By Eden Rainer
The Ninth Grade Protocol program gives us the tools to succeed as we stand out for Christ in the way we conduct our social interactions. We begin with a series of lessons taught by Mrs. Walker and Mrs. Bartusch. Proper protocol, etiquette, and manners are all discussed, with a specific emphasis on table manners. We learn how to carry ourselves at the dinner table and how to start and maintain polite conversation. We are taught how to determine the right utensil to use for each course and how to properly eat a variety of foods that might challenge our table manners. In addition, we are taught general manners outside of a dinner setting, and are reminded of the purpose of Protocol: to learn how best to show the love of Christ in our interactions with people. Through each class, I grew more and more excited for the Protocol event itself.
Each year the Ninth Grade Protocol event takes place in early December, and it has become a tradition that is fondly remembered by all high school students at Westminster. Students are seated at tables in a formal setting at Clark tower. Most students feel comfortable with one another throughout the event because of the etiquette that has been taught in our Protocol lessons. Before the lessons, I might have been panicked about which spoon to use for which course, or where to put my napkin, but I was at ease because I have been taught proper table etiquette. This allows us to concentrate on the time of fellowship that Protocol provides. It is truly a special time to deepen friendships.
At the close of the evening, each student is given a charge and a Bible verse by one of the ninth grade teachers. It was amazing to see how well the teachers know each student. They see us at our highs and lows, and are still able to pick out our good qualities. I am not naturally gifted at art, but my charge was from Mrs. Rhodes, our ninth grade art teacher. It was so impactful for me to see that even though I don’t always excel in her class, she could see past my shortcomings to compliment my character. The same was true for many of my classmates, and we greatly appreciated the individual charges on how we should live according to the Gospel.
Ninth Grade Protocol was an instructive and memorable experience, and I will forever treasure the memories made and lessons learned.
Click HERE to see a full gallery of images from the evening!