Seniors to learn formal dining etiquette prior to Spring Gala

By Joshua Papaqui, Staff Writer

The Verbum Dei senior class will be attending the Spring Gala, VDHS’s most significant fundraising event, on March 7, at the Biltmore Hotel in downtown, Los Angeles. In preparation for the evening, seniors are obligated to take an etiquette class scheduled for Friday, February 22.   Beginning at the start of lunch through the co-curricular period, only one class will be offered.

“We have this class because when we go to the Spring Gala, it’s a formal dining setting, and there’s four forks and three spoons,” said Stephanie Andrade, Mission Advancement Assistant. “When a woman comes to the table, you have to stand up and not reach over for food at the table – stuff like that.”

Some topics, said Andrade, should be avoided in dinner-table conversation in social settings including talk of money, politics, and religion.

Students will also have the ability to learn the importance of networking with professionals and of getting their names out to the sponsors of Verbum Dei. Other opportunities include meeting alumni who have graduated from college or who are currently attending colleges that current Verb seniors may want to attend.

The class is effective because many of the donors who have attended have commented that “they are impressed with the way our students behave and how respectful they are,” said Andrade.

One donor said “he was embarrassed because when a woman came to sit at his table, the Verb students stood up, and he didn’t,” said Andrade.

Andrade said students need to be aware that some of the food may be cooked differently than students are accustomed.  A steak may be different degree of “doneness,” but students are encouraged to try it, rather than just to throw it away.

Many students have found this experience helpful, and they will better know what to do in a formal dinner setting.

“I’m glad we take this class,” said senior Jamie Partida.  “Many of my classmates that I see eating at lunch clearly don’t know how to eat, and it would be embarrassing to see them eat like that at our dinner.  That’s why it’s important that they teach us how to eat.”

“I think I know how to eat,” said senior Ivan Avila, “But it’s good to know that we are going to have a good refresher course just in case.”

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