High School

Returning to High School 10 Years Later

I’m spending this week and half of next at St. Vincent de Paul High School in Petaluma. Having gone to public schools through 8th grade, I chose to attend St. Vincent — a private, Catholic school — rather than the big Sonoma high school for a few reasons. The most significant was that Katie, a girl I’d become close friends with through our youth group, planned to go to St. Vincent and encouraged me to apply as well. Being very shy and insecure at the time, I thought that a more personalized environment would suit me well. I had gotten a little lost in the crowd of around 800 students at Altimira Middle School (there are only around 500 now), and I felt connected to very few of them. Though attending SV meant a 30-minute commute and a work-study commitment to help offset my tuition, I decided that the opportunity for a change would be worth the effort. I carpooled to and from Petaluma every day with several other students from Sonoma until I could drive myself.


Can’t Wait to Go to High School?

I’ve completed middle school and begin high school tomorrow. Yes, I’m flying through!

This weekend I seem to have set a new record for posting. Of course, there are still a bunch of posts I’d like to write, including ones about the following:

– Seeing kids react to being graded, and remembering how much it affected me

– Trick-or-Treating on Halloween for the first time in 14 years

– How little of the material I remember from a lot of the middle school classes, and how little most adults would remember

I’ll do my best to write about these sometime this week.


Ten Years Later: My High School Reunion

My high school reunion was this past weekend. I graduated in June 1998 from a small, Catholic high school with a class of 95 students. Although I spent a lot of time as a stressed-out overachiever, I always felt grateful for the community where each person had a unique niche. While people had loose identities as “popular,” “jock,” or “brain,” the school never felt cliquey to me. Here’s the scoop on the reunion events.

Friday: Casual pub night.

Reuniting with my classmates was much less of a big deal than I’d imagined it to be. Almost everyone looked the same, with the exception of a couple of people. Thankfully, no one seemed to care about impressing anyone with status or material success. In fact, we hardly asked the question, “So what have you been up to for the last ten years?” It was like we were used to seeing each other all the time and were just having beers and enjoying each other’s company.