Sunday, October 25, 2009

Nearly 40 years ago....

I was chatting to an old school friend on Facebook yesterday, and we suddenly realised that in 2010, it will be 40 years since we all matriculated. 40 YEARS. Good grief. The school we went to was an academic powerhouse, and all girls. Strict rules, and hard work. And, it has to be said, loads of fun. I loved my school days, and while I know there are those who were there when I was, who have less than stellar memories of the place, it played a massive part in shaping who we have all become.

Some of my friends and I have stayed in touch all these years, and we pick up our friendships with the greatest of ease when we all get together. The command of the english language was obviously something we all mastered back then. I remember the debating society meetings after school - did any of you have to do parachute debates? We certainly learned to think on our feet.

So I got out my photo album. I did a photographic diary of the last year of my schooling, and it includes the massed photo of our year. All 98 of us. Our hair had to be tied back if it touched our uniform collars, and so 89 of us have long hair. 27 of us have the name Ann(e) in our names somewhere. Everyone who applied for Matric Exemption (university entrance) got it, and 68 got First Class passes. As I said, it was an academic school.

We all had choices, and had to do 6 subjects for Matric. I did English, Afrikaans, Maths (all compulsory), History, Latin and Physics and Chemistry. I never did learn how to balance chemical equations. Sport was also very important, and inter-school sport was incredibly competitive. As was inter-house competition. And the extra-mural activities were many and varied, and I confess, I threw myself into the lot. Choir, Scripture Union, History, Science, Debating Societies, you name them, I was there.

Where was I ..... the old friends I have stayed in touch with over the years. Yes. We are friends NOT because of the school, but because we happened to meet at the school. We shared experiences, and discovered shared interests, and grew up together. Had we gone to a different school, I think we would have still become close friends.

But looking though the list, there are a few girls who names I had to look up, you know. I used to know them all, of course, but it is 40 years ago, and there were 98 of us! Girls I didn't know much about. Girls who were at school with me all those years - some of them all 12 years of schooling, and I have no idea of who they really are, or were. I wonder what I missed. What we may have missed. It intrigues me, you see.

Fiona and I can account for a great many of our old school friends. We also know that some have died. Way, way too young. Some never married, and others did, and there have been quite a few divorces too. Some are grannies, and some started their families much later than others. Lots have scattered to the 4 corners of the world - Canada, Australia, UK, USA, Europe, New Zealand.

There are a lot of doctors. Architects, business women, lawyers, teachers, professors, nurses, social workers, authors. Sporting stars, farmers, missionaries. Interesting women. Very interesting.

Hmmm. And me. All of a sudden I am feeling very insignificant indeed. There is a great gathering next weekend in Cape Town as quite a few of the farflung ones are in CT on visits, and they want to skype. Sigh.

Oh well. I can at least say I blog, and am on twitter, and facebook, and am clearly a techno whizz. Just do not ask me how to work an ipod. I am a COMMUNICATIONS expert!! I have just discovered this. Of course I am. I talk a lot. They won't know about feedburners, stats, stumbling etc, will they now. This is just as well, as I am also a little hazy on some of those parts too.

Hah. I am a modern woman. I think I need to get my hair cut before skyping them.

I have a week.


Needled Mom said...

Yes, there is no privacy in Skypeing and one certainly needs to have ones clothing on!!!!! I once Skyped with my aunt. She was new to it. I said "I can see you so clearly now." Here response was, "You can? Oh no, I just have my housecoat on and I already took my teeth out for the night." She was mortified.

I, too, went to an all girl's school. There were 68 of us. We celebrated our 40th reunion on 2005. Are they planning a reunion for yours?

Dawn said...

I had a great experience at my high school, though I was only there for two years. As I've blogged about, I am in close touch with only two or three of them, but have reconnected on Facebook with several, whom I now wish I had known back then. Our 45th will be next year.

But my college 40th is in two weeks and I'm very excited to go back to that reunion. I'll be writing about that for the next couple of posts.

Olson Family said...

You are an excellent communicator, writer and mother - nothing insignificant about that!

Enjoy the Skype reunion.

Marsha said...

I loved high school as well. The high school I went to was a music powerhouse and I was in orchestra, choir, small singing groups and we had a blast. My best friend from high school is a doctor in SanDiego now--what astounds me is that even if we haven't spoken for months--we pick up right where we left off, as if she still lived down the street. Those memories are so sweet...

Judith said...


Reading about your educational days got my head a swirling. What a solid starting out in life you had. I think my country could learn from that, and education be taken more seriously here than it is.

My try at being educated was so sporadic, it's a wonder I got as much as I did, and there aren't many ties to it because of that.
So it's wonderful that yours did.
I think it would be so great to meet with old friends who are part of your life.