Monday, June 21, 2010

Welcome Home Cubbies

This weekend marked my 10-year high school reunion. I know what you're thinking - "how can someone who is out of high school only 10 years look so haggard?" I'll give you my secret to accelerated aging - eating cookie dough for a period of two weeks for breakfast and dinner. Don't tell your friends unless you want them to absolutely love you! It was a great weekend. 1/3 of the Class of 2000 from the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy Established 1877 reunited in memories of the inappropriate things guys tend to do in an all-male high school. These inappropriate things aren't really that bad, but guys can be pretty interesting in the complete absence of female peers. Let's just say that you'd never want to know more personal records regarding how many times someone does something in a day.

I had a few reactions based on my experiences over the weekend. Friday was stag night with dinner and drinks at The High and Saturday was mass, drinks, and dinner with significant others/spouses if existent. Most of my very close friends from high school made it into town for the events and it was a joyous weekend to catch up with everyone in person. Here are my extended thoughts in no particular order except for that I numbered them because lists are at least 20% better with numbers:

1) At one point during the mass, the 50-year reunion men stood up and were briefly celebrated for their presence. These types of recognitions happen all the time, but this was the first one that emotionally resonated with me. Some people age better than others and some take care of themselves with more attention to detail, but I was struck by how depressing and sad it would be if, in 40 years, any one of my friends was not around to join me (hopefully!) at our 50 year reunion in front of a bunch of 28-year-olds. Life is precious, and it is odd the things that help one remember this. Take care of yourselves, everyone but my enemies. You know what? Take care of yourselves, too, enemies. Even if you are a jerk, someone out there certainly loves you.

2) U of D produces far too many lawyers in proportion to engineers. Both of my folks are lawyers and you know I love Law & Order, but Michigan NEEDS engineers. I have no idea what it is about the curriculum at the school that encourages students to eventually enter the law field and less the math and sciences, but for a school that does love it's heritage, it should figure out a better way to encourage professions in math and the sciences for the betterment of Michigan.

3) We've got to figure out how to positively differentiate Detroit/Michigan from Chicago. This is nothing knew, but holy jeez there are too many guys from my graduating year who live in ChiTown. Chicago is a fine city and the Shedd Aquarium has a great dolphin show, but there's got to be something we can offer, even if it starts with simple nostalgia for home. Did you hear? We don't have the lowest unemployment in the country anymore. Come home, Cubs (and everyone else).

4) Facebook really changes the complexion of reunions. This is probably brand new within the past 1-2 years, but that sense of reconnecting with old friends is really lost, because we probably reconnected on Facebook months or years ago. I know where you live, what you do, and how fat you are or aren't, so some of the excitement felt reduced. In some ways that is a good thing because we can catch up on substantive subjects beyond the very basic, but the very basic are often the most interesting.

5) I really loved and continue to love my friends from those days. The bonds that are possible through daily co-experiencing the trials, highs, and lows of teen life are amazing and special. If any of my friends read this blog (and you also know they don't because most of them suck pretty hard), you're pretty great.

6) If you didn't enjoy high school all that much, I still highly recommend you seriously consider returning for the reunion. At least in our environment, most or all of the pretense of high school had entirely evaporated and people just wanted to talk.

Thanks to everyone who put in effort toward the successful weekend, and also the fellas who traveled from far and wide (and close and narrow) to come home. See you in 5 years!


Steven said...

I've been told that U of D produces more lawyers per student than any other high school in the country. You should have Dave Gumble fact check that. Also, BOOO CHICAGO!

Dave said...

I can't speak for other schools but I count over 600 Cub Lawyers, that we know of, in the system. That doesn't count those that are retired or those that haven't told me their profession.

Also checked and found that Gumble is spelled Gumbel.