June 10, 2013 in Features

Write It Out: Class reunion? No, thanks

Karen Colbert
 

Karen Brathovde in 1975, as a Kennewick High senior.
(Full-size photo)

I never go to class reunions simply because I relive my high school life every day as a Mead High School teacher.

The drama of my teen years surfaces through my students day after day, week after week, from September through the middle of June.

I love standing in the hall between classes greeting kids and listening to their chatter when they think I’m not paying attention. Like all of you in Boomer U, I lived those adolescent years when that special person, a minute later, was not-so-special anymore.

It’s no different today; she likes Kevin, but two weeks later, she likes Josh. He’s strutting down the hall trying to impress Megan and the next hall, Hannah.

I’m reminded of the boys I liked, my friends, all the activities, and dances. Ah, the dances – the Hustle, the Bump, the Funky Chicken! When I think back on those moves, I smile and shake my head at the same time. I think some of my students will react the same way 30 years down the road to Gangnam Style and the Harlem Shake.

Today, kids have iPhones, iPods, iPads and other “i” devices. I am always amazed how much these kids multitask.

At the same time, they text, talk to their friends, and walk without bumping into something. When I was in high school, we had eight-track tapes and Pet Rocks. My teachers used ditto machines and filmstrips with announcers who had no sense of humor.

Today we have the Internet with YouTube and myriad ways to teach using technology.

What hasn’t changed over the years are teenagers – goofy, loving, moody, hungry teenagers. I can’t tell you how many times people have said to me, “I just don’t know how you deal with them.”

Teens get a bad rap because their underdeveloped brains don’t yet prevent them from jumping off of roofs onto skateboards to get a great video on YouTube. They take the same sort of risks many of us took when we were their age.

I know I did some pretty dumb things. My folks still talk about the number of times I dented the family car.

Why in the world would I go to a high school reunion and relive all those embarrassing moments when I can remember them and cringe every day?

I loved high school, but it doesn’t mean I want to go back – not as a teenager anyway.

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