Thoughts from Places — My Ten-Year Reunion

22 October, 2016

and sometimes you close your eyes
and see the place where you used to live
when you were young

Continuing my naval-gazing series on “a decade is a big deal in a world that thinks in base-10.”

There were 350 people in my graduating class. A lot of people by most accounts, but then as the assistant principal was found of saying “we ARE the best school in the outer-eastern suburbs.” Perhaps it was even too big. Certainly the number of people who I didn’t recognise in the mugshot section of someone’s yearbook would suggest so, but it has been a while. 3,657 days since our last day of classes — assuming that the date on my camera was correct, of course. Time enough for people to start looking different, but also short enough that most look basically the same. Shorter hair, longer hair. He has a beard, she’s blonde. Much of a muchness, really.

I’d say perhaps 80 people made an appearance over the night? It was a small affair, but better than expected when the organisers had to change the venue when they discovered that Facebook RSVPs aren’t worth the paper that they aren’t written on when it comes time to get people to pay up. Obviously, a lot of people that I would have liked to have seen weren’t there. There was one class in particular that I had run for four semesters across years nine and ten that I would have been interested in seeing what people had done with their lives — but this is the 21st century and we have Facebook now.

So this morning I scrolled through the event and found most of them and the people I spoke to last night. Simple.

What is a school reunion about though? Catching up on the lives of people you used to know, or just remembering things that happened when you all were young? Things that had slipped your mind until the old faces brought them back?

Guiding younger students through warm-up stretches with Josh while the dancers reheased for Production.
Accidently instigating a fairly major clash between the graduating class and Year 9 over our “football” games in Year 12.
Being introduced to the wife of Mr Fulu after running into him at Darwin’s Mindal Market because the man was just a class act on Central.
Out-sprinting a champion long-distance runner in Year 11.
Lying on the banks of the Murray River with Sam, staring at the Milky Way and showing her constellations in Year 10.
Shooting model rockets off on the oval only for them to be caught in the wind and land on portable classrooms in Year 9.
Skipping the best part of a semester of Spanish and pretty much getting away with it scot-free because the teacher thought I was the new kid from South Africa in Year 8.
The excitement of being assigned my very first locker in Year 7.

High School wasn’t all sitting on uncomfortable chairs in cramped rooms with people you didn’t really like that much, and it’s good to think back on where you’ve been from time to time.

Those people, even those I disliked, were a part of my everyday life for a long time.

So Familiar.

Old Friends.