Reason #2 – School Friends
It’s been <ahem> a while since I’ve been a student, yet I have a small number of school friends on Facebook. People I thought I’d never see or hear from again.
There’s the 5 or so people from grade school, which was in the middle ages. Well, we started going to school when “the whole world was black and white” according to my brother. (Although, it was when HE was born as well, but he left out that little tidbit when he told his daughters about my world. At my grade school, we had ‘mixed gender’ classes for first and second grades, then in third through eighth grades we were separated by a brick wall — the Boys Department and the Girls Department. We didn’t even share a playground. (Which doubled as a parking lot on Sundays.) It was a kinder, gentler place we lived in. I remember having a TV in the classroom so we could watch “educational TV”. It was usually boring and dull, but it was TV at school and was something to go home and tell Mom about! I’m still amazed that we’re still interested enough to find each other on Facebook and catch up.
Upon graduation (as in the lovely photo above) I went to an all-girls high school. Five of us from the same grade school went to the same high school. One of the fathers drove us every day — until I got my license and was allowed to drive us. I don’t remember that, but one of my friends does. Like the rest of you, high school was full of ups and downs. And in our case, the DOWNS meant running down the hill from the school to the bus stop in ‘clodhopper’ shoes and an armload of books. (backpacks were only used by the military and maybe the Boy Scouts in those days) One or two would reach the bus stop and a steady stream of girls would be running down the hill to make the bus. As I recall, if you missed it, there was quite a long wait for the next one. Fortunately, the bus driver mostly seemed to be inclined to wait. Not always, but mostly. There were summer uniforms and winter uniforms. There wee cliques and n0t-so-cliques. There was French class and Humanities and Smartees (as in, let’s throw Smartees at each other in Humanities while the teacher is reading or otherwise distracted. Not ME personally, of course. But others.) There was no hot lunch, no microwaves, no soda machines. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was High School. It was a small high school by most standards, with only 252 in the school and 72 in my graduating class. I just counted 13 of us on Facebook, though it wouldn’t surprise me to find I’ve missed one or two. We weren’t all particularly close in H.S., but now that we know better, we seem to be getting along just fine. It’s too bad kids can’t understand this part when they’re in high school. It might make H.S. a better place.
I moved on to an institution of higher learning. This were my glory days. I loved college. I attended a small(ish) college (which gained university status when I was enrolled) in suburban NY. Fall was gorgeous, winter was snowy and spring was full of promise. Classes were small and you knew lots of students and most of the teachers. It was a wonderful time to be a college student. However I’ve only counted 5 on Facebook. Quality, though, not quantity! It’s been a blast catching up with them.
While I’m on the subject of school friends, I can’t forget the ‘kids from the neighborhood’. At one time, we had a Facebook page for us to reminisce on. When FB did one of their famous upgrades, our page went AWOL and I haven’t had the desire to start it back up again. But I think we had about 60 people from the neighborhood on the page. I may not have gone to school with them, but since we grew up together, we shared those same years. We were one of those NY neighborhoods where all the parents and all the kids knew each other and there was a special camaraderie that cannot be explained. Of course, being it was the 60’s and 70’s made it have that special feeling too. We didn’t have a back fence to hang over, we had alleys and dumbwaiters to holler in to talk to the neighbors. I did attend ‘tar beach’ with my cousin once, and I got a little lightheaded from “girl stuff” and heat and she tried to carry me down the stairs of the building next door — both of us slathered with suntan oil and laughing all the way down stairs. I wonder if she remembers? There was the Good Humor man, the corner store, jump rope, stickball and playing at the school playground (or in the Methodist Church parking lot). Good times. Good friends.
So, reason #2 that I Love Facebook is the opportunity to reunite with school friends and neighborhood friends.