Going Back in Time: High School Reunion

van

I went back in time this weekend… 40 years, to my high school reunion of the class of ’75.

argyleArgyle Secondary School has been renovated many times over the years since we left. There’s a new library, now called the Learning Centre. The drafting room has traded drafting tables for computers.

In one math class there are hightop tables where groups of three students work on the day’s problem. When the assignment is done, they snap a photo with their phones and send it to the teacher. No paper. Students now also make jewellery and blow glass in  metalwork class and there’s a well-equipped digital program that teaches students district-wide.

argyle gang

It was in the courtyard where the Argyle alumni whooped and cheered. Once known as the Smoking Pit, it appeared to have been one my classmates’ favourite places.  Of course no smoking on campus anymore.

There are new clubs now too: gay pride which would have helped a number of confused students in my day. And there is even a cancer awareness group that meets at lunchtime.

Some things don’t change: in the hallway where I used to walk to Mr. Nakamoto’s math class, my stomach turned in familiar dread.

math class

Later that night at the pub, I mistook a man I used to know from English class for his father. Other people don’t seem to change at all. I recognized one woman by the angle of her head as she listened to an old story — I could see her in Biology class with that same tilt, listening to Mr. Schoen. One old friend had flown in from Newfoundland and another from Ontario. Others lived in the same neighbourhood they had grown up in which allowed their children to also graduate from Argyle.

having funThere were happy stories of grandchildren, longtime marriages and career success. I was surprised to hear from four alumni who were forced to leave their jobs because of workplace injury or illness. And there were sad stories too of those who died either from illness or violence.

As a teen I remember reading notices of upcoming 40-year reunions and wondering why near 60-year-old people would consider socializing with people from a lifetime ago. Now I understand: near 60 isn’t so old anymore and the reunion — and the people — are much nicer than the high school I remember.

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7 Responses to Going Back in Time: High School Reunion

  1. Anne Midzain says:

    I’m sorry I didn’t connect with you at the reunion, Rochelle.
    This line resonates with me….’Much nicer than the high school I remember’.
    40 Years of life, of loss, of struggle… we are able to appreciate these times so much more.
    Hope to see you at the next one! Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Helen says:

    Rochelle…..it was super seeing your beautiful smile again! I totally agree with your thoughts! I noticed this unusual phenomenon attending our 10th Grad Reunion… All that teenage angst had vanished and replaced with caring and understanding…. I think we turned into some pretty amazing people! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mary Louise Doherty says:

    “Later that night at the pub, I mistook a man I used to know from English class for his father.” Only you could so poignantly deliver a sentence. It sounds like a good time was had by all.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Colleen Giddings says:

    Rochelle- you have not lost your gift for beautiful writing. Thanks for your thoughts and insights. i totally missed reconnecting with you but you’re still the lovely talented lady you were back then! Hope we can have a good chat at the next one!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Grey hair has its rewards!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Carla (Satte) Olsen says:

    It was great to see you Rochelle, you tell a story with an eloquence like no other and make it an enjoyable read! Who would have thought we would be telling stories of our families, spouses, children and grandchildren. We are all fantastic, capable people. There were a few that were unable to attend that I certainly hope to see next time. I do believe we have grown up!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Margaret Stewart says:

    I loved sharing your experience, Rochelle, so similar to my own a few years ago. xo Margaret

    Sent from my iPhone

    Like

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