The clock is ticking at the JSB

Anxiety, anticipation and eagerness were the most identifiable emotions in almost every guy who had a date for the Junior Senior Banquet (JSB). My situation was no different, with the clock ticking towards 7pm, May 19 was a day that would mark my first JSB night at Woodstock School. It was only when the clock struck 12 midnight that I recall making it down to dorms.

I recollect observing JSB couples from my years as a student from 6th through 9th Grade. They would stream through Ridgewood in fancy outfits and hairstyles before taking taxis up to school with their dates. The people without a date would often go in groups, but with the intention of completely enjoying the night. In 10th Grade I too was a part of this hype, however, my role was that of a mere waiter, without a date or a dance to follow-up the dinner. This year was the first year that my classmates and I encountered JSB as 11th graders. As the tradition goes, the responsibility of decorating the school and serving dinner was handed down to the 10th Graders, while the seniors participated knowing that it was the second and last JSB that they would attend as students of Woodstock School.

Walking into school with my date felt like I had entered the world of a celebrity. A red carpet had been rolled out, and led to the quad from a distance away. Guys in formals, with coats, shirts and ties walked beside girls in dresses of multiple colours, designs and shapes. Every so often flashes of light could be observed as cameras clicked away. It felt like the paparazzi had been set loose on every individual and rightfully so. It was once I entered the quad that I was truly able to appreciate the set-up of the area.

I must confess that the 10th graders did a neat job of decorating the school premises. There stood a miniature Eiffel Tower more than eight feet tall, shining yellow, in the spirit of the theme "Midnight in Paris". The tables and were arranged with cloths, candles and flowers, while the walls and pillars were decorated with various objects. On the ramp leading up to high school, paper lanterns were placed around bulbs, giving the place a more ancient feel. Above the ramp and outside the media centre, there was a house-like structure made of transparent cloth where people could take pictures with one another. I was enthralled as I could not remember working as hard as the 10th graders must have had to decorate the area.

he dinner composed of various different meals, each given a French-like name, yet, I was certain I had tasted them before. While most individuals with a date struggled to eat in a formal manner, the people without dates were carefree of the mess they would make. In this way, having a date was a hindrance to the overall process of eating. Nevertheless, the food was exceptionally better, and the liberty of being served was one of the numerous flexibilities that were enjoyed that night.

Finally, the last event of the night, the JSB dance, took place for Grade 11 and 12 students took place. It was the event that attracted most if not all of the individuals to the Parker Hall. The dance held benefits for both the dateless and the couples. While couples enjoyed the ability to participate in the slow dance, the dateless people were able to dance without care or concern and join any group they wanted to. The dance involved numerous forms of music, some with English lyrics, some with Hindi lyrics and dubstep, which added to the diversity of the music that was present. Overall, it was a cheerful event that allowed everyone to participate.

t the end of the night, guys dropped off their dates, day scholars took taxis and groups headed down together. Thus ended my first JSB. Personally it was an enjoyable experience and many around me seem to agree. I have now gained a better understanding of what went on during JSB nights, after couples took the taxis up to school. I live knowing that I have one more JSB ahead of me and I am better prepared to embrace it the next time.

Prasanna Bista, Development Associate

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