Tuesday, November 11, 2008

School Days

Avian Group Dynamics
Avian Group Dynamics

I thought I'd post about a strange experience I've had recently. A few weeks ago my secretary convinced me to join Facebook so we could play Scrabble together. This has been a lot of fun and there are a couple of other good word games.
Shortly after I joined, my best friend from middle school contacted me. We've kept loosely in touch but it still was a surprise to hear from her (plus I still can't think of her by her married name and it took me a minute to place who had written me). Through her I was "friended" by another classmate and next thing I knew there was a small list going around of people from my school. There were only 12 in my graduating class and about half of them are on the list and a number from the classes above and below.
At first the chatting was fairly simple reminiscing. Do your remember this class and that teacher? But it didn't take long before the conversation brought up old, painful memories. I was probably the least popular kid in my class. I didn't fit in for too many reasons to go into here. Kids that age form cliques and many of the kids in my group had known each other since they were babies (three were first cousins) and lived in the same neighborhood. I was definitely an outlier in personality and background and arrived at the school in 5th grade so I was the "new" kid.
So, like I said, here I am again on the outside. They're chatting about playing "spin the bottle" and I'm figuring I wasn't invited to that party. They're chatting about cheating on a test and I'm remembering refusing to cheat and being furious that I would get a bad grade because I hadn't memorized the answer sheet. I then remember feeling that vengeance was sweet when everyone in the class except myself and one other got caught red-handed.
Well, today, two people had the courage to post a bit about the mean spiritedness that was common at the school. And here come the rest of them posting that they are offended that someone would say that their happy memories had flaws and maybe there should be no more chatting. I guess I'm still being the silent partner. Leave me out of it. Funny how 35 years later, the group dynamics haven't changed all that much. The mean kids still come across as smug and self-satisfied and the shy loners are still not popular.
I didn't like going back to the old feelings. I'm a different person but the memories still aren't all that happy. Funny how hard it is to escape one's past.


self taught artist said...

interesting post...i personally would HATE to have someone look me up from my school days and find me. I have nothing to do with any of them.
guess thats why I dont do facebook.

A Free Man said...

Funny, I've had a similar experience with Facebook. It's like a flashback to high school and one with which I'm not at all comfortable!

Don said...

I actually enjoy finding and contacting people from way back then, which now seems odd because I was so shy. By the summer after graduating HS I had only two friends in the world, and one of them was my ex-girlfriend. Yet today I like to see how people are doing, including the ones I never knew because they were so high and mighty back in the day. Weird.

OTOH, I have a bad habit of being too open about how I'm doing, so I guess my social clumsiness is one thing that hasn't changed.

Your situation sounds uncomfortable -- 12 in the class? My graduating class had well over nine hundred. None of those I knew have turned up in Facebook.

Good luck with NaNo. Set aside a weekend! It's hard but that's kind of the point.

Annie said...

your timing is perfect...i have been experiencing some similar stuff.

Kathe said...

*just nods* Nothin' more to add, really.

JL said...

"Funny how hard it is to escape one's past."


Magpie said...

Facebook is weird. I have very few old friends there - it's mostly newer friends. But it is weird.