Thursday, August 11, 2011
High School Reunion
My high school was very different and unique. It was a technical high school. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, it was a school that not only taught you everything you needed to graduate from a regular high school, but taught you a trade at the same time.
Having spent three hours a day with the same people over a high school career, doing something that you were very interested in together, it brings a different social dynamic than your normal high school. I was in the commercial art core area. We had the range of people from the homecoming queen to the outcast druggy in our core area. But we were all brought together with the common interest of art.
I went to a traditional high school for my first year. I never quite fit in anywhere. I wasn't a "freak" as we called the crowd that enjoyed smoking pot in the back of the school bus. I certainly did not fit in with the "jock" crowd. My idea of an athletic activity was a game called slaughter that my friends and I enjoyed playing. It was not an organized sport in anyway, which is probably why we all enjoyed it. Not one of us were the organized sports type. We fit in with each other, but kind of stuck out in our school. In junior high some of us were mercilessly teased and picked on by both the freaks and the jocks.
When I transferred to Tech, I fit in. Students came from all parts of Des Moines. I was from the south side, my husband, who also graduated from Tech, was from the west side. One of my good friends was from the east side. Most of the students at Tech were there for a reason. The reason was our chosen core area. That is what brought us together. It was there that the homecoming queen and the freak from the back of the bus found common ground. Not that it was a utopia in any way. There were still issues and still those bound and determined to cause drama, but it was not quite as pronounced there.
Sadly, the Des Moines school district decided to close Tech in 1986. The building remained a school, but no longer a Technical high school. It became more of a magnet school, where students from all of the schools from Des Moines and even surrounding school districts come to take classes that are not offered at their home school, not necessarily a vocational class.
The reunion was a multi year reunion, not just our class. It was planned quickly and many who wanted to come couldn't due to short notice, but it was still well attended and a lot of fun. It was good to see a few old friends.
We have been friends since we were McCombs Jr. High Trojans, and became Des Moines Tech Engineers. I can't see anything changing that now. We have shared tears, laughter, jobs and adventures. We fought over boys and built snowmen and finger painted on Dawn's mom's kitchen floor, yeah, we were in high school when we did those things, (maybe that explains a little about not fitting in at times.) We grew up together and are still growing and learning together. We live in three different states, yet have a bond that won't break. I don't know how I got so lucky, or what I did right to get to experience junior high, high school and life with these extraordinary women, but I thank God every day for them.