I got a linkedin connect request from an old classmate this morning. Combined with a Tim Bray blog post this pompted me to write something about classmates from old schools. The third point is quite heavy, so please read it.
I’m ridiculously easy to find. Just a simple google query is enough. Having a non-common first and last name helps a lot. And having your own well-filled website and a heap load of open source contributions is plainly cheating :-) So if someone from one of my old schools cares to look up my name, they’ll find me.
One of the things I’ve been found for: a reunion of my 15-18 year old class. School “Overvoorde” in The Hague. A couple of months later I had a reunion of my 4-12 year old class (which I found out about myself). Groen van Prinsterer in De Bilt. At such a reunion you basically start afresh. No more old sore spots. You get a fresh start. I was not the class bully, more the “weak” one. But I had some 10-20 years’ of maturation behind me. And the rest (including the bullies), too. So I got a compliment about being a much more easy-going easy-talking person, for instance.
The heavy point that was driven home to me at both reunions: forgiving one another. Perhaps too heavy a point to drive home. But I want to drive it home nonetheless. I was communicatively weak. I made errors. I bang myself on the head for some of them, still, after all those years. There were less-nice persons in those classes. Of course. Not that many, though: I’ve been really lucky. Some were not nice to me or to one of my friends. What I noticed at those two reunions that I had: you have a good time. You see old class mates and rejoice in seeing them again. Everyone (at least, that’s my conclusion) implicitly forgives each other for weird/bad/impractical/clumsy things they did. So you get a chance to grow.
Take-away: if you get an invitation for a school reunion: attend it. Whether you were a socially immature idiot or the school’s bully or the invisible mouse or the whatever: everyone will rejoice in you being there at the reunion. At least, that’s my experience of two out of two reunions.
My name is Reinout van Rees and I work a lot with Python (programming language) and Django (website framework). I live in The Netherlands and I'm happily married to Annie van Rees-Kooiman.
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