...random experiences, observations and thoughts of my daily life as mommy...past journeys and dreams of journeys yet to be taken creating my life story as i go...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

20 year h.s. reunion planning brainstorm

did you go to yours? think you will or will not? why? this is my school i.d. card from my freshman year (1986-1987) of high school (not sure why it is so small...bad scan?)...my son is about to wake up from his nap so i'll have to edit this post later but here are some of the things i'm thinking about:

• Finding as many students as possible and then sending them all
o a “why you should attend your 20-year h.s. reunion”…second chances, moving beyond h.s., getting resolution, connecting your past, understanding more about yourself, etc.
o questionnaire about what they would like included in this reunion…why they would come, how much they would be willing to spend, any special talents or resources they’d like to contribute i.e. riza music…I can take photos…recruiting students to start sending photos for the slideshow and program
• Program/update on students
o Welcome from the committee plus a little “remember yesterday, live today, hope for tomorrow” pep talk on connecting with our history and looking forward to our future potential
o Weekend plan, details, directions, cost
o List of students and page in ABC order
o Map of where we live
o Contact info (maiden and married names, kids, etc. city, state, phone, email, web, fb yes or no?)
o Fb-like “info” mini bio of what you have been up to/care about since h.s.
o Summary of your impression of high school (there is one on fb) and how you are similar or different now
o Random school memories (we will edit out ones that might hurt someone’s feelings?)
o Why you would or would not come to the reunion…what you’d like to know about, resolve, rekindle
o Photos—first of h.s. or earlier and then current
o Anything unique you want to add about yourself we never knew about you in high school…something you’ve done, are in to, about your personality, etc. details…goals or predictions for yourself in the next 10 years…
Weekend details
• Friday
o School tour
o Meet up for dinner with friends
• Saturday lunch picnic
o Cheap food…haystacks, cookies and drinks (making a pot of beans, Costco…determining a price)
o Kids get to play at a park while we catch up in a casual setting
• Saturday formal dinner
o Location…per/person cost
o Slideshow with high school and current photos going in the background (I have some from our 10 year, too)
o 80’s music…karaoke?
o Special music…riza
o Food…buffet?
o Alcohol…bar available
o Photocopies of old school photos as centerpieces on tables
o Table with 12 years of yearbooks, school papers
o Officer summing up memories from high school (general ones most people can relate with)
o Time for mingling
o Child care available on site for an additional fee
o Taking photos of each person attending
• Sunday brunch
o Location? Buffet? Cost?
Tasks I’d be willing to take on
o Sending out a summary letter…why they should come, question about what they’d like included, be willing to spend, etc.
o Creating program
o Recruiting photos
o Taking photos at the reunion
o Advice on negotiating food costs/group deals at sites
Questions/concerns/issues to work out
o Date
o Costs for each
o Priorities..values…i.e. impt of location, food…pros/cons of nicer but less people or vice versa
o Who can help/timing/making a list of tasks and timelines
o Finalize date and events
o Contacting students
o When receive photos, money
o Resources/amount students are willing to spend
o Suggest break the costs up so students can just come to one event i.e. cost lunch, dinner, program, brunch

these are notes from my word document that didn't translate well...i'm taking them to the planning committee meeting tonight...i also sent out the following note on facebook to friends who have already gone to theirs:

theme: remember yesterday, live today, hope for tomorrow

i like the concept of cycling back around...resolving issues from the past...of course i'm also applying for kindergartens right now for my daughter, sea, so i'm thinking both backwards and forwards while wanting to be in the now...

so i'm tagging you in this note in hopes you either attended your 20 yr and/or can give me insight into why you did or did not attend...why? do you wish you had? hadn't? why? i feel these reunions hold something for many people and the more people who go, the more resolution to be had...like it is part of our history, part of us, especially since we didn't typically choose this part...it still shaped us. some of us have evolved into such different people; some of us miss parts of that care-free, simpler life with all that youth and naivety offer; some of us wish we'd embraced that chance to take more risks, be young when we had less responsibilities; some of us hated high school and some of us felt we were at our prime; some of us had something to prove to someone; some of us always held onto hope for that first love; some of us don't think anything about high school and feel no reason to return; some of us are intrigued by the little we know about a lot of people from our past on facebook; some of us finally figured out who we are or what matters to us and are excited to share this with others; some of us are still struggling with various issues and ashamed to go before what was already a judgmental group...i see myself in much of what i just listed and am curious why others would or would not attend.

on a related note...i once participated in what i felt was a very cool driving school (is that what it is called when you get a ticket and don't want it on your record?)...the teacher basically said to all of us "look, i don't want to be here either. let's take advantage of this time together and see what we can share of ourselves with one another"...this lead into questions about what we were good at, our jobs, resources, etc. like "i own a car wash and can pass out free coupons" "my parents own a restaurant and you can come by for a free appetizer" "i'm a massage therapist and can give you a free massage" etc. and i was thinking it would be cool to use some of the talents of students to save money on planning our reunion (and give them p.r.) and learn more about what everyone is in to...did any of you do anything like this? how did they do it?

i also think it would be fun to have lots of photos...old school from elementary through high school and then recent ones with families...and questionaires (sp?) similar to those everyone fills out on here...i know there are some high school related ones...but also just general info like where people live, the age and names of their children, hobbies, etc....compiled into little booklets...but i don't want people to feel badly like some people are bragging (similar to xmas letters that go on and on)...how do you feel about this? how do you feel reading former classmate's "info" on fb? would you want to know more info like this on your classmates?

i also want to be sure we have at least one event where our family (kids included) can go and interact with the other children...i was thinking a picnic lunch saturday afternoon at a park with all the kids playing together and then the more formal adult-only dinner that night...did any of your reunions do something like this? how did it work?

those of you who attended...what did you learn? about yourself? your classmates? did you get resolution on anything? am i the only one trying to clean out skeletons or deal with childhood issues in going to this?

what other reasons did you have for going? what did you gain from it? what disappointed you? how could these things have been fixed?

i know some of you even helped with planning...how did you go about making decisions about what to include, how much to spend, how to find people, convince them to come, etc?

more later...


  1. My 20th is coming up in a couple years, and I have no plans to go. Why? Because I don't wish to dig all that back up again. For me, highschool was not a good time in my life, I felt alone, isolated, and mainly have a memory of being scared.
    As far as resolution goes, I have dealt successfully with the highschool memories, and I have no need to dig it all up. I have resolved my feelings, I don't have any fond ones that I would like to reminisce, so for me, not going is the obvious answer.

  2. WOW!! You are very detail oriented! And that is a LOT of effort for a reunion that lots of people might not even show up to. But I have a feeling that you are going to make a difference! Give someone hope..some new things to think about.. new perspectives! Good job!


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