Thursday, November 13, 2003

Hail to thee, my alma mater...

I don't know how, I don't know why, but today I learned that my old high school alma mater has discovered the internet. I believe my generation--perhaps my graduating class--is among the last to be able to say that we didn't know internet from shinola until college. We didn't go to Plano, you see, where they had such things pre-1997. I'd heard of internet (it was called "Prodigy" back then, and it did more-or-less nothing) and I'd heard of e-mail, though I couldn't figure out how it was different from the letters I sent by mail. After all, I typed those up on the computer too. What's the diff? What I'm trying to say, is that the information superhighway was a distinctly post-high school discovery for me, and it's hard to imagine the two co-habitating.

Nevertheless, there it is, old RLT HS replete with band newsletters (it seems inconceivable that I don't know the drum majors!), announcements of this year's musical, and an entirely separate page for pictures the drill team. (How typical. Vain sluts.) So strange to consider that all that nonsense didn't die with graduation day--that the cheerleaders are still ruling the school and the poor marching band will never stand a chance at respectability.

The most disconcerting, though, was a quick glance at the faculty directory. I wanted to see which of the old guard was still duking it out in the hallowed hallways. I see Mr. Hurst, beloved physics teacher and un-reconstructed 80s-era geek has expanded his Chess Club empire and founded a Table Tennis club. The old battle-axes of the Science Wing still rule C Hall with a vengeance. But the most surprising discovery? A few very familiar names. My old classmates, now teachers, at our depressing old high school.

There's the girl, one year ahead, who seemed happier with her livestock than with humans, running the Future Farmers of America. There's another one, the girl who taught me how to burp in 4th grade, teaching Special Ed and sporting a brand-spanking new last name that is eerily identical to that of the young math teacher who started teaching when we were seniors. Quelle scandal! And the reclusive artsy guy, the one who rambled about Hindu spiritualism his senior year and declared his celibacy, which sounded a lot more impressive when you didn't consider that nobody was clamoring to taint his purity--well, he's teaching art. And his mother still teaches there, too.

While it's almost impossible for me to understand the comfort derived from ending up exactly where you started--only as a teacher rather than a teached--I know it's a very satisfying state of affairs for a lot of people. And lord knows it's a step up from the rest of my graduating class, the dregs of which are probably still busy slicing each other up in gang fights, and the shining stars (jock, cheer) of which are busy impregnating each other and, if reports from two Xmases ago are to be believed, dancing on tables in suburban Dallas.

I am so never going to a reunion.