quite the process, and everything needs to be orchestrated rigorously. For us, it came down to making sure the music and the atmosphere was right to make the two hours fly by. If you were dancing away with your friends or jamming to your favorite tunes without a care, it may have been fabulous. On the other hand, homecoming may have felt like the longest two hours of your life.
We heard many opinions about the specifics of #HBHC from a variety of people. There were mixed opinions on the music; some were happy Taylor Swift and One Direction didn’t make an appearance, while others were annoyed they recognized only a few of the songs. Some thought they were inappropriate. One of the things most often complained about was the brutal temperature. As the night went on and the seniors came in, people began to break out their best dance moves, causing them to get increasingly sweaty. It became so hot and humid that it was hard for everyone to dance the night away, even though we know everyone would have liked to. We saw many trips to the bathroom throughout the night as different groups of girls rinsed their hands and faces with cold water and pressed their backs to the cool lockers. Finally, the senior theme was controversial because they didn’t wear dresses. Some would have liked it if the seniors were in the same attire as everyone else. However, we would like to congratulate the seniors for coming up with an original and relevant #cleveland theme. Let the Cavs’ victory ring on forever!
One of the weirdest changes to old homecoming-goers was the breathalyzing. Although it isn’t a revolutionary change, many of us felt as though we had lost a significant amount of student-teacher trust, along with feeling scrutinized and uncomfortable. One of the best things about HB is that we are always treated like responsible, independent young adults, and because of this we are used to an environment of equality and respect; we felt having breathalyzers opposed our community norms. However, although it’ll always feel stupid to blow into a plastic tube under the watchful eyes of our teachers, it is understandable that HB has to keep up with the other CCIS schools in terms of making sure our dances are safe- and breathalyzing has nothing to do with the trust between HB students and faculty (at least, that is the message we got after talking to teachers involved in the process). Of course, it was a setback that it took much longer to get into the dance than on a usual year; students who arrived at 8:30 were stuck in line until much past 9:00. Time and practice will hopefully clarify a lot of things about breathalyzing, like whether there were different lines for the different grades. Also, we’d like to find a breathalyzing system that isn’t as bad for the environment (the packaging was outrageous).
We believe the dance was an overall success. While there will always be those #HBprobs, the night can’t help but be amazing for those who decide to be enthusiastic and excited about it. We were happy to see girls of all ages and grade levels busting a move on the dance floor and mingling on the sidelines. The increased student involvement, like the senior homecoming video were great additions and helped get everyone more involved in making it fun. Homecoming has its ups and downs, but it is an essential high school experience (if you didn’t go, you really should try to next year) and we are honored we get to spend our high school homecomings at the one and only Hathaway Brown.