6 Mar
I worked at the back doors of the Athlete Village today, checking everyone’s accreditation badges to ensure they were legitimately allowed to enter the premises.  Halfway through my shift, I noticed one of the men coming in wearing a Team Nunavut uniform.  I always pay particular attention to the Nunavut and NWT uniforms; the North is a small place and in the back of my mind, I’m always thinking I might recognize someone.  But I never really think it’ll happen with the Nunavut folks, since it’s been 12 years since I left and the athletes would have mostly been toddlers or in primary school at that time.
This guy looked really familiar, though, and I thought I knew who he was, but if it was, he hadn’t aged a day.
"You look familiar," I said.  I squinted at his badge and saw that the name matched the one I had in my head.  Mr. Geikie, who was the advisor to the graduating class the year I finished at Inuksuk High School in Iqaluit.
Fortunately, I looked familiar to him, too, and he remembered me when I told him my name.  He’s working as part of the Mission staff for Team Nunavut, so we got to chat for just a short time before he had to run off and attend to business.
The brief encounter, though, was enough to set off a chain reaction of memories.  I remembered people that I hadn’t thought about in years.  Like the girl who was a year ahead of me, whose name I can’t remember at all, who was involved in something or other (volunteer firefighting? Northern Rangers?) that had her rappelling down the sides of buildings in Iqaluit.  I can totally see her face, but her name?  Might as well be Jane Doe. 
But mostly I’ve been thinking about what a soap opera high school life was.  It was such a great time, but such a painful one, too.  I was the valedictorian of my class.  I was elected president of the student council in my second (and final) year at the high school, although the VP and I decided we’d be co-chairs instead.  We raised thousands of dollars to help support the daycare at the high school.  We raised hundreds more to buy new decorations for our prom.  We did singing telegrams at Valentine’s and caused one of our teachers and her husband to decide to celebrate the holiday even though they had previously decided not to. 
Then there were the weighty issues, like wrestling with the fact that my boyfriend might have fathered a child.  (I was a good Catholic girl and was still a virgin and wondered whether his possibly being a father — which he denied — made a difference in our relationship.)  Then there was the admission of infidelity.  And there was the indignation I felt when a friend — who had also apparently slept with my now ex-boyfriend and whom I had forgiven — accused me of being mean because I apparently didn’t want a tenth-grader to sing at our grad (which wasn’t the case).  Oh, the drama!
There’s more, but I won’t continue to bore you with my travels down memory lane, though there was lots more.  I just sometimes find it hard to believe all the drama that is high school; over the rest of my shift I watched the athletes coming in and out of the building and wondered what kinds of experiences they might be having now in their high school years.  And then it makes me wonder what things will be like for Jade when she gets to that age.  The sad and scary part is that I won’t know even half of what goes on in her life then (although I guess that’s probably actually a good thing).  Even now she has a life apart from mine, in those three days a week at the daycare, where she is developing relationships with people that I don’t even know.
Well, at least there are a few years left before that dreaded stage called teenagerhood.  And in the meantime, I can work on being there for her so that — who knows? — we can stay close even as she is living her own life.

2 Responses to “Nostalgique”

  1. Uncheck box & type name March 7, 2007 at 12:16 pm #

    AHa!! I figured out the commenting…doh!
    I didn\’t know you went to high school in Iqaluit. Were you born there?  I\’d love to hear more about life out that way.
    I hear you about the drama in high school!  Quite the drama you had!!  And you\’re right – I think it\’s best if you DON\’T hear all the details of Jade\’s life when she\’s a teenager.  Thinking of my own teen years, that would be scary!  Rest assured, a kid that is raised confident, with caring parents (like you guys of course!) is going to make the right decisions as they go through all that teenage angst! 🙂

  2. Fawn March 12, 2007 at 11:34 pm #

    Hey, Stacie!  No I wasn\’t born in Iqaluit (but Thunder Bay counts as the north, right?!)  I did Grades 11 and 12 there and had a fabulous experience.  The people in my class were such open and accepting people and it was an awesome place to develop self-confidence.  I got such unique experiences there that I never would have had the chance to do anywhere else.  (Like making a presentation to Chancellor Helmut Kohl of Germany, and then-PM Jean Chretien, after cutting through all the silly bureaucratic tape by writing letters — in German and in French — directly to the big guys.)
    Ahh, good times!

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