Saturday, March 22, 2008

Nine Years To Retirement

Not for me, but for the kids I had during the brief time I worked in a high school. I haven’t seen them since graduation and now they are 56 years old. Would I recognize any of them if we tripped over each other on a cruise ship?

They are frozen in time, these teenagers. They are forever their yearbook pictures. How will I react if someday I meet them? Will I accept the fact that they are now a little beyond middle-aged, or will I resent the fact that they are no longer the little kids I still remember?

College and university alumni are like that. They take a mental photograph of their (as in “ownership”) school when they graduate. When reunion time comes, many are happy, if not downright enthusiastic, to see how the school has grown; the new buildings, renovations to the older structures, how the students are doing. Others are disappointed, resentful, even angry over the changes; they thought everything was perfect when they were students and can’t be told that schools are alive just as they are.

I’m doing some of the same things I did as a teen: writing and radio, sort of sticking around the entertainment field. But one phrase I don’t want to hear is, “You haven’t changed a bit.” I want to have become a much better writer (and to become better in the future), as well as have matured as a broadcaster.

Likewise, I want my grammar school and colleges (night and day) to change, improve and grow. Stagnant water attracts flies.


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