Growing up in rural Indiana, I was fortunate to attend the largest of the several high schools in the surrounding area. Still, it left my graduating class at about 180 kids or so. It seems kind of quaint today with increasing density and urbanization leading to annual matriculation numbers in the many hundreds. But many around the county found themselves part of considerably smaller groups. 75 or 80 per graduating class were not uncommon.
Sometimes, the classes were even smaller. The debate in our fine state about the optimal size for a high school, or even a school corporation, may continue as it has uninterrupted for decades.
Over the years, this column has addressed issues related to access to higher level coursework in countryside secondary schools and the costs associated with maintaining individual buildings, gymnasiums and transportation services for each discrete community. Yet like most of us, I remember my high school years with a sense of some nostalgia. Sure, there were those moments of teen angst that left me imagining myself a character from “The Breakfast Club.” All in all, I look back on those times fondly and enjoy seeing my former classmates.
This year commemorates a significant anniversary of our class’s completion. The plans were set and the invitations delivered. Unfortunately, news came this week that pathetic responses have reduced the scope of the event. It turns out that many folks have moved on, moved out and are not moved to come back.
For some of us, we’re reunited and it feels so good. While many others run from seeking a connection with old friends. Can we all walk the same path and yet end up in such different places? Can rose-colored glasses filter out the good memories for a few and the bad memories for others?