The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Top Stories

April 11, 2014

MSSU international students preparing for first American prom

Viktoryia Johnson is fit to burst with anticipation for next weekend, when she will attend her first American prom.

“I’m actually very excited,” the Missouri Southern State University exchange student said. “I would like to feel this atmosphere of how Americans live because I hear that American high school students go to prom all the time.”

Missouri Southern’s prom, scheduled for Saturday, April 19, is free and open to all its students, though it’s primarily for the benefit of the approximately 125 international students who attend classes there. International students from Crowder College in Neosho, Northwest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville and Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College in Miami have also been invited.

“We want them to have all the American experiences they possibly can to take back to their country with them,” said Kimberly Kester, director of the International English Program at Missouri Southern.

Kester said most international students come from countries in which prom is a foreign — and very American — concept.

“I think that for American college students, prom is a memory that they hold very dear; it’s kind of a rite of passage,” she said. “There are a lot of dances and a lot of dance clubs, but nothing is like prom: getting dressed up, having a special place to go to, choosing the theme, putting up decorations.”

Johnson, who is from Belarus, said she participated a few years ago in an all-night dance party that coincided with her graduation from high school. But next weekend will be a new experience, and beyond getting all dressed up in a long, “classy” gown, she’s not quite sure what to expect.

“For me, prom is dancing and meeting people, so that’s how I imagine this,” she said.

This will also be the first prom for Kaori Osada, an exchange student from Japan who looks forward to seeing what it’s all about. Her primary source of information about prom so far has been popular media — specifically, the 2005 film “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” in which the title character and his classmates attend a formal school dance called the Yule Ball.

Osada and a group of her friends plan to get together on the afternoon of prom to do their hair and makeup. She even went shopping last weekend with a friend and bought a short blue dress for the occasion.

“I don’t remember when (was) the last time I wore a dress — maybe for a piano competition,” she said. “I cannot wait till next week.”

Brief history

THE PROM — short for promenade — can be traced back to the co-ed banquets that prestigious American universities held for their graduating classes in the 19th century, according to a 2010 report for Time magazine. The dance as it is known today took hold in American high schools during the 1940s and ’50s.

1
Text Only
Top Stories
  • r072414msw.jpg VIDEO: Carterville company expands to third generation

    What began as Ray “Mac” McCoy’s side job in his home 55 years ago has grown not only in square footage and reach, but in generations. This summer, a third generation took over the reins of MSW — Mac’s Specialty Woodwork — that now exceeds 90,000 square feet and creates custom furniture for chain restaurants coast to coast.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • r072314techcenter4.jpg Southeast Kansas schools, businesses get behind new technical center

    When Galena Superintendent Brian Smith looks at the millions of dollars of construction projects going on in his district, not to mention similar projects underway in Joplin, Carthage and elsewhere, he sees the need to train masons.

    July 24, 2014 4 Photos

  • Landfill opponents seek answers

    The Baxter Springs High School auditorium was filled with hundreds of Cherokee County residents Thursday night as Galena city officials answered questions and listened to comments regarding a proposed landfill at Riverton.

    July 24, 2014

  • Neosho athletes bring home silver

    For 19-year-old Dominque Dechant, it was the trip of a lifetime. She and three other athletes from Neosho traveled last month to Newark, New Jersey, as part of the Missouri Special Olympics girls basketball team.

    July 24, 2014

  • Hospital Shooting_Cast.jpg Doctor fired back at gunman in hospital attack

    A doctor grazed by gunfire from a patient who had entered his office in a suburban hospital’s psychiatric unit stopped him by returning fire with his own gun and injuring him, authorities said.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 3 To Get Ready

    Three things coming your way in Friday’s Joplin Globe.

    July 24, 2014

  • APTOPIX Vatican Pope.jpg Pope meets Sudanese woman sentenced to death

    Pope Francis met privately Thursday with a Sudanese woman who refused to recant her Christian faith in the face of a death sentence, blessing the woman as she cradled her infant daughter born just weeks ago in prison.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Box Turtle.jpg Getting reacquainted with garden dwellers

    Visitors to my garden this week find me covered in dust and dirt with bits of wood, leaves and who knows what else caught in my hair; stinky, sweaty gloves; grimy sweat pants and rivulets of dirty perspiration running down my face.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • mug_sarah-coyne-112613-c.jpg Sarah Coyne: Older kids still find joy in toys

    When she crawled under her covers, she buried her head in her pillow. Then she looked up at me and whispered, "But what if I can't stop thinking about that spider?"

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072414_annie1.JPG Child's play: Kids comprise the cast of 'Annie Jr.'

    The kids are getting a kick out of playing adults. While most of the main characters in "Annie Jr." are orphan children, some, such as Daddy Warbucks, Miss Hannigan and President Roosevelt, are squarely past adulthood.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo