We welcome further comments. Please send me an email with your comments, or add your views at the Comments section at the end of this post.
Re: It’s really important to define concepts and terms clearly. The thought was that “by class” means Grade 11-B, 11-F, in 1962-63, Grade 11-B, 11-F, etc in 1965-65, and so on.
“From the reunion viewpoint, grouping by class helps people who have not been in touch in a long time to re-connect. They have common memories to share about their classroom, home room teacher, courses and classmates. Nothing wrong with that. In fact, we (11-C) had the chem lab as our home room. The funny little desks that had storage under the seat, created a number of embarrassing/funny vignettes worth re-telling.
Re: The “whole group” concept is that everyone sits at tables together, period, at the reunion and just meets people from all of the classes and years.
“A whole lot tougher if you have no history with the people. Remember, some of the classes were actually on another floor, took different courses with different teachers.
Re: It’s most interesting what you mention about hierarchies. Lynn Legge, when we met on May 21, 2014 in Kitchener, spoke of a reunion her sister had attended.
She said a friend of her sister was really disappointed that all of the old social hierarchies, from decades ago, were still in place. Lynn looked at the matter in another way. She said: “We just have to accept it; hierarchies are a part of life.”
[I’ve broken the following text into shorter paragraphs, to enhance ease of reading in the online environment.]
“Of course, in real life hierarchies exist, and we have to work within the ones we cannot change. However, perpetuating them separates us and putting others down, in my books, is not an act of lovingkindness.
“Since 1966, I have spent a lot of time in the Caribbean, mostly Barbados, where hierarchies thrive even to this day to the detriment of all society. When I lived there for an extended period (after I sold my part of the mr firm I had worked at), I held a going away party on the beach in front of my apartment. I invited the CEO of one of the island’s most important companies, his wife, his kids, managers from Bartel, clerks from Light & Power, right down the social ladder to those who were called “beach bums” because they earned their living by giving tourists Hobie Cat rides.
“No one refused my invitation, everyone had a good time and people interacted despite the mix of status levels. But, I got a true taste of how easily and early the hierarchy got established. My Hobie Cat friend, Kent, came over apologizing profusely for having inadvertently insulted one of my guests. Turned out that he had encouraged a young boy (youngest son of the CEO) to eat more so he would grow up big and strong. This kid was thin, wiry and looked pretty old.
“Without skipping a beat, Simon told Kent he would never grow bigger because he was a midget. Despite Simon’s good upbringing, he already knew there was a class difference and that he could get away with this trick. Although I have no way of proving it, I am pretty sure Simon would not have pulled that stunt with one of his father’s overseas business colleagues.
“Anyway, I guess it is pretty clear on where I stand on this issue. We’re all equal in this thing called life. Born to die.”