I spent this weekend at my college reunion. Since a lady never discusses her age, I'll be coy about just how many years have passed since I wore a flimsy creased polyester robe with matching mortarboard, but suffice it to say that it had been more than a few.
What did I learn from this experience?
Well . . .
First off, when you get the chance to go to one of these things, go. Keep your expectations low, but go. I found that time had continued its march and that was both a good and a bad thing. There were new buildings and buildings that were no longer there. For example, the theatre in which I did a fair amount of growing up was still there and still felt like home (down to the musty scent in the air - a peculiar mix of dust, paint, and magic), but I had to acknowledge that I had done some growing since then. So had the theatre - the school now has an amazing visual arts center so the theatre took over the old arts annex, turning it into a black-box studio and scene shop.
Second, people are weird. While the sharp edges of a few things had worn to a more comfortable rounded shape, well - as the Doors once wisely observed, people are strange. Whether it was just reverting to old form or a lack of forward movement, a few cliques seemed to immediately re-form. Oh, well. Hope the years have been kind to them; I haven't time to try to break in there now to find out.
Third, growing up isn't all bad. My school worked hard to prepare me for a world that was going to toss me about and not care at all how I felt about that. The road has not always been smooth and I haven't always stayed upright, but I always managed to get vertical again one way or another and these are some of the women who helped me get that way.
Fourth, I'm very, very lucky. For all the jokes about my going to a "finishing school" where pearls were issued along with freshman textbooks (they weren't; it's a joke people!), the motto is true. Women who are going places really do start at Hollins!