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How Long Ago Was High School?

October 21, 2008

I noted in an earlier post that I had reconnected with Nadia, a high school-ish friend o’ mine. Since this connection was via Facebook, that one connection has become a bunch. And I mean a BUNCH. Folks I haven’t seen since ’85. Which, if I’m not mistaken, is over half my life ago.

I’ve discovered, in the past few years, that I have a somewhat odd relationship with the past. Certain things I remember clear as day. Certain things I pretend to remember, but don’t. Certain things I don’t remember at all until “jogged.” I know enough about brain chemistry/mechanics to be well aware that memory is simply the brain filling in details that get hazy or disappear.

So suddenly I’m awash in these connections to the past. Places, things, people, activities, that VIBE of high school. It’s truly odd. A bit disconcerting but fun, regardless.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. David permalink
    October 21, 2008 11:23 am

    I recently had a high school flood on Facebook. In particular, they hounded me about reunions and stuff. I tried to explain to them that I hated high school and most of them wouldn’t even talk to me back then.

    They said, “nobody cares about that stuff anymore.” And I thought, “yeah, like bullies don’t hold it against their victims.”

  2. October 22, 2008 5:20 am

    Not being a person who spends any time on Facebook (in fact other than Brad’s blog and my own e-mail) I spend as little time as possible on-line. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it, just too busy. But I did have a thought yesterday after hooking up with high school-ish friend Nadia. Facebook, as well as mobile phones and so on are kind of the antithesis of “Be Here Now.” Like touching at a distance. Being everywhere but where you are at the moment. It’s possible to be in contact with dozens of people but never actually see them and feel the full spectrum of human contact. Seems to me that connections with friends on the internet, though it feels good, feels incomplete and adds to longing and some of the negative sides of nostalgia. For that reason I have avoided finding some people I’d like to be in touch with.
    I’ve never been invited to a high school reunion. But have thought about people that I thought were assholes then, and realized in retrospect that they were actually pretty cool and I was, due to insecurities, a bit of a jerk to a lot of folks. But that’s what HS is about, figuring out who you are.
    On memory: There was a time when I couldn’t remember much of high school other than stuff with a my gymnastics team or hanging out with Brad. But then it is still in there and connecting the dots can be fun. But I usually come to the conclusion that life in the suburbs was surreal, it wasn’t real life at all, which might be why it’s hard to remember.
    All in all, Facebook and MySpace and so on are interesting tools that seem to be affecting consciousness in interesting ways. I also get that despairing feeling that I get walking into the Strand book store in New York and reeling at the seemingly infinite number of books, that feeling that there are so many many books I want to read, that I will never have time to read, even if that’s all I did. It a way, just as it expands one’s reach across the globe, it makes one more and more aware of how limited and small we are.

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