Filling the “Night” With Stars

So it’s funny because, haha, we are north of the arctic circle where there is no real night anymore. Fortunately, our school gym is big and blue and windowless, so we should be able to carry off our Night Full of Stars on Saturday.

This week has been madness. We planned our colors and theme to match the one graduating senior’s color scheme for tomorrow’s graduation ceremony, so we will be able to piggyback on her decorations and get everything set up in time for the big night. It’s hard to believe it’s only two days away.

On Tuesday Jake padlocked the gym doors and gave me a key. Only the prom committee and the volunteer decorators have been allowed inside since. The girls and I have stayed after school and not made it home for dinner before 8 any night this week.

PIC_0067 As we glued still more cardboard stars and inadvertently glittered the floor and the walls and the table and ourselves, C said to me “Ms. O, I can’t believe prom is only two days away. Like, you know when you’re so excited you can’t sleep? Like maybe on your birthday? It’s gonna be like that. We’re gonna have the best night ever.” I swear she said those exact words to me.

Laser tag has arrived, and so have the cakes and the illegal-to-fly-in-a-small-plane tanks of helium (how did they get here? I really don’t know!). The girls have made cardboard silhouettes and covered them with black paper to create shields for laser tag that will double as extras for the dancing. A gave one a bowtie, a collar, buttons and a red flower. He’s going to be her date. The hours that they’ve put in are going to pay out big time: we didn’t have much money, but we’ve had incredible support from all over the country, and the kids have made a lot from scratch that is going to look great.

PIC_0079I’m completely exhausted, but I can’t keep from smiling. This week has been an all-in adventure: I’ve hardly slept, I haven’t managed to do much school work, and even now, at 9:30 pm, my kids are still a part of my day. I have two in the bathroom right now, trying on dresses. The one gal came over for a shower, and asked if it would be okay if she brought the dresses over from the school and tried them on. How could I refuse? She called her pal and now they’re giggling in the bathroom. “Definitely not this one, huh?”

That’s the thing about the bush, I think. Once you open the door, you’re all-in. My class is like my family now, and they are welcome at any time of the day or night to use the bathroom (woo running water!) or to make cookies or study math or just to talk. It’s not just my class, either. My door is closest to the playground, so little kids sometimes knock for water and band-aids and just to visit. It’s impossible to say no. Last night, cousins A and C came over for math help and managed to learn a few phrases in french on the side. “Le chat est noir,” A repeated to herself as she put away her book and pulled on her shoes. “Le chat est noir” she said, as she and her cousin tumbled out the door, chasing and pushing and laughing like they always do. I will teach them “les étoiles brillent dans la nuit” on Saturday.

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4 thoughts on “Filling the “Night” With Stars

  1. Love reading about the prom excitement! I did prom for about 15 years at Brinkley and would love to help out next year in any way I can. The best prom we held were ones some of my EAST groups planned and carried out the the Monroe County Human Development Center. These students and adults had never had a prom so to say they were excited was an understatement. They danced every dance – we had to force then to sit down in order to eatl
    we used leftover decoration from the Brinkley prom and donated prom dresses – from local donations to ones we got from a place in Little ‘Rock, My girls also found an organization that get dresses from companies. The most wonderful comments I got were from my students who said they had a better time at this event that at their own prom! It was because any need to impress, compare to others, was not important – they most important part was just the pure joy and fun the clients had without any need to impress others.

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