A Good Read: “This Strange Thing Called Prom”

By Mary Ann Zehr — July 02, 2008 1 min read
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“This Strange Thing Called Prom” is a beautifully written tale published in The New York Times about how a group of seniors at the International High School at Prospect Heights (in Brooklyn) carry out their version of an American prom. (Hat tip to This Week in Education.) The students of the school are all immigrants, and I love how the writer portrays the tension between the students’ appreciating where they come from, yet wanting to embrace an idea that is part of American culture.

Though I’m an American who was born and raised in the United States, I actually never attended an American prom. My parents are conservative and requested that I not go to school dances when I was a teenager, and I complied. I guess I was spared some of the angst expressed by students in the article who worried about getting a date for the prom. But in reading the article, I found myself cheering for some of the girls from conservative families who managed to get permission to attend the prom.

You only live once.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.