Talk about looking at a busy summer! It seems as if there’s something happening every week. Between sporting events, celebrations, weddings and reunions, there isn’t much time left to just sit back, relax and enjoy the hot weather.
Speaking of reunions, do you know anyone who isn’t having a class or school reunion this year? It must be an epidemic.
I admit I wasn’t too keen on class reunions the first few times I attended mine. We held our first one just five years after graduation and not that much had changed.
Sure, there were a couple of classmates who didn’t attend (and that’s a big percentage when you consider we only had 11 in our class), but that was no big deal because the same two didn’t show up at school all that often either.
Most of us had married by then and some had children, but we still looked and acted about the same as we did the day we graduated. The fact that the majority still lived within a few miles of each other made it seem rather ho-hum.
Our tenth anniversary was a little more interesting, but nothing that exciting. The fact that more miles (and years) now separated us did spice things up a bit, but no one needed name-tags to recognize anyone.
The fifteenth year saw things start to liven up a bit. By now there were some of us with offspring nearing their teens and gray hairs were beginning to show.
Nothing can prepare you for your twentieth class reunion! It’s unbelievable how things have changed. No longer is your high school graduation a big deal. The conversation is about your kid or a classmate’s kid who is now also a graduate. Can grandkids be far behind?
By your thirtieth reunion, everyone is entrenched in their jobs. Instead of baseball and golf being the main topics, investments and promotions are the rage.
After attending my fiftieth class reunion, I had to admit the use of name-tags was a good idea. It’s not that I didn’t remember their faces, it’s was just a lot harder to recall their names. Instead of having a class reunion by itself, we had combined ours with the all-school reunion (which is normally held every-other year).
Not only does this provide us with the embarrassment of not remembering our classmates’ spouse’s name, but also a majority of former school chums and their spouse’s name.
A big plus about graduating from a small school is that twenty or thirty classes can get together in a banquet room without too much problem.
Besides, people feel closer to each other, even though there may be a difference in ages. When you have a total high school enrollment of 50 (grades 9 through 12), there are few strangers.
Of course the word “small” is rather vague when it comes to describing high school graduating classes. When you’re a member of a class of 11, a class of 100 sounds big, but in many schools, 100 graduates seems smaller than small, more like tiny.
Those schools have more secretaries than we had for our entire faculty. Classmates may attend the same school for three years and never know each other.
Which brings me to a story my daughter once told me about when she worked in Chicago. Most of the people she worked with grew up in Chicago and attended school there. The thing she noticed about them was their lack of trust in others. Whenever someone did them a favor, they become suspicious. They couldn’t believe someone would do something for them without expecting something in return.
Yep, small schools teach you more than just what’s in books.
(Ed Rood is former publisher of the Tri-County Times. He and his wife, Sharon, live near Cambridge.)