I’m missing out.
There are TWO 20-year reunions happening this month, both in Florida, and both for High Schools I attended.
The Riverview High reunion is less interesting to me. I spent three years there, graduated, and moved on. It was a fairly large high school, with a graduating class of over 600.
The Pine View School reunion looks to be wonderful. I spent 5th through 9th grades there at a school where I COULD have gone on to do the High School thing, but at the time I wanted the “big school” experience. Still, they invited me, because this same crowd of 80 or so students in the class of ’85 pretty much grew up together.
Pine View was the gifted program in Sarasota, and was fairly unique at the time. Nowadays you can find gifted, accelerated, or other no-stigma-short-bus schools all over. Pine View’s admission requirement was an IQ test, which meant that the school was full of kids who did well on IQ tests, tended to be quite a bit brighter than the average bulb (the requirement, if I recall correctly, was that you score over 125), but were NOT necessarily overachievers. It catered well to what we later called “the Pine View Shuffle” style of studying — sleep in class, play with friends, shuffle through the stack of stuff for the test, and then get a B without really trying. Our teachers understood us, bless their hearts.
Anyway, I’m not going to either reunion because although I COULD burn the last of my frequent flyer miles on it, and I COULD afford to blow a couple hundred bucks on a motel, there’s a huge opportunity cost associated with it. If I’m going to kill a weekend that way, I ought to kill it at the San Diego Comic Con getting some schmoozing in. Better yet, I ought to stay home and get some actual WORK done. So that’s what I’m doing.
But the Pine View Reunion has this yahoogroup discussion going, and I’m being dragged through memory after memory of my gradeschool and junior high school years by some of the brightest people I ever did know. They’re mostly all lawyers and doctors, but there’s a nun and a mother of six in there, too. Oh, and the mother of six was one of my HUGE junior-high crushes. Interestingly, so was the nun, and at least one of the lawyers.
Mostly, though, I’m reminded of what a jerk I was. I wasn’t one of the popular kids, but that didn’t stop me from being as prideful, spiteful, petty, gossippy, and generally mean-spirited as any of the rest of them could be on their worst days. The good news is that those memories are not what are being recounted by people. Maybe we ALL know how awful we were to each other, and this is an opportunity to finally forgive not just each other but ourselves.
I’m not sorry I’m not going. I’m sorry that circumstances are such that it’s not pragmatic for me to take ANOTHER spiritual pilgrimage just now. Between leaving Novell, moving back in with my family (figuratively speaking), and accepting a triple-load of church work I think I’m already on at least two. I need to pull my head out and get some work done.