Saturday, October 11, 2008

Cancer Princess and the Mantastics

Class Competitions...Dress up days...Royalty...Hall Decorating...Food and Penny Drive...the dance...the big pride...pep assemblies...short attention spans...

I didn't really enjoy high school -- sometimes I wonder why I chose to go back -- but I always loved homecoming; maybe its the tradition or the bringing together of the community. Now as a teacher, I find it a great time to connect with my students, albeit a challenging time to teach. I usually try to participate in the dress up days (one year I won best costumed teacher) and attend some of the events. I prefer not to chaperone the dance any more -- it bums me out to see fifteen year olds banging their pelvises together -- unless I can take tickets or work in the coat room.

This year was the best homecoming we've had in the 8 years I've been at BHS. The class halls were the most creative, the cheerleaders had the coolest stunts, the student and staff participation was the highest I've seen. There was this positive energy all week at school.

As a part of every homecoming, our award-winning dance team traditionally pulls together a group of boys to join them in their dance. I am always surprised at the mix of male students participating as well as with their varying comfort levels and abilities. This year our male staff members decided to join the action. Our dance team advisor choreographed and taught them a dance they practiced at 6:30 am before school everyday. They call themselves the Mantastics. Luckily, someone caught it all on video -- it is a must see!

If you enjoyed that and want to see a different view, click here.

During the assembly, our principal celebrated with the crowd some of our accomplishments, ending with the Homecoming Penny Drive. He called the Freshman Princess down to center court and invited any of her friends, any of her fellow freshman, to join her in support as he explained that two weeks ago she was diagnosed with lymphoma. She was released from Children's Hospital to attend Homecoming, but will return to spend the rest of the semester receiving chemotherapy. As he was speaking, students ran, first just one or two from around the gym, then a flood from the freshman class, followed by the entire student body. It looked as if the court had been rushed after winning the big game. As her classmates surrounded her, our principal announced that the money we raised through the penny drive would go to support her and her family. It was a proud moment, to be a part of this community, to see my kids respond with such kindness and support. It made me glad that I am still in high school.


Josh D said...

What a fun video! And a beautiful story. I'm glad my brother attends that school.


Anonymous said...

Wow, that was beautiful! It made me cry to read about the caring from the student body for one of their own. I have a feeling that the awesome involvement and positive energy created by the teachers has helped to fan the flames of love within the student body. Influence (good and bad) almost always begins with those who are leading.

Mom G

ilse said...

Even though I'm a Sehome Alum, that story gave me the chills, and the dance made me laugh - I definitely have a different perspective on teachers now that I work in a school versus when I was a student.

The Horne's said...

Shannon - what a great video! That made me miss homecoming assemblys!!! I loved those days when you decorate the hall, the homecoming game, the marching band, the pep band, crazy skits, etc.
Thanks for posting that video.
Also - Miranda's older sister Christina is one of my dance students. I heard about her sad. What a great story of how they raised money for her!! Thanks for sharing!