Monday, September 13, 2010
Since taking some time to focus on our old class yearbooks and recently joining Facebook, I've begun to form some opinions.
1. There were about 315 listed in our graduation program, but a few less than 300 pictured in the senior section of the yearbook.
2. I have no recollection whatsoever of about 100 of them. Neither their picture nor their name ring any bells. And, except for a few attractive girls, good athletes, or a scholar in the under-classes ('64 & '65), my recollection of them is even worse.
3. Of the 200 (prox) I do recall, I remember about half of them by name only...their pictures are generally unrecognizable. So not only would I not recognize them now, I might not have recognized them then.
4. One guy from our class became a college professor and spent his career at 2 very prestigious universities. He did not graduate with any EHHS honors and launched his academic career from a couple of lower tier colleges. Apparently he joined us as a senior and slid out the door largely unnoticed...at least by me...maybe he was a late-bloomer.
5. Of the 100 (prox) that I do clearly recall from our class, I considered only about 1-2 dozen of them good friends or close acquaintances. We haven't stayed in touch...I don't think that I could have sustained that level of competitive intensity for the rest of my life. However, I've noticed that Texans tend to do well wherever they go. I think it's that old competitive intensity instilled in them by their parents, teachers, and coaches, that sustains them favorably in the company of others from elsewhere.
6. Facebook. The jury is still out. It seems that people there expect to know who I am before interacting. While that is a reasonable expectation in times past, I believe it is not a good idea to hang one's true identity out on the net. In my opinion the downside is substantially greater than any potential upside. However, I recognize that we are older folks and many of us are most likely real novices with regard to Internet technology. This stuff developed very quickly behind our place in history and most of us simply had neither the time nor the interest available to gain a good proficiency.
7. One problem in interacting anonymously is that communication relies entirely on the words. Some of us are good at it, some of us aren't. Even then, it's possible that a string of innocently offered words can be misinterpreted or express an idea that others consider offensive. It's a risk, although a manageable one. However, the communication anonymity helps prevent an angry mob from appearing on the front doorstep, should your innocent words be misinterpreted.