Times, How They Change

I ran into a guy I went to grade school and high school with at a bar tonight. We’ve been living and working in the same area for a couple years now, seeing each other occasionally but never talking, and tonight he finally got up the nerve to talk to me.

In grade school, we were both in Talent Pool (the smart kids’ special group). I also remember doing a project together about sumo wrestling, which I had previously known nothing about. I was totally intimidated by his creative mind and seemingly unlimited knowledge of music and culture.

In our last year of high school, we were in a hilarious 4-character Chekov play, playing opposite each other as bickering suitors. During the last scene, we were urged by my character’s exasperated father to kiss already, so the bickering would stop. And kiss we did. A simple peck, to be sure, but there was actual lip contact. I was embarrassed at the time, thinking he’d be annoyed to have to get that close to a lowlife like me.

Fast forward several years, and I’m together. I’m confident. I’ve traveled, I’ve had life experience, and I’ve finally discovered what my great passions are. That which I do, I do well. Now, people notice when I walk into a room. Guys flirt with me. Girls are intimidated. I still find the phenomenon a bit strange, but it is nonetheless true.

As I said, this co-student of mine and I have been co-existing within the same area for a while, but haven’t spoken. I thought he’d be like, “Oh, it’s that Sarah Koopmans”. Tonight he spoke to me, and I asked him why he hadn’t said hello before. He said it was partially because he had been thinking, “Holy @#$%, that’s Sarah Koopmans!”

My, the times, how they change! I’m grateful that people do, too, with myself at the top of the list.

Wistfulness and Wasted Efforts

Last night I went to an evening of one-act plays at the high school I went to. Walking through those front doors always evokes a trip down ye olde Memory Lane. After all, I walked through them every day for eight months out of every year for five years (no, not weekends)(and yes, I was a good student with a good reason for being there five years)!

When I was in Grade 9, the school was brand new, and my class owned those halls and lockers! We established traditions, set precedents, designed logos. My name is on several of the award plaques hung around the front hall, and my picture among those of the first graduating class, hung in the library. I remember when the library was a third of the size it is now, and the school was only an “L” shape instead of the “C” it is now. I was there for the first mass (Catholic School). I was the Assistant Director of the first play. I was there before the cafeteria’s food services were set up, and pizza and chocolate milk were brought in every day. I know there’s a time capsule buried somewhere, and I know what’s in it.

Without bragging on myself, I have to admit that I was one of the few students to gain admittance to the staff rooms in the first couple years of school… I was just that kind of student, the kind teachers forget is a student! Some of the faculty boasted that they’d trust me with their children. They let me use their office phones even though they were off-limits for students. They went to bat against other staff members on my behalf. In my last year, I could walk into the Vice Principal’s office just about anytime–I was sorta his protegee and we respected each other mutually. As the years went on, there were even some staff that seemed to be jealous of how I was treated by some of their peers, and appeared to be especially hard on me.

The VP made me the Editor-In-Chief of an idea of his which led to a school newsletter/newspaper we called the VOICE. I took the idea and made it my pi