Shhhh, don’t tell anyone but I matriculated 20 years ago. When I turned 38 this October, I told my dad with lots of giggles that I am 38, less the 20 years that I have been out of school which makes me 18. His response was: “I hope you don’t balance the books like that!” All jokes aside, I certainly don’t feel like I have been out of school for 20 years.
I have a fair bit of contact with people from school, although funnily enough not many from my year. I was surprised to see that only 20 people from Roosevelt High School, Class of ’98 would be attending the alumni, that is including the few partners who joined us.
I have also seen a couple of teachers through the years, my English teacher is the Head Master of my children’s high school and out of pure habit I still refer to him as “Sir”.
On the Tuesday leading up to the reunion on Saturday, my Biology teacher walked into the restaurant where I had started working on that day. I recognised her immediately and asked if she was still teaching, she said that she is now the Vice Principal of the school and about to retire. I joked as I said: “Aren’t you sick of children yet?” and she replied that she loves children and is not at all sick of children. I chuckled as I joked: “Would you like three more children, you can have mine!”
I drove around the school, to the main gate, the gate that I had walked through every day as a student and it was closed, the entrance is far more extravagant than when I was in school, painted bright blue and well-marked. I then wondered how on earth the cars got to the field where I could see cars parked. On my second round around the school I noticed a very oddly placed gate, it stood half-open, wide enough for a car to drive through and I am very sure that gate was not there when I was in the school.
I drove through the gate, to notice the perfectly maintained field, the grass was short and bright green, there was a freshness in the air. I parked next to the rugby post, which was bright white. I looked up at the pavilion and it was absolutely immaculate, it has changed somewhat. I would say it has been upgraded substantially and painted blue. We held the reunion in the pavilion hall, where two DJ’s had set up their table in the front left hand corner, just to the right was a door way to the small kitchen where I used to do catering for the boy’s cricket teams, it too has been upgraded. Three large round tables were set up, each table had a vase with red toffee apples inside and the food was set out in silver foil dishes against the left hand wall. The toffee apples were a glassy crimson and provided us with much entertainment later in the evening when we packed them up for our children and chuckled over Blanche and Michael biting into one.
As I walked in, people turned and looked at me and smiled. I walked up to Tracy, hugging her and greeting her, Linda, Sonja and Samantha who sat at the table. I then did my rounds and greeted everyone. I was warmly welcomed by all and they all greeted me with a hug. The atmosphere was inviting and though many had missed out on the reunion I sure was glad that I hadn’t. What a wonderful feeling seeing people 20 years down the line and reminiscing about high school. Tony opened with a short speech and then the catching up began!
When Michael sat next to me, I told him that the thing I remember about him is us being on a bus to some or other outing and him needing to pee so badly, causing such a ruckus, that it lead the teacher to feel the need to lecture us that boys can’t hold their pee in because it isn’t good for them. Of course causing the teenage girls to burst into laughter.
We also spent the evening admitting to all the naughty things we did at school and laughing because we had never expected the ‘good girl’ to have actually been naughty behind the scenes.
One of the high lights for me, was when Michael’s copy of our year book came out and we all wrote in it for him. We looked at our pictures and laughed. Blanche said: “How could my parents have let me out of the house looking like that?” One thing we all agreed is that we all looked horrible in our year book! I think what has changed most about us is our style, what was cool in 1998 is far from cool now, having teenagers means being a totally stylish and cool mom! Under each picture, was a phrase that was picked out by the class. Under my smug picture, in bold stands the words: “Dancing Queen”, I wrote under it: “And still dancing”. A true statement, I absolutely love to dance and I pulled a few of my moves to the good old tunes that the DJ’s played.
I enjoyed Sonja’s company very much and I have made a new friend in her. We went through school hardly noticing each other because we were in different classes but spent the evening having wonderful conversation and many laughs. Blanche didn’t sing for us like she used to in high school, but she did do some twerking for us.
Looking back, I have such amazing memories of school and the things that were “serious” back then make me laugh now
. Life was full of friends and fun and naughty moments in-between. Thank you all for a wonderful catch up! Let’s not wait 20 years for the next one!