Timely cartoon – on the topic of High School Reunions

This cartoon has been circulating among the Malcolm Campbell High School graduates working on the MCHS Sixties Reunion for some time. We thought it would be great to post it. We owe thanks to Howard Hight for keeping it in circulation among the committee members.

We’ve actually had quite a bit of discussion about the cartoon, which we originally received as an attached file from MCHS Sixties graduate Harvey Schachter, as the following quotations attest:

(1) “It seems that as the years go by, we tend to accumulate more than wisdom and lose a few things that we would have liked to keep. Such a pity.”

(2) “No worries guys. I’m sure everyone is in the same boat!”

(3) “As Pierre Berton once said, getting old is the worse thing that can happen to anyone.”

(4) “But it still beats the alternative, don’t you think?”

(5) “True enough. A life long lived is better than no life at all.”

 

We look forward to any further comments about this topic, which can be approached from so many different ways of seeing, so many vantage points.

If anybody would like to write an essay, in English or French or Latin, for posting at this website, or would like to suggest the wording for a 10-minute debate about the topic that we could stage at the Malcolm Campbell High School Sixties Reunion on Oct. 17, 2015 (next year) in Toronto, please let us know.

Update to this post

I like to take a data-oriented approach to the topics of longevity and keeping one’s memory in optimal shape. In that regard, two research-based overviews that I’ve found of value are:

A Short Guide to a Long Life (2014)

Memory Fitness: A Guide for Successful Aging (2004)

 

4 replies
  1. Carolyn Davey
    Carolyn Davey says:

    I graduated in 1969. Due to a lot of life’s circumstances, and being bipolar, I don’t remember very many people from high school. Do you think anyone remembers me?

    Reply
  2. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    I am certain that each of us, who passed through the doors and walked the halls of the school, is remembered by somebody. That’s what I believe.

    The MCHS Sixties Reunion welcomes everybody. That’s been a key element in our planning right from the start. As has been noted in previous posts at this website, we’re giving a lot of thought to devising a format for the reunion that ensures that every attendee feels at home, feels at ease.

    One of my interests is meeting and getting to know people from across the whole range of 1960s MCHS graduating classes that I’ve never met in person before, or that I did not get to know that well during the years I attended high school. As a retired teacher from Ontario, I’m also keen to meet retired teachers and administrators from MCHS.

    I don’t remember all that many people from high school. That’s because I’ve never had a particularly strong memory for many of the things that happen day to day. Some things I remember but many things I forget. Fortunately, I have friends from my class at Malcolm Campbell High School (11-B in 1962-63) who have really good memories. They have in some cases something that we like to call a ‘photographic memory.’

    So they share stories when we meet, online as well as in person, to plan the MCHS Sixties Reunion, and all kinds of events and all kinds of classmates and teachers are described in such detail, that I feel I’m watching a movie, with all of the great sound effects, voices, and camera angles that bring the story to life for me.

    What matters is now

    Most of all, I see the process of a reunion as something that occurs in the present moment. It’s the only reality that we have.

    Each person has different recollections of the high school years. By way of example, a person may share the thought that they did not enjoy the high school years at all, but they are keen to touch base again with friends from those years.

    Another person might note that when they were in high school, their real self, their real ‘who they are,’ had not yet been developed. Thus when they go back, to a reunion, they go back as a different person than the person that they were in high school.

    That is certainly the case for me. As an adolescent, I stuttered severely. That had some measure of impact on what the elementary school and high school experience was like for me. At the age of 41, I had the good fortune to successfully address this particular challenge, as I’ve described in a range of online articles, interviews, and presentations.

    The trajectory of my life changed dramatically as a result. These days, as a retired teacher, I enjoy speaking to elementary classes in Toronto and elsewhere, sharing with them my story, about how as a child on some days I could not get out any words at all, and how as an adult I finally found a way to relearn how to speak. They always enjoy my story, and the children’s book about stuttering, entitled “Hooray for Aiden,” that I read to the class.

    Like many people, the years since high school have brought many changes to my life. While some things about who I am haven’t changed, I’m not quite the same person that I was way back then. My story is not unusual. Some things cha Ange. Some things remain the same. At a reunion, we have an opportunity to hang out and share our stories, whatever the stories that we wish to share might be.

    Reply
  3. Lynne Hylands
    Lynne Hylands says:

    Why Toronto? Is there a possibility of renting the actual site MCHS? Facebook makes this a bigger possibility of a bigger MCHS reunion community than back in 2000.

    Reply
  4. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    That’s a good question. The question has come up before, as noted in a previous blog post, where the question was worded as follows:

    “Just curious. Why hold the reunion in Toronto when MCHS was in Montreal? Seems so remote.”

    Our answer to the previous question was:

    “That’s a good question. Our thinking was that MCHS Sixties graduates are now heavily concentrated in Ontario, and spread across North America from Vancouver to Florida, and also living in other countries such as Australia. The school itself was closed, in 1987 I believe.

    “Many of the key organizers for the conference live in southern Ontario. That’s another reason why we settled on Toronto.”

    Reunions and mini-reunions

    At the previous post (please see link at the end of this Comment), we also noted that an MCHS mini-reunion is scheduled for Montreal in mid-August 2014 (that is, on Aug. 13, as noted elsewhere at this site), and that it’s our hope that there will be many such mini-reunions over the years. It’s great to compare notes about such events, as in: “What works, what doesn’t?”

    I’ve been really interested to learn through Facebook that quite a number of such MCHS mini-reunions – and reunions, period – and get togethers of all kinds have been held and are being held. These events are taking place across North America.

    Network of contacts

    It’s also great that a network of contacts is growing. Diana Redding and Howard Hight – who can be reached at hahight@gmail.com – are doing a great job in building a contacts database for the Sixties Reunion. Such projects involving the coordination of information are very valuable; much work is involved in building such a database. The contact information from the database is not shared with anybody, outside of the organizing committee, but it’s really helpful to have such data at hand when we’re planning a reunion.

    I’ll pass along the suggestion, about renting out the MCHS building for a future reunion, to our organizing committee, which next meets in September 2014. I will report back to you on what the committee’s views are.

    My sense is that it would not be of benefit to change the location at this point in the planning process, but it’s important nonetheless to take into account the views of potential attendees. It’s important to have open discussion about all topics of interest, especially given that we have social media to work with, meaning that it’s easy to engage in online conversations related to the planning of events.

    Every person who attended at any point in the 1960s is invited

    If you attended MCHS at any point in the 1960s, including if you started in the 1960s and graduated from MCHS in the early 1970s, or subsequently graduated from another high school, you are eligible to attend the MCHS 60s Reunion.

    Previous discussion about choice of venue

    Our previous discussion about the choice of Toronto as a venue is at this post:

    Good question: Why have an MCHS Sixties Reunion in Toronto and not Montreal?

    Reply

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