Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Reunion

My high school reunion was this past weekend and I had intended to show up for one school event and one off site event, and then, things changed.  First, they added a screening of a documentary put together by a fellow alumna that I had been wanting to see.  And then, knowing some of us might change our plans, they had tipped us off to the recipient of one of the alumna awards, and it was my senior year English teacher, who I adore to this day.  (I had a lot of great English teachers, but her especially.) 
So, suddenly I was being really participatory.  And I ran into some folks from my class meeting up to take a school tour and had a chance to chat with them, and also see the changes that they had made to the school (robotics lab!) and the things that were the same (paper mailboxes!). 
In a case of small word-itis, one of the alumnae board members was my carpool buddy in elementary school, so I got to see her.  And I made sure to hug said teacher Friday night in case she was too mobbed on Saturday.  (She told me I looked great, she was glad to see me, and she didn't think think she'd ever seen my with lipstick, which is likely true, I was even more low maintenance in high school.)
Saturday I was a teensy bit fashionable late to brunch, but got there for the important bits.  Amusingly, there was a video message from an alumna who, you know, works over at Facebook now, announcing her adoration of said teacher, that they had not tested the volume on, but the core message was clear.  And the teacher was appreciative, the other award winners (which were not surprises, but no less lovely) were great.  And then post-brunch several of my classmates got asked if our class had a height requirement.  (Full disclosure, I am 5' 6" but my mother is taller, so I feel, not short, but not tall.  But someone else asked me if I got taller, and so, I have no idea.  I was not wearing heels either time so it was interesting that in this environment I was tall now.)
We wandered around the parts of the school the tour had not gotten too, and the robotics team was there (on a Saturday, guys) and we got to come in and say hi to them.
And then, we got to see the lovely Eli Kimaro, who had not been in my year but due to school size and multi-grade things like chorus, was known to me. Her documentary "A Lot Like You" is amazing.  It covers her journey with her husband to her father's home country of Tanzania, where her parents now both live, and what she discovered as she tried to delve deeper into what it meant to be Tanzanian, to be Chagga, to be of this place, and how to pass this legacy to the next generation.  That sounds like a lot, and it is.  The film manages to raise a number of things and be an interesting yet somewhat open ended exploration of heritage and culture. 
And that night there was the off site party which was well attended and provided the chance to catch up with folks, both those I see on social media and those I don't. I really do adore the folks I went to school with pretty much without exception (and well, those people were in other classes so, no need to dwell on old slights) and I love the chance to hang out with them even if nowadays I need a nap after two days of that.

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