On Friday night, I attended my 25th high school reunion. I had a great time. It was a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and to make some new ones, too. I am not one of those folks that has bad memories of high school. I had a great time. I truly value the relationships that I established there and always look forward to these type of events.
I have 4 particularly close friends from high school and stay in relatively close touch with each of them. We try to get our families together about once a year and have enjoyed watching each others' kids continue to grow and develop into the great young people that we expect them to. Our wives have become friends over the years and these family friendships are important to all of us. Three of the 5 guys in that crowd were able to make it to this gathering and that group served as "home base" for us and for our wives throughout the night.
Other than that crew, I particularly enjoyed rekindling 2 friendships from 25 years ago. First, I spent a good deal of time catching up with Dean, a friend that I remember particularly from band, but I think we were in several other classes together as well. He has two beautiful kids, a wonderful wife, and works in the software industry. We just seemed to connect on a cool level and I will look forward to communicating with him as we move forward. The connection on this evening was a common interest in the music of Jean Luc Ponty, the famous electric violinist. It seems Dean began listening to Ponty's music as a 10th grader. I had no idea. I began listening to his music sometime in Jr. High and have been a fan ever since. Dean's parents were both educators like mine and I suspect that our families were somewhat similar. His kids are into music and so are mine. I am not surprised that Dean and I reconnected at this reunion, but I am glad that we did.
The other conversation that was particularly enlightening, was with Valerie. I remember Valerie to be a quiet, really nice girl. But, I really didn't know her that well. Near the end of the evening, I had the chance to ask her what she was up to lately. She reluctantly told me that she was in Boston and after I pressed a bit, I found out that she works in the Harvard Graduate School of Education is interested in career theory and understanding the employment market as it relates to today's higher education student. We had a brief, but interesting, converstation about our work and definitely found a strong common interest in education. I hope that we will continue our dialog in the future. I know that I can learn alot from her.
The night was certainly another reminder to me that relationships are so important. It is so important to be open to to the relationships that come our way. How many opportunities we have to learn about other places, people, and ideas. And, really, we just have to be open to seeing those opportunities when they arise.
I wonder who I'll meet this week? i wonder what I'll learn this week? I can't wait to find out!