Sunday, December 11, 2011

4D Maturita Ball

Saturday Dec. 10, 2011

Every year the students in their final year of "high school" have their Maturita Ball.  Each senior class (there are 6 senior classes) has their ritual "senior prom" in the beginning of the school year.  The students in the "class" plan the entire ball...the theme...the decorations....the video....the invitations....etc.  Planning for the ball begins in their "junior" year and they finalize it the first couple months of school.

I had the honor of attending a couple Maturita Balls last year but the time that they had them, I didn't know the students too well so I wasn't as invested in the process.  This year I had the supreme honor of attending and even participating in my 3D classes ball.  They are in their final year, this year, so they now 4D class.  Their theme was airline.

The timing of their ball was perfect for me to attend.  I was able to be apart of their ball.  The students even asked me to stand on stage with my friend and their class teacher, Iva, the headmaster, and two vice headmasters.  It was quite an honor to stand on the stage and congratulate the students on all their hard work through their educational career.

All the students of the class dress in supreme fancy ball gowns and suits.  Their families attend as well as teachers they have had over the years and other classmates at the school. A lot of preparations go into the ball and it is a celebration of all their hard work over their years at school.

In the 3D class there are about 30 students, 27 girls and 3 boys.  I had the pleasure of teaching all the students of the class last year and had a great time teaching them.

The ball started at 8pm.  Iva and I crowed to the front of the people to watch our students walk down the red carpet.  After the students were lined on the red carpet, the student video was played.  They did a video of them on a plane and Martin was the pilot and "drank too much" so Stepan saved the day and landed the plane safely.  The girls were playing flight attendants and people on the plane.  The video was VERY created and fit their theme perfectly.  Iva said that she will send me a copy of the video.

After the video, the MC announced Iva, and the rest of us.  We each walked down the red carpet to the stage.  Then the MC announced each student by name.  As the song of their choice plays, they walk the red carpet to the stage and receive a sash and words from Iva,.  Then go to the Headmaster where they get a flower, and then on down the line, shaking hands with each vice Headmaster.  Finally they get to me and you could see the excitement on their faces when they shook my hand.  I was sooo nervous, that I didn't actually know what to say to them.  I congratulated them and told them how wonderful they looked.  After the students shake our hands, they received a glass of champagne and have their photo taken and then find themselves back in the line up.  The process continues until all students have been called.   Needless to say, I couldn't feel my feet at the end.

During their walk up to the stage, parents/friends/etc throw money (coins) at them like I would equivalate to rice being thrown at a wedding.  Unfortunately, I am sure it hurts a little more than rice when the coins hit them in the head as they are walking the red carpet.  After the students have all been called up, the students all toast and then we (teachers) walk back down the red carpet, toasting each student.  When their glasses are empty the students collect all the coins in their champagne glasses.  Iva told me that they have a proverb that they are to keep all the coins in their glasses until after the Maturita exams.  The coins are said to bring them luck on their tests.  If they lose the money, they will fail the exams.

After the coins are picked up, they take pictures and then have the student/teacher dance.  Since there were so many girls and only 3 boys, they skipped the dance and went to the parent/student dance.  The girls danced with their fathers and the three boys, with their mothers.

After all the formalities are done, it is time to dance and relax.  The kids dance (and unfortunately drink) the night away.  Through out the night there are special performances.  One of my students Andrea performed their lights show.  They do an amazing job twirling lights to music and then even incorporate fire into the performance.  She and Mary (another former student) are very talented!!!!!

While I was upstairs, I was trying to look over the balcony to take pictures.  All of a sudden, a man called my name.  I looked at him, trying to place where I knew him and then his wife said Jitka's name.  They were the parents of my 3D student Jitka and they didn't speak ANY English but they were soooo excited to see me and shake my hand.  Her mom had the biggest smile and in my preschool level Czech I was able to talk to them and say how happy I was to be there.  When I told Jitka later that I talked with her parents, she was shocked that her mom tried to speak English with me and got a huge smile on her face.  I know it may sound corny but I was honored that they were excited to see me and I know they don't know any other Americans.

Katerina, Iva, and I danced the night away until about 1:30 and set off for home.  It was a long wonderful night and my feet were hurting but it was all worth it.

Thank you 3D for including me!  I will never forget you!  I wish you all the best and I know that you will do well on your Maturitas!

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