Tonight is the kickoff meeting of the Official All Saints Class of '82 Grade School Reunion Committee. (It's not really all that official. I just found some former classmates on Facebook, decided we should have a reunion, appointed myself In Charge, and recruited a few peeps. And there will be beers.)
It's funny re-connecting with grade school friends after nearly three decades. I'm finding it so interesting to hear their perspectives on the grade-school experience and their part in it. One of the committee members I'm meeting up with tonight was a popular, blond, jock-ish guy. In a Facebook conversation we had a while back, I said I was a chubby, dorky, non-cheerleader girl and I was surprised he was even talking to the likes of me. He said he didn't remember me that way, just that I was always nice to him. And he said that he always tried to be nice to everyone so he wasn't seen as a jerky jock.
Recently I was friended by another guy from grade school (he was one of the smart, quieter guys) with whom I had a nearly week-long exchange. I asked him if he was friends with the classmate mentioned above (who has a bunch of funny grade school photos posted on his page). He said no--that other guy was pretty mean to him in school. I doubt they'll ever be Facebook friends. Grade school scars run deep. And it's amazing how fresh they can feel and how vivid the memories still are. When I think back on some of those days, I have to stop myself from tearing up. I remember a lot of the hard moments and fewer of the easy ones. It's no wonder books for young readers appeal to so many adults and that so many of us can connect with those feelings and write about them in such a real way.
Last night I dug through some boxes in my basement and unearthed the All Saints '82 yearbook. The 24 mimeographed and stapled pages devoted to the 75 kids in our class (43 boys, 32 girls) include a class list, class achievements, memories, prophesies, teachers' favorite sayings and room for autographs and pictures. (Note: the smart guy signed my yearbook; the jock guy did not.)
Here's my prophesy courtesy of the 12 members of the yearbook staff:
"It is the year 2000 and...No, I was not on the yearbook committee. I don't know quite where this came from. As for my two classmates mentioned above? The prediction for the smart one was that he was going to have a fast food chain and become a millionaire. The prediction for the jock was that he would one day enter an elevator full of mirrors and uncontrollably grow an "oversized BIG HEAD" and continue to live there with his reflection.
Alice Pope had her very own hospital named after her. She is the very first Saint canonized before her death. She credits this to her 8th grade teacher, Sister Mary Thomas. She says "Sister Mary Thomas taught me what goodness truly was."