Friday, July 28, 2006

20 years

How do you mark time?

I seem to do it in 10-year increments.

I remember 10 years ago, hearing that it was time for my high school reunion. I was in Korea at the time, teaching, and I breathed a sigh of relief, that no one knew how to get a hold of me.

I absolutely hated high school. Oh, I had some good friends, but I was awkward, unpopular, nerdy. You know the drill. My crowd hung out in the drama room, because most of us had some wonderful peculiarities that translated into wacky comedy and sensitive drama, what-have-you.

Then, for my Grade 11 year, I went to Brazil on exchange. Can you imagine how that changed my perspective on life? I definitely did not fit in when I returned for Grade 12. I remember descending on a favourite teacher at the break, closing the door and bursting into tears. The guidance counselor was also my rock.

The only advantage to that year, and my different point of view, is that I no longer gave a shit about the system. After a jackass Algebra teacher humiliated a girl in class, to the point that she left the room, I followed her, answering his "Where are you going?" with a calm "To help her." Suddenly, people mattered more than rules and authority, and I was just biding my time until I could get the hell out.

Did I even think about the 20 year reunion, until my friend called me to let me know it was coming? No. High school is long gone. I have not lived in the 'live for the summer' mindset for 20 years. I went straight to university, and because of its 3 equal semesters a year, I was able to finish my degree & certificate in 4 years of leisurely semesters -- 4 classes instead of 5 all the time makes a difference. But I no longer had 'a summer' became just another season.

Talking to the woman organizing the reunion was enlightening. I'd always seen her as 'in' (I, on the other hand, was always 'out'). But, as she pointed out, she only followed to avoid being targeted herself.

Sad, ain't it?

The point is, now, 20 years later, my wounds from high school are all healed. Now I'm ready to meet these people who used to be the jocks, brains, nerds, geeks, bullies, preppies of my own hellish years...all of us using whatever strategies we could to deal with high school.

It's on the August 12th weekend. Wish me luck.



raincoaster said...

Remember what Joan Cusack said in Grosse Point Blank: It's just as if everyone had swelled.

Lori said...

Ya see? They don't make movies about 20 year reunions, because there's no angst left.

(Great movie though!)