Every Tuesday and Thursday Blair gives students the honor of dressing up in formal clothes and eating with people who you know but aren’t necessarily friends with. Just because you know someone doesn’t mean you want to spend dinner twice a week with them for a month. Formal doesn’t have the same anxiety-inducing effect as it did when I was a new student, but it still isn’t always a pleasant experience.
Despite this, every once in a while you get a table that really works well together. Whether it’s the faculty at the table or the students, it can be a really enjoyable experience. Usually, the overall environment of the table does have to do with the faculty who runs it. Take Mr. Browse’s table: he lights candles and puts a tablecloth on it every night. This makes it a unique experience for everyone who ends up at his table.
But for every table that really works, there are also bad experiences. The bad experiences are usually because you’re at a table that doesn’t mesh well together or has people at it who outright dislike each other.
Formal is a staple of Blair life but one that doesn’t necessarily need to be there. It forces students to go out of their shell and meet new people; however, by Senior Year a single table isn’t going to change your opinion of someone. It doesn’t bring the community together as much as it forces people to talk to each other for an hour.
The most important part of formal, in my opinion, is the food. Although there are numerous complaints about the food, I find formal one of the few meals that I consistently enjoy. The dining staff puts a little more effort into this meal and I really appreciate it. The portions are a little small but there is always the option to get more if you need to. For the people who complain about the food there is also a sense of comradery. Usually these nights are when most people order HoHo’s or Frank’s and that’s another opportunity for people to hang out.
Personally, I really dislike the dressing up and effort that formal requires, but I understand why the school still continues the tradition.