alumni day.

At the Governor's School Reunion last month, I:
  1. Bought a small piece of art. There is an Art-o-mat in the Fine Arts Center, and I bought a tiny album of pinhole photographs. I took it home and put it next to the art I bought twelve years ago at Governor's School. That original piece is a block of wood with a small leather flap nailed to it, hiding an old photograph of a family.
  2. Ate a lot of bread. We tried to get lunch at three different places and failed at each one. First, we went to Mayberry, a little diner in Old Salem, but the line to order food was out the door. So we went to the Rat Factory, but it became obvious that the alums were not supposed to eat there, because, well, why would they want to? Next we went to the courtyard where alums were supposed to get bag lunches. When I was third in line, they ran out of bag lunches. Finally, we went back to Mayberry, where the line was still ridiculous. I ended up going downstairs to the Old Salem bakery, where they only sell bread by the loaf. We went back upstairs and sat on the porch. I ripped chunks off a loaf of rosemary bread and washed them down with Cherry Coke.
  3. Distributed some paper boats. Josh and I wanted to leave our own pieces of art. We made paper boats out of an old copy of Strunk and White and then left them at the fish pond, though I kept one to put on the fridge.
  4. Shared the rest of my bread. I couldn't eat it all. Lots of people were eating lunch there, and we made new friends as people sat down at our picnic table. They were current students and alums from other years, extroverts every one. I offered them each some bread and they reached over and ripped off chunks delightedly. It was highly symbolic. Later, I gave the rest of the loaf to a choral student, who thanked me more than was necessary. I mostly just didn't want to carry it around anymore.
  5. Wished there were more seminars. Twenty seminars, but only two time slots. We chose carefully.
  6. Wandered around the Fine Arts Center. We used to hang out in the FAC when we weren't at the fish pond, because the FAC had air conditioning. We visited old class rooms while the sound of the weird orchestra concert going on in the auditorium got louder and softer depending on our location. Josh sat down in a classroom and wrote a poem. I sat in the floor and thought about how unlikely things could end up being sometimes.
  7. Took a beat-boxing class. We learned some basics, which we have been practicing ever since. It confuses the dog.
  8. Attended a lecture about Harry Potter. The professor pointed out some themes in the stories and how our culture's wide acceptance of the stories implied acceptance of the messages, too. While maybe that's not so bad when the message is that love wins, sometimes the message is that natural talent beats out hard work or that it's okay to break rules whenever you want. He compared Hogwarts to Governor's School and we all felt chastised, yet special.
  9. Learned about elbow licking. One of the kids we met at lunch told us that he had heard that if you licked someone's elbow, they wouldn't notice. It was exactly the kind of dubious, yet irresistible, information you might pick up at Governor's School.

The Day after the Governor's School Reunion, I:
  1. Licked Josh's elbow. He did not notice.

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