as if / Memories / Thoughts

Class Reunion

Gymnasium_Othmarschen

End of June, I attended a class reunion. We are having such meetings about once in five years, but this time, we did it just two and a half years after the last one.

When I compare this meeting to the first one, years ago, everything appeared a lot more relaxed this time. The first time, many people seemed to be under some pressure to show their success, their degrees, their jobs, their children and their money.

The school I had gone to was in a richer area and during my school days, there was a lot of competition and peer pressure among some of my class mates to show off their expensive clothes from certain brands, their mopeds and so on. I had never taken part in this, so I had been kind of an outsider. Some of my ideas about what I call “as-if-structures” go back to these experiences.

Now, several decades later, people are becoming bald or grey-haired, wrinkles are becoming more, and stomachs are becoming bigger. Many of us have gone through some or another crisis in life. In short, the bloom is off the rose, or, as we say in German “der Lack ist ab”, meaning something like “the paint has been peeling off”.

From under that paint the real people are coming to the surface. The result was a nice, relaxed atmosphere that had not been there in the first reunion. We have spent some part of our lives together and this has created a bond that might be loose but is lasting.

In today’s young generation, I observe the same attitude of competition and showing off that was there during my own school days. Parts of the industry and media are investing great sums to increase this attitude because it is part of a very lucrative business model.

Could this kind of togetherness I experienced during the reunion not have been there already when we were young? How much richer could our school experience have been!

(The picture is showing on of the buildings of my old school. It has been changed since then. The picture is from the graduation booklet that was made when we graduated from school).

7 thoughts on “Class Reunion

  1. This really struck a chord with me. I haven’t been to even one of my reunions. I was painfully shy in school. I suppose I retain that shyness to this day more then I realize. I never thought about this but I can see how time cuts through all of the pretentious of how we want to be seen by others. When you get to be my age I guess one realizes ‘you are who you are’. Great post!

  2. It is not so long ago since we left school but we haven’t had a successful reunion, why I don’t know. I hope some day we shall organize a successful one.
    There is usually the question of what one is doing with themselves whenever we meet though.

    • Two of us are keeping track of all the addresses and contact data and we have lost contact to only a few people. It took several years before we had the first reunion and then we had them every 5 years. One should not do it too often, but if some time has passed, there is a lot of stuff to talk. Normally, we rent a restaurant, order food and drinks and the rest develops by itself. Don’t make it too formal, speeches and stuff like that should be kept to a maximum of about 5 minutes (I don’t know how it is in Kenya, but the West Africans I know tend to have speeches and stuff like that for hours in their meetings and I don’t think that is helpful for a class reunion😉 )

      • It would be impossible to have speeches in our class reunion. All my classmates were averse to speeches and lectures, they would miss that part. Maybe we can organize one in two years and see if it happens. At least we still have the emails almost for everyone

  3. I just remember sitting on that wall with some classmates in 5th or 6th grade, playing a silly card game called “Mau Mau”. I have completely forgotten the rules but I guess they can be found on the web🙂

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