Saturday, October 27, 2012

October 27. Day 301. The school reunion

The school days were not the best of my life (those were the party years of university and the early working career). I remember school as being characterised teenage angst, hours and hours of study and a whole lot of pressure (mainly from myself) to perform and succeed.

Having said that though I really liked school, have many happy memories and I made lifelong friends.
Which makes my school reunion avoidance hard to understand or explain.
I know why I didn't want to go to the first one. I worried that I would be judged and would not meet the grade (see what I did there?). This said a whole lot more about me than any of my school colleagues but that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.
Later though I'd got over all that (or perhaps I had just lost weight, got married, had a good house and a successful career; all those things I thought were "lacking" the first time around).
But I still didn't go. I just wasn't interested. Largely I had kept in touch with the people I wanted to keep in touch with and figured there was a reason I had lost touch with the others.
It's hard to believe that it's 30 years since school (much easier to believe first thing in the morning before the application of make-up). I can't say that the school reunion idea actually filled me with joyous anticipation and the format of Mass and a morning tea I actually received with much scorn but I decided to go.
Thanks to Facebook and Twitter I spend hours a day communicating with people I hardly know so why not some face-to-face with those I spent six hours a day with for six years?
So back through those daunting gates of All Hallows and ....

  • I survived
  • Someone needs to develop a phone app that scans an older face and compares it against school records to give you a name and important details such as "sat next to me in English for five years"
  • Having a phone with photos of your children is essential 
  • Discussion will go to your occupation and offspring. No-one seems to want to know about any significant other
  • There is no right thing to wear. Wear what you feel comfortable in
  • A room full of grown women can make as much noise as a room full of teenage girls
  • Some people really don't change in 30 years
  • I didn't end up under the table but I did climb up on one to get a better photo angle
And ....
There will be another reunion in five years and I think I will go (the word that there will be no Mass increases the odds).


  1. Hey Susan, Thanks for this post and the photos. It sounds like a happy, fun filled day. The photos took me back! I haven't been back to All Hallows since I left. Very sad but the only person I recognise from the photos is Caroline Gleeson. But on reflection you haven't changed either except for a year or two. Who knows, I might make it in 5 years time. At this stage though my family lives in India where we spent the day celebrating my 15 year old's birthday in true Indian style with an elephant and camel in attendance. Best wishes to all 'old girls'.
    Therese Groen (Canning)

    1. I have to say that Caroline was amazing .... So the same. But after a while, possibly because of name tags, there were many who still looked the same. Bet you'd recognise Judy Miller if you had another look

    2. Hi Susan great photos thanks. I didn't take many so it's nice to have yours to flick through. It was a lot of fun catching up with everyone. I had such fun at school and it's so interesting to catch up .Therese India sounds like a great adventure hope you can make it to the next one . Love your thoughts Susan I think a lot of us can relate to those feelings :) take care Dom Gardiner (Healy)

  2. Hi Susan,
    It was great to see you yesterday. Thanks for sharing your reflections of the day. I love the phone app idea and wish I'd had one too. It was fun though, trying to equate all those women with their school girl counterparts.
    Very soon the lines and greys disappeared, as body language, mannerisms even laughs, triggerd memories and soon everyone seemed very recognisable.
    I stayed on, thinking I might as well make the most of it ( 10 years is along time until the next one) and a few of us ended up appropriately at Jo Jo's.
    I hope we do have another in 5 years. We did miss the girls who were unable to make it and I really hope we get to catch up with them next time.
    Kindest regards,
    Gabrielle Mactaggart

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Thanks so much for taking the photos, Susan. It's amazing to see them...I recognised Judy, Eda, Caroline and yourself straight away. Not so sure about the others.
    Looking forward to a mini reunion when I get back to Australia next year. :)

    Anne (myers) Wright

    p.s were there any teachers there?

    no idea why my reply came up as above..was using my northwestnutrition account (weird)

  4. By the way, I didn't even know there was a first one! (anne)

  5. Hi Susan,

    Thanks for sharing your great blog & photos. I shared all your thoughts pre-reunion, I vaguely remember braving the first one (10 years), was overseas for the 20 year and will definitely go along to the next one. I didn't have a great time at school, and saw it as something to survive rather enjoy (sadly) but loved seeing everyone on Saturday as the years melted and the memories returned. I think we all enjoy it so much more from an older and hopefully wiser perspective! It has prompted me to dig out my old yearbook when I get the chance.

    Birnita Billing (Kruysmulder)