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Someone asked if I’d like to do high school over again. After some thought, I decided I would do it again if I could know what I know now. Here are a few things I would do differently…
I would thank my parents for coming to performances and events.
I would thank my teachers from time to time. I’d thank guest conductors for their work after region band and choir events.
I’d say some of the stuff I was afraid to say to my peers the first time through.
I’d spend more time visiting with those of different races or backgrounds.
I’d say, “I disagree with that” when someone said something I disagreed with.
I’d smile and speak to peers who didn’t seem to have friends.
I’d worry less about what different social groups thought about me, realizing they were probably not thinking of me at all.
I’d ask my teachers more questions, especially about their lives.
I would read more, especially books not required.
I enjoyed everything about our most recent high school reunion. Visiting with old friends and catching up was fun. As I walked around our rather large class, some of whom are pictured above, I realized I have one regret.
When I was in school, I tended not to venture outside my safety zone. Our class included about four-hundred students. I had a circle of friends, usually sharing common interests in band or choir. While this is perfectly natural, I now realize some of what I missed by not approaching more of my peers and finding common ground while we were in high school.
Thanks to social media, I’m now getting acquainted with some of those peers. They’ve led rich and interesting lives and provide a unique perspective that enriches my own. I’m thankful for time to learn of their past and how they’ve traveled life to this point.
One of the most meaningful times of our 45th Reunion was the memorial held Saturday morning at the South Arkansas Arboretum. Rusty Meadows challenged us to remain open to the varieties of grief we feel from the losses we all experience in life. Raymond Higgins shared thoughts about the significance of each life represented by our classmates and a scripture reading. Sharon Fant shared the “Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz and other thoughts about the Class of ’74.
Beth Waldrup, minister at First Methodist Church in Camden, shared the names of classmates who have died over the years as we added their names to a display.
Don Parks led the group in singing Amazing Grace and the El Dorado High School Alma Mater.
I’m looking forward to watching my classmates’ continued progress and hope we can share common paths from time to time. Hopefully, we can update each other on our journeys when we meet again on October 11, 2024.
If any of my classmates would like to follow Hiker-dog and me on the trails, join us at OzarkMountainHiker.com.