Twenty years ago tonight, I got a diploma

Rarely can I think, “I know exactly where I was however many years ago right now". Thanks to the gift of being a packrat that I inherited from my great-grandmother, I know that right now, twenty years ago, I was graduating from high school.


I think I had the typical high school experience. I have plenty of good memories and a few not-so-good memories. I don’t carry with me much high school related trauma. I never got a swirly or a wedgie. I did get a severely bruised wrist when I looked into the sun trying to catch a baseball in PE in the tenth grade and it still aches when it’s about to rain.


I participated (and instigated) a massive stale doughnut fight one evening. I almost ran over the assistant principal one afternoon when I came around a curve too fast and slid out on the then gravel driveway. I still remember that my 10th grade Spanish teacher lovingly called her overhead projector “Elmo” in a way that it seemed to mean more to her than just the name of the manufacturer.


I spent most of my time in the band room – not just during band classes but also in between classes, after school, on Friday nights for football games and on most autumn Saturdays for marching band contests. Most of my best memories of high school are of things that happened in that room and those who were there with me. On hot days, I still think of band camp. On quiet days, I still think of the people there that I once knew.


I also discovered a great love of reading and writing there when I had four great English teachers in a row. But, I haven’t diagrammed a sentence since high school. It never came up in college. This is probably why I typically mangle the English language regularly in this blog.


I came out of school with a high ACT score, average grades (I was easily bored) and absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my life. So, I majored in music because it was the only thing I felt I really knew how to do and I still have my unused music degree on my wall.

Twenty years later, I am glad that I somehow ended up where I am. I am mostly content but still sometimes restless.  The one thing that I have learned is that life is an evolution and the evolving, if we are lucky, does not stop.


  1. It is interesting to me how similar our high school experiences were. Hot days always make me think of band camp. My best memories from high school by far involve band. And I have my twenty year reunion staring me in the face. I wouldn't want to change where I ended up, but I'm pretty sure I deserved a bachelor's in bad decisions!
    From one band geek to another- cheers!


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