Thursday, April 30, 2009
This weekend Victor and I are headed down to our hometown for my 10-year high school reunion. I am so freaking excited! I went to an all-girls boarding school (I was a day student for the first three years but boarded my senior year). Think Catholic school, except without the nuns (it was Episcopalian). Also, the only time we wore plaid skirts and knee socks was during field hockey games. I LOVED high school. Loved it. It wasn't just that we had a more college-like schedule or a beautiful campus with perks like lounges, a yummy cafeteria, and a bowling alley. The atmosphere was the perfect balance of freedom and structure. Sure, there were lots of rules, especially when I was a boarder. Every night at 7:30 a resident director would come down the hall screaming "Study Hall! Phones in the hall, doors open please!" We had to sign in and out every time we left or returned to campus. Once a week we had to get dressed up for dinner and sit with some faculty members. And 1-4x/week (it varied year-to-year) we had chapel. Ah, chapel. I'm fairly certain our chaplain smoked some feel-good substances, but even though her homilies generally had nothing at all to do with the scripture reading, they were always entertaining (in the raised eyebrows, side-eye kind of way). At the end of every chapel service we draped our arms around each other, swayed, and sang the school hymn. And this was what I loved about high school. Tradition. ("Traditiooooon, tradition!) (sorry, I got carried away) (bonus points if you know that song). Not just the big traditions, like at Christmas when they put luminaries out around the front of campus and light up a large tree. Those were great, but it was the small things that made me glad everyday I was there. The tradition of our ninth grade advisor sitting with us during breaks while she did her crosswords and asked us about our lives. The tradition of the honor code, enabling us to leave our stuff laying around without worrying if it would still be there when we returned. And the tradition of the faculty and staff really KNOWING the students. Some of the most important discussions of my life were had with my history teacher and she even recommended for me to check out the college I eventually attended (and loved) because she just thought it would be a place that would suit me. The fact that there were no boys immediately made things like clothes and makeup less important so we could be more relaxed, more "us". We could go to class in our pajamas, ask lots of questions in class, and sing Emily Dickinson poems jazz lounge-style in the middle of the cafeteria (true story, but only once). We were at home and most of us cried like babies the last time we sang that school hymn at graduation. This weekend is sure to be full of lots of memories. And craziness.