Etiquette- The Dying Art
By: Alexandra Kiedrowski
At the beginning of March, the Saint Amelia School’s Junior High teachers told the eighth-graders that we were going to talk about something very important for the next eight weeks which was going to help us throughout all aspects in our lives. We were taught the importance of courtesy and etiquette. Some of my peers were skeptical about what was about to come; however, we all were very excited about the awakening knowledge that we were going to use later in life.
We started with basic manners and courtesy. “I feel the experience helped us with manners that we can use later in life,” Alexis Roberts, an eighth-grader at St. Amelia, said. In this lesson, we were taught the proper way to greet an adult and what to do and not do in public and at someone else’s house. It was very helpful to learn the little details you never thought about before.
We then learned important life skills, like tipping a waiter. “I really enjoyed learning how to tip a waiter and certain people at events because I never knew how to do that before,” Amy Barry, another eighth-grader, added. Following the math lesson, we learned about etiquette in modern technology. It made us realize that we should not be on our phones when we are with someone and that important conversations can be lost if we are not paying attention.
Next was social studies. In this class, our teacher taught us the art of being polite and how to have a proper conversation, listen to the other person, and not interrupt. In literature, we were taught how to make thank-you cards and the rules that go with them. Kylie Cocca reported, “I liked how it taught us how to be mature young adults in our modern world.”
Before going to the five-course meal at The Lockport Town & Country Club, we had one final lesson. Everyone loved this lesson. We were brought down to the library which was set up with plates and silverware all in the center of the tables. As a table, we had to “attempt” putting all of the materials in the correct places. No one got it right the first time, but we sure learned for the future. We learned mnemonics to help us remember which bread plate and glass is ours in a formal place setting, and we learned how to sit, eat, and talk properly in any situation. “I learned how to act and present myself in a formal manner that I can use in events such as weddings,” Olivia Beamer stated.
Lastly, the day that we had to prove ourselves came. We dressed up in our elegant dress wear for the day. Anticipation was high and we greatly enjoyed using the lessons we were given in past weeks. Everyone loved the idea of this mini course.
After we got back from the country club, Abby Murphy and Izzy Kutzbach were happy to say a few words about the course. “We became well-educated in the etiquette program. It helped us become well-rounded with proper manners and etiquette for any occasion.” I asked my teacher Mr. Rajczak if he had anything he wanted to say, and he was happy to comply. “I think it is a very successful program. It provides us with an opportunity to educate the whole person. It builds self-confidence that students may carry into social situations.”
The art of etiquette is dying as society brushes over it; however, the eighth graders of St. Amelia School were provided the opportunity to learn social skills that many children do have the opportunity to learn, and we also have the joy of teaching others this dying art by our example.