I attended an all-girls high school. It’s a small school and I always look forward to the alumnae magazine and its class notes. Catch up on what everyone’s been doing.
I like to start at the back with the young graduates. They’re so full of hope, energy and enthusiasm. As you’d expect, they report weddings, babies, and exciting jobs. Their zest for life jumps off the pages. I wish I knew some of them.
Then I skip to the part of the magazine where the “old guard” speak of lives well lived. Many have lost husbands and children but they keep on keeping on. They’re true inspirations. I wish I knew some of them, too.
In between the old and the new is, of course, the middle.
On those pages, we read accounts of extensive world travel, brilliant children and grandchildren, successes beyond the imaginable, published books, global recognition, grand achievements and so on. There are also stories of extreme difficulties which have been overcome by hard work and perseverance. I find myself impressed, if not just a little…no, make that a whole lot…..daunted, by what so many have done.
Nowhere is there an entry that resembles defeat or regret. Who would bother to report they’ve been on Prozac for twenty years and it still hasn’t kicked in? Not moi.
I usually put the magazine down, a bit dispiritedly, pour a little wine and try to console myself. But this time I discovered a balm for my soul in the midst of the highs and lows. It was an entry from the class of ’77.
Those two class secretaries, who have the job of recruiting news from their colleagues, have decided that too much bad news can be tough and too much good news may feel false. So what to do?
They’ve creatively decided to send notes to their classmates with thoughtful questions asking for thoughtful responses. To quote them: “We’ll get to know each other again.” They’ll publish their replies in the next alumnae magazine.
Bravo to them for reinventing an old and slightly squeaky wheel. I can hardly wait to get to know their classmates.