I had the opportunity at the beginning of October to attend my twenty-year high school reunion. A little late perhaps, but better than never. I dragged my husband along with me because no way was I going alone. We packed up the kids for a trip to their grandparents and headed South. The night of the reunion we left in plenty of time to make it to the start had there not been an accident that held us up in traffic for an hour.
Not a great way to start the night.
Still, some thoughtful former classmate brought a copy of the final edition of the school newspaper with them and laid it out on a table with other memorabilia. As I was the editor-in-chief my senior year I couldn’t resist taking a look at my final editorial.
Here it is:
I’ve typed up the piece here, which I titled, regrettably, Forgiveness Heals.
“There is a little horned-tailed devil sitting on my shoulder as I write this editorial/commentary. She’s telling me to be truthful, and that isn’t bad, but she wants me to be aggressive in my feelings toward the things I have seen happen in, or to, the senior class. The problem for me is that I don’t like to dwell on the negative past for over extended periods of time.
As my devils sits on one shoulder trying to convince me, my angel, of course, has appeared, with all her heavenly intent, on my other shoulder. There she sits trying to convince me to remember only the good that has occurred throughout my years in high school and to forgive all the bad things that have happened to the class. I have a problem with this thinking also. I’m a strong believer in forgiving, but I’m not too into forgetting so soon.
Soon my two little pushy guards begin bickering and disappear. They may be very well disappointed with what I have to say.
I believe this year’s graduating class is a good one. We’ve had memorable moments with people we are not soon to forget. These moments are not just from this year but they are from our past years as well. The years we’ve spent here will eventually mean more to us then we think of now.
I also believe that the class of ’98 has had more than its fair share of frustrations. Every class of students has its own problems, but this year’s class seemed to have a few more than the rest. At the beginning of the year, things started off unsatisfactorily. They haven’t seemed to get much better since then. There have been redeeming moments along the way, but these have been few and far between.
Disappointment is still felt deep in the hearts of many seniors. Hopefully, time will eventually lessen these feelings. We should look on out past as a lesson for out futures. Nothing ever truly goes according to plans. We should take these unexpected changes in stride and make the best of some of the worst possible moments of our lives.
That is why we shouldn’t forget the things that have happened this year or any year. If we do forget what has happened, eventually more and more of our memories will slip away until the only thing left is the hurt. By that time, you don’t even remember what made you feel bad in the first place. What we should do is forgive some of the things that did happen. We all need to be forgiven from time to tome – not just so the person we forgive feels better, but also so the person giving the forgiveness feels better.”
First of all, vague much? What the hell happened my senior year that made me so bitter? I don’t even remember and must not have wanted to go into detail for whatever reason. I vaguely recall our class not being allocated certain opportunities the classes before us were given, but hell if I can remember what. We survived, with or without the, which is important to remember, because we graduated the year before the school shooting at Columbine took place. That event puts whatever we seniors had to put up with in perspective a bit.
Second, the whole angel and demon thing made me LOL. My love of sci-fi/fantasy is right there. Of course that’s what I would want to write about. Also, Good Omens anyone? I didn’t read it until much later, but no wonder it became one of my favorite books. Bless you, Neil Gaiman. Rest in Peace, Terry Pratchett.
Third, I get that I must have been taking umbrage on behalf of the senior class for some slight by the administration, possibly more than one, but I think I was working through some of my own hurt feelings here as well. High school, especially my senior year, was not my finest moment. Junior year was superior in a lot ways. Senior year was to be gotten through and survived.
And in retrospect, I hated being the editor-in-chief, promoted to middle management because of my experience, when I would have been happier as a page editor. At the time I probably wanted it and made sure to put it on all my college applications. I guess I regret not doing more with it, but at the time I was busy with the aforementioned survival and I don’t regret doing what I had to.
Anyway, high school is over and we’ve all moved on to other things. We’ve broken molds, and are no longer willing to be defined by the six walls of the box other people try to keep us in.
So I got to catch up with people I hadn’t seen in a while. Some I can say I had never honestly talked to before, and some I didn’t have anything to say to. Mingling with fellow survivors was an interesting experience. I may even do it again in ten years. Maybe. We’ll see.