Sunday, July 17, 2016

196. Catching Up

I met with an old friend on Friday afternoon. It was a high school buddy, Bill, whom I had not seen since Greg and Megan’s wedding in 2012. The meeting happened at the last moment, sometimes those are the best kind. I don’t see my high school friends much, so it’s always nice to catch one of them to catch up on where our lives have taken us.

He’s moved to Wisconsin and is now a big shot in the admissions department at a college. I’m real happy for him. Admissions always seemed to be his thing and I’m glad he’s found a place that values his talents.  He seems to be happy, successful and in a place that values his talents. It’s always nice when friends find those places.

Conservations among alumni (at least the ones I interacted with regularly) the first couple years after Conserve shut down were all the same. We’d spend the first 40 minutes airing our grievances towards the administration and everything that went wrong during our tenure there. Things would lighten up a bit after that, and we’d eventually get to the fun part about reminiscing.

And then there’s always the sharing of the photos together. I like seeing who likes the photo. Seeing a long lost friend who your connected to through something bigger is always nice. And it’s fun seeing those in your greater Facebook friend circle appreciate that that connection still exists. That’s one of the few things I still enjoy about Facebook.

I don’t think there are very many of us who are mad anymore. We all went to college and had different experiences with community. And in my case, that community had an extremely rich impact on my life. Now we are to the point of marriages, stable jobs, and I’m guessing some even have kids. There isn’t much room for being upset at your high school. I’ve learned to let go anger about things. But I really just would like some sort of gathering space for us once again.

People are still surprised when they find out I went to boarding school. I give them the spiel about James Lowenstine leaving all his land and money towards building an environmental school. People always think that’s great, but then I mention how it changed and became a semester boarding school. I mention the lay offs and the shunning of “lifers.” I usually just say that it was politics and finance that ultimately change the school. People usually understand that.

The truth is, I don’t quite remember why everything changed. I’m not sure I want to. I don’t know what I would get out of it. I’m not mad anymore. In fact, I’d really like to go back. Hopefully, the school reunion that’s in the works happens next summer. I’d love to see where people have ended up.

Until then, I have sporadic beers with high school friends. We’ll catch up about the past, but the conversation usually turns to the better and brighter days ahead.

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