Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wednesday's Words for June 2, 2010

Have you ever attended a High School reunion? I just attended my second one, and I’m still trying to process the experience.

The first event was an “Inspirational Assembly”, the stated goal of which was for Alumni to inspire today’s students by sharing some of their journey, “from high school to success”. The gymnasium hadn’t changed, of course. Still hot and smelly. On this particular day, it was very hot. The list of accomplishments of some of the alumni giving speeches was quite impressive: there was a major news network anchor (that is, a major US new network); a major computer corporation global executive; an instructional designer from the Canadian Space Agency; a chief of police; a high school principal; a celebrated chef.

These alumni were asked to limit their remarks to seven minutes apiece and I can tell you that while they’ve all achieved impressive things in their lives, not a one of them can tell time.

But the students were patient and respectful, and I was very impressed with their conduct.

Following the assembly were “mentor sessions” in which I was honoured to participate. I found the young people to be thirsting for knowledge. I was asked, but did not reveal my pen name. I wasn’t there to speak about my books, but their futures, and how they could achieve their dreams.

The other events I attended were a café style get-together and a chance to say hello to former teachers that then evolved into a party on the football field in a tent on Friday, and the actual reunion party and dance Saturday night.

My beloved and I weren’t surprised to run into only a couple of former classmates—his, by the way, not mine. I met not a single one of my own. We hadn’t really expected to be reacquainted with many former buds, since we were both kind of shy and not very popular in high school. The weekend was a delight, though, because I had the opportunity to speak with some of my former teachers, a couple of whom I’d liked immensely.

One gentleman, who taught me math and remembered me as a “real sweetheart” (shocking, I know!) was a delightful surprise. He is hale and hearty and can dance up a storm. He has more than twenty years on me, and my goodness, I sure wouldn’t have been able to keep up with him.

On Saturday night, my beloved and I spent most of our time simply taking in the sights and sounds. Some people came dressed in garb from “their decade”. It was done in the spirit of fun, of course, and as a way to earn extra entries for door prizes. However, there are certain things people our age ought not to wear, and I can tell you that Nehru collars, love beads, paisley anything, skin tight green silk skirts, and bell bottoms are among them.

Some people seemed to be lost souls, circling the arena where the dance was held, eyes desperately seeking out name tags, searching for old friends.

Some people were successful in discovering former pals, and I found myself smiling whenever old friends would shout and embrace. For some people the reunion was a walk down memory lane.

I had my version of that when I visited the room set aside to remember former teachers and students who had passed on. There I found a photo of my best friend for more than 24 years who was a teacher at that school; my last year there was his first, and when another student asked me to assist with a community project with which he was involved a year later, we reconnected. He was just sixty when he succumbed to cancer. I miss him every day.

For those of you for whom such a reunion has not yet occurred, but for whom one may be on the horizon, here’s a note of warning: any girls you recall who used to scream in excitement in their teen years are just as likely to do the same decades later.

And trust me, it isn’t any more appealing now than it was then.

The Song of the Sirens
Erotic romantic suspense with a mythical twist

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