s I mentioned in a previous post, I went to LA for a class reunion. It was the 35th anniversary of our graduating class at Maryknoll. I guess it would be the equivalent to a middle school reunion, but we students were together for nine consecutive years, starting from kindergarten to the 8th grade. We were a class of 44 students and knew each other pretty well. Of the 42 still living, about 24 came back to see how everyone else was doing. It was a relatively small gathering, intimate and enjoyable, if for nothing else than to see how everyone looked and to learn what they had been doing for the last 35 years.
I went to a private high school with a number of guys–I think there were about 10 of us?–but I had lost track of virtually everyone else. Especially the girls. So you can imagine how interesting it was for me to see them again.
Anyway, if was amusing to see that some looked just like a mother or father. But virtually all of them I recognized after a moment or two. Although there was one–Tatts–who I would never have recognized. No, he did not have a sex change operation, but he did grow about 6 inches since the last time I saw him, so I definitely had to concentrate to try to find a smidgeon of what he once was–at least in my subjective memory. Some have gone into business, others had become teachers, like me. Some were married, some still single. I didn’t ask, but I would guess that some were even divorced–again like me.
Be that as it may, the gathering did more than just satsify my curiosity. It brought back a flood of memories and I must admit that it served to remind me of how “uncool” and “unhip” I was back then. Not that I’m any cooler or hipper now, of course, but the sight of the “cool guys” sitting together at one table aroused recollections that I had nearly forgotten. I’m not sure if they remember, but back then they called themselves the seven samurai. Three of them had been held back a year so they are older than everyone else. This is not meant to dis anyone; we all develop at different rates and so they were probably too young for their class at the time. There is nothing strange about that–God knows it took me freakin’ 5 years to graduate a 2 year community college. Let’s see, one excelled in sports. He was tall and handsome and he probably knew it. He would qualify as “the jock” if we actually used that term at a small private school like ours. Another was a good friend of mine who gradually gravitated toward the cool guys as he became friendly with them. And another was a guy who I still haven’t figured out: How did he get with the “in crowd”? Maybe because of his older brother, maybe because he was willing to go crazy sometimes. The last samurai was uber-cool Reed, about whom I have already written. As for me, I guess I don’t have to tell you that I didn’t sit at their table…
Well, I recalled a number of situations and incidents that stretch back to kindergarten, and I am again getting that itch to set down memories once again. As I have said time and time again, memories are my subjective perception of the truth. They are skewed to represent my version of events and so may not always be an accurate depiction. But it is still an honest representation of my thoughts and feelings… well as honest as I can be 35 years after the fact. So stay tuned.
A couple of people asked why I didn’t use the exercise facilities at my school. Well, that’s because my school does not view use of health facilitites as a necessary perk or benefit to be enjoyed by faculty gratis. When I went to UCLA and later Stanford, all facilities were free for students and faculty. At Stanford, students and faculty could even bring their spouse and children to the outdoor swimming pool, a boon during the summer. They were unbelievably generous. Here in DC, the university insists on charging faculty for the use of the facilities. The fees are similar with those of a sports club without the benefit of open aerobic classes or even towel service. They even have a faculty club for lunch, but you have to be a dues-paying member to get a table, and then have the privilege of paying prices that seem high for the middling fare they offer. Does anyone know of a teaching gig in their area? All I ask for is a fair market salary and respect.