Monday, August 07, 2006

A High School Reunion

Over the weekend I attended a high school reunion, it wasn’t quite the devastating experience I expected, and immediately afterward I had a difficult time about how I felt about it.  The high school, St. Joseph’s in Atlanta, Georgia, was short lived; 1961 – 1976.  This gathering was to include all the alumni so naturally there were many people that were unknown to each other.

It was rather like a surprise meeting of several friends in a crowded airport: a lot to catch up on with the pressing deadline of a departing flight schedule. I came to understand that a reunion, of any sort, is a mirror producing of reflection of one’s experience through memory of others.  It can produce some really amazing feelings.

High school can be the worst of times in a young life creating bends and twists in a personality that are difficult to repair, at best only slightly.  In the case of disasters like Columbine the damage is fatal.  Children are naturally insecure by the time they reach high school and their self image is at risk insidiously. Somehow adults must make it clear that thinking for another person and acting upon the imagined outcome can never work.  How this is to be done is a mystery for greater minds to solve.  The high level of emotion, hormones, self-doubt, and the yearning for acceptance is a potent mix and difficult to control.

As for the reunion it will be my last.  While the voyeuristic pleasures of such an event cannot be denied, the sense of loss and wonder are too much at this stage.  For anyone considering a reunion remember that memories are never truly clear and others remember it differently.  Have fun.

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