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Two Decades of Kids and Counting

By Sally Torbey

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About this blog: About this blog: I have enjoyed parenting five children in Palo Alto for the past two decades and have opinions about everything to do with parenting kids (and dogs). The goal of my blog is to share the good times and discuss the ...  (More)

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A memorable Paly prom

Uploaded: Apr 13, 2014
Congratulations and thank you to Paly Principal Kim Diorio, her administrative team, the chaperoning teachers, the Associated Student Body, and the 750 Paly students who attended the Paly prom last night at the Exploratorium for orchestrating and attending a wonderful evening. The group of students I had the pleasure of seeing after the event spoke enthusiastically about the fun venue with entertaining exhibits demonstrating science phenomena from optics to circuits, beautiful views of the San Francisco skyline, great dance music, and most of all a memorable time enjoying their friends.

Before the event, seeing the young men showered and shaved in their tuxes, with boutineers at the lapel and color coordinated pocket squares, and the young women so elegantly outfitted in gowns and coiffed hair, I was struck by the truths in Danah Boyd's recently published book, "It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens." She explains that Internet social networking has changed some things about being a teen, but the developmental work of being a teen has not. Teens have the same "fundamental desire for social connection." They "continue to occupy an awkward position between childhood and adulthood, dependence and independence?struggling to carve out an identity that is not defined solely by family tie."

The evening made me nostalgic about my own prom, which I remember whenever I fly into Chicago O'Hare. My prom was held at the airport Hyatt, hardly remarkable now, but back in the 70s an architectural wonder with its four towers of reflective glass and 14-floor high lobby atrium with ivy hanging over all those balconies. I remember feeling so grown up and elegant entering that building for the first time!

A lot of preparation went into making the Paly prom a success: researching and booking a great venue, selling hundreds of tickets, organizing and loading 16 buses, hiring a caterer and DJ, and communicating directly with students and by email with parents concerning expectations of acceptable behavior. Attendees accepted the responsibility, and it was an enjoyable evening for all. I hope all the administrators and teachers who went beyond the call of duty to plan and chaperone the event took a well-deserved nap this afternoon!
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 +  Like this comment
Posted by PR, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Apr 14, 2014 at 7:23 am

Congratulations to All!

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Sally Torbey, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Apr 14, 2014 at 7:40 am

Sally Torbey is a registered user.

Thanks, PR, for reading and commenting. More than a third of the Paly student body attended the prom. Quite an accomplishment. To a safe and fun prom season for all our area schools!

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Eric Bloom, a resident of Midtown,
on Apr 14, 2014 at 7:49 am

great post and as one of the 35 chaperones there, it was greet to spend time w paly kinds dressed to the 'nines', enjoying themselves, and not having to correct or sanction any behavior. they can be great group of kids--must be the parenting.

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Sally Torbey, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Apr 14, 2014 at 8:08 am

Sally Torbey is a registered user.

Thanks, Mr. Bloom, for chaperoning and the parenting compliment!

 +  Like this comment
Posted by GC, a resident of Community Center,
on Apr 14, 2014 at 7:57 pm


Thank you for sharing your the positive and fun Paly experience and to give some light on the effort that went into making it happen. It helps us parents that are not yet there feel a little more warm, fuzzy and hopeful about the future.

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Sally Torbey, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Apr 15, 2014 at 7:55 am

Sally Torbey is a registered user.

Hi GC,
Thanks for reading and commenting. There are lots of warm and fuzzy moments to come!

 +  Like this comment
Posted by LJ, a resident of another community,
on Apr 15, 2014 at 8:14 pm

Important milestone for all concerned! Way to go!!

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