This summer I am looking forward to attending the 45th reunion of my high school graduating class. I can hardly fathom that it has been 45 years since I last ditched study hall. The advent of Facebook has enabled many of our classmates to reconnect online.
Following graduation our class, like so many before us, scattered to the four winds. Many of us went to Fresno City College. I discovered junior college leveled the playing field a little bit. Kids you barely knew gathered at the Madera table in the coffee shop and pretty much everybody was welcome to join in. We all discovered how it felt to be a small fish in a much bigger pond. It was interesting to watch the super popular kids from high school not know anyone and appear socially awkward.
There are many people who refuse to attend high school reunions. Typically these people have told me they hated high school and all the snobby behavior. I didn’t like those people then and have no desire to waste any time on them now.
The point they are missing is that there were people from your childhood whose life path has lead away from your own to the point where you literally have not seen since high school. It is a delight to see how these people have turned out.
Madera Unified School District classes began on Thursday. Be careful driving in school zones and on residential streets near bus stops and other place kids gather. Since the majority won’t look out for cars running over a kid is a pile of paperwork and looks so bad on your permanent record. Most adults don’t watch for cars in parking lots. It is as if they have never considered the possibility they might be in the driver’s blind spot when they walk behind a parked car.
I am not good at talking to little kids. One sure fire conversation starter is to ask the little blighter what they want to be when they grow up. Many of the class of 2018 scholarship recipients I spoke with this year had big plans to attend college and pursue careers. It is gratifying to meet young almost adults with more on their minds than drugs, sex and rock and roll.
At their age, my plans were fairly scrambled. High school was fairly tremulous for me. Both my brothers were in the army, one in Vietnam the other in Korea. My parents split up my freshman year. When my father broke the news to me he was surprised that my attitude was It’s about dang time!
Don’t stay together for the sake of the kids. They know your marriage is over before you do.
The ink barely dry on my diploma I tried attending barber college but had absolutely no talent in the field. Classes began the first Tuesday in September and I knew by Christmas break that my talents must lay elsewhere.
At FCC I took general education classes with an emphasis on psychology, political science, and group dynamics. That last one was such a true 1970s type of encounter group. We sat on pillows and gym mats and talked about the things going on in our lives and how it related to the people around us.
The most important goal I had in high school was a desire to be cool. I didn’t even have to be that cool as long as I had friends that thought I was cool was enough. A part of me still judges most things in life and their value to me by how cool something is.
I am looking forward to hanging out with my childhood playmates at our classmates. This being a grown-up isn’t near as much fun as it looked in the brochure. Is there someplace I can apply for a partial refund?
At least next month I will get the opportunity to touch for a few hours the people who lead me to where my life is today.
Have a great weekend.
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