Reunionsville

A couple of likelihoods occurred to me this weekend over the course of our class reunion.  First, the small-town upbringing (and by small I mean less than a thousand people in our town of Findlay) we experienced is endangered if not extinct.  Our school became too small to function well enough, and even now that it’s part of a consolidated district, it’s still too small.  The legacy of this political decision – to maintain small independent school districts through property taxes rather than go to county schools in rural areas (unlike in Iowa or Indiana) – is even now being felt in Illinois.  It’s but one piece in the woeful puzzle of state debt and dysfunction.  Not that I want to go on a rant…

Listening to those old stories again made me appreciate my uncommon childhood  all the more.  We were allowed to grow and explore at our own pace there, to try different activities, sports, and interests without pressure to specialize so early.  We did farm work in the summer and hung out together mostly  in blissful ignorance of cliqueishness and social snobbery.  Did this mean many of us were naive and under-prepared when we struck out into the wider world?  Probably.  Yet most of us have done OK. Continue reading