A Trio Of Topics

Many things are running through my mind, so I declare full surrender to these swirling sensations and submit not one but THREE topics for consideration this week.


Saturday will mark the continuation of the decades-long prom tradition at Worthington High School. With a teenage girl in the house, it’s impossible not to catch a little of the excitement that’s in the air as students (well, the females involved, at least) finalize preparations, dinner groups and outfits for the much anticipated evening.

Those out of the prom loop for awhile might be shocked (SHOCKED!) at some of the price tags affixed to certain prom dresses. It is not unheard of for girls (yes, even local ones) to snap up gowns ranging from $300 to more than $700. Crazy sums of money, it seems, to spend for a few hours of adornment and photos on a single evening.

And then, of course, visits to salons for hair, nails and makeup may take place; corsages and boutonnieres must be obtained; garters ordered; tuxedos or suits selected; and “prom groups” organized. But it’s difficult to discourage kids from “doing it up right” in what is still seen as a teen rite of passage, with roots dating to U.S. colleges in the late 1800s.

The long-standing Worthington tradition of having Noon Kiwanis Club members (and supplemental volunteers) drive prom-goers to and from the dance remains in place, which has helped ensure a safer prom night for local students since the early 1950s.

While some high school teachers wonder if the custom of prom may be becoming outmoded, the teens participating in the 2014 Great Gatsby-themed WHS prom seem to have an abundance of enthusiasm for the occasion. Interested in catching a glimpse of the colorful spectacle? Attend the Grand March in the WHS gymnasium at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, for a very modest fee.

E.T., phone home

The first year of college is nearing its close for my eldest son. His overall experiences to date have been positive, but last weekend as he did his laundry…

Ahem! First let me restate the key words: “He did his laundry.” Important to remember he’s kept on top of that, under his own steam, all year long. And any time a college student is making the effort to take care of that task, it’s good, right?

Yes, unless…he’s forgotten to remove his cell phone from his jeans pocket before starting the wash cycle.

It’s not at all like “the olden days” when his dad and I were in college. For one thing, no one had phones of their own then, so washing a phone was an utterly unthinkable occurrence. (That’s not to say those residence hall phones didn’t NEED cleansing.) But because of all the other technological marvels now surrounding us, it took little time for him to notify us of the problem.

First, he posted on Facebook that his phone was temporarily “out of commission.” Then, we received a call from him via a friend’s cell phone (easy, when all the people around you have phones!). Finally, we exchanged emails (not even resorting to Skyping, yet another contact possibility). Funny that “losing” his phone prompted almost more contact from him within a few hours than we’d had in the previous two weeks altogether!

I was quick to advocate for the “put the phone in a bag of rice” means of drying it out in hopes of restoring it to working order; he as quickly despaired that it was history and a new model was the only likely solution.

This is a “to be continued” story, but suffice to say he does not lack for methods to apprise us of his activities until cell phone death or resurrection can be fully determined.

Earth Day

With the 2013 ice storm and the long winter of 2014 both behind us, celebrating Earth Day this week–especially after a lovely Sunday when this community collectively reveled in the sun and mild air–seems natural.

Remembering the symbiotic relationship we humans have with the world we inhabit is critical. A sharp reminder of that is the non-essential watering ban under which Worthington is still operating. Let’s hope for rain and a recharge of our wells.

Please: Do your part to be kind to our world.