Reunions and the like…

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.


4 thoughts on “Reunions and the like…”

  1. 🙁

    You should definitely NOT think that a yearly comicon is more important than a once-every-ten-years reunion (because really, who goes to their 5 or 15-year?) If the opportunity cost is too high, that’s unfortunate. If people remember you with any fondness (and vice-versa) and you can swing it though, I’d go. It’s not like you can decide next year that you have time and can go then…

    People and connections and relationships are the reason we all do this crazy thing called life, you know. Deadlines and work are just a means to an end. Have a quick talk with yourself and decide if you’re going to regret not having gone, come next year (and how many who do go will regret not getting to see you?).

  2. Heh, my 20 year is also in Florida this summer, up in Clearwater. After contacting my geek table friends (most of us went from Cub scouts through Boy Scouts), turns out none of us are going to be there. We’ll likely try to all make it for the 25 year. After that, we won’t have to worry about this stuff until 50 year. Woot!

  3. I am jealous. I would have killed for a “Pine View School” when I was a kid. The schools I attended could barely afford competent teachers, never mind “smart kid” classes. I don’t remember anyone from grade school I care about, and few from high school. I’ve never gone to a reunion and probably never will. (You have good reasons not to go, but you should go for me to live vicariously through you.)

    /end all about me

    Who am I kidding, that tag never closes.

    I can’t imagine you were ever a jerk.

  4. I never went to any of my high school reunions (I attended only one high school, myself), and I do not feel that I’ve suffered for it. Particularly since there are only two real friends I made, and still keep in touch which, from that place, and I’ve married one of them. 🙂

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