In high school, I threw my hat in the race to become Senior Class President. My opponent was a popular all-star basketball player and not surprisingly, I lost by a landslide.
So why did I enter the race knowing full well it was a popularity contest and the outcome would be against me? Well, I believed then that I was the ideal candidate and had the time, energy and commitment to deliver on those things that truly mattered to the senior class. Most of the class — well with the exception of the nerds/geeks/band/drama kids! — thought differently!
In fairness to my opponent, she did manage to pull it together for the class, except in one area – no senior yearbook! How that happened is still not exactly clear but it left a lot of my classmates and I pissed off. We missed out on having this most important high school treasure.
Anyway, I am thinking about this now – some 23 years later, as last weekend, the school — the Jeremiah E. Burke High School had a reunion for students who graduated during the years 1980 – 2000. I had toyed with the idea of attending but in the end decided not to go due to work commitments. Also, in all honesty, having just spent a great deal of money organising/attending my own family reunion in June, I didn’t want to spend more money crossing the ocean for a trip that I wasn’t 100% sure about! As the snob in me was pretty sure I’d outgrown most of my former classmates.
Now in hindsight, I wish I’d gone. The pictures from the three day event look joyous. And most people – even some who were awful to me in high school, have been rather nice via the group’s Facebook page. I suppose like me they have grown and matured and really – I need to let bygones be bygones. The bond is still strong and the love is ever flowing!
So will do all I can to be at the next reunion. Let’s hope it won’t take another 20 years. The school is not in the best neighbourhood or known for its academic prowess (heck, it almost lost its accreditation in the late 1990s), but it provided a solid foundation and opened many doors by extension through the Urban Scholars Program. So for that I’m extremely grateful and consider myself a Burke Bulldog for life.