10.03.2010

a grade school reunion...

last night I attended a grade school reunion
the gathering was not just for my 8th grade graduating class
but for a decade of 8th grade graduating classes
there was strong representation from my class of 1981
while there was only a slight representation from the various other classes

I understand...
people have obligations
people have moved
some people do not care
while some other people may feel awkward or scared
I get it...

but really... some of the local people were lame for not showing up
this was a chance of a lifetime to catch up with people and to try and sort some stuff out
so much of childhood remains unexplained
this was a chance for old friends to catch up in a way other than the electronic world that FACEBOOK presents
that said... FACEBOOK was vital in some pre-reunion preparation

it was amazing to see so many people who I have not seen or heard from in roughly 30 years
we are all a part of each other whether we like it or not
our shared experience is a big part of who we are
getting to see these people was a treat

it was great to re-connect with a number of people from my class
the familiar faces overwhelmed me
there were so many people in the surrounding classes who were confusing to me
people looked familiar because they had facial features similar to their siblings
I kept mixing up older and younger siblings... the name tags only helped a little bit

then there were names that I knew but I did not know why
names attached to stories that have long since been forgotten
people who were in my older brother's class were obvious
while the people who were in my older sister's class were harder to place
the names were familiar but not much more
then the younger classes... if they were not the younger siblings of one of my peers I had no clue who they were

seeing the people may not have been as much of a shock to the system as going into the school itself
the school has gone through some modifications
but no so much that the school is not recognizable
it was really a funky flashback

my time in grade school at Our Lady of Lourdes during the 70's was more like life in the 50's than the rapidly approaching '80's
the building had received little or no modifications since it creation
the approach to education with the nuns and the parochial studies helped to keep the school frozen in time

so many memories rushed to the surface as I walked around the diminutive building that was once a m
assive structure to me

a mass was held before the reunion
the service was presented by a man who had been in my sister's graduating class
it did not interest me so much to attend the mass
perhaps I should have poked my head into the church itself

all those masses
sitting in the pews
or standing at the alter as an alter boy
from 5th-8th grade I missed a great deal of school to serve masses
it seemed like during 7th and 8th grade that there was a funeral a week
perhaps Lourdes had a contract with the neighboring old folks home the Waverly House

in addition to students there were a number of teachers
not that many... but a few
although I did not get a chance to speak with the principal I did get to touch base with my teacher from 7th-8th grade
it was nice to connect
while also being awkward

it was interesting to piece together the puzzle
she was young... just out of college young
teaching may have been her first job out of college
maybe other than babysitting there had been no other work experience
funny to think that she was so young... just a decade older than her students

the teacher student dynamic has been removed
as well as the adult-child dynamic
at this point... everyone is an adult
it was interesting to stand along side of her... yet still not feeling like an equal it was fun to share some anecdotes of that time that is long since gone

it was all very fun

after the reunion proper was over a number of us went to the house of one of the families from our graduating class
it was nice to continue the reminiscence

the original trajectory of this post was intended to surround a conversation I had with my 7th-8th grade teacher
she felt that people find the job that suits them and that is right for them
I disagreed
sure... she landed into teaching and has been in education for roughly her entire adult life
but not everyone has a calling
some people just have jobs




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