Has it been 10 years already?

Posted February 20, 2013 at 1:33 pm

BABBLING BROOKS column–Express Editor Kim Brooks

It’s been 10 years since I graduated high school?! Man, I’m getting old!

It’s funny how things change after you’re out of high school. For one thing, the petty cliques are non-existent anymore. It seems 10 years after high school no one cares what group you belonged to in school or whether you were a jock, played in the band or hung out in the computer lab working on the school newspaper and year book (who me?).

Everyone, for the most part, has grown up. Many of my classmates have gotten married, have children and are working hard for a living. Some have moved away to pursue careers in California, Vegas, Florida, all over the country.

One of my high school science teachers always told us, if anything, to move out of our hometowns and Delaware County after high school. He said we needed to explore what’s out there. Well, I did just that… and now I live and work 20 miles away from my hometown!

In planning our reunion (I guess I’ve been named “official party planner), there is so much to think about. It’s not like prom where all you do is decorate the gym and have a party till the wee hours of the morning. You have to set a reunion date, book a venue, think about food and drinks, consider costs. Now that we’re all working for a living, cost is a factor.

With quite a few classmates out of state, planning well ahead of time gives them a chance to book flights or plan their time off to get back to Iowa for the reunion.

Thanks to the wonders of social media and Facebook, planning our 10-year reunion has been pretty stress-free. Most of our classmates are on Facebook these days so everyone is tuned into what’s going on. And you can share embarrassing high school photos online. (Did I really go to school wearing that?)

There are so many milestones, too, that we can look back at 10 years later. For instance, my senior year, Maquoketa Valley girls basketball team made it to state and finished second. That moment was also significant because our high school Spanish teacher welcomed her first son while on her way to Des Moines for the game.

It’s fond memories that will make this milestone reunion one to remember…

News, news, news

What a week for national news!

Cruise ship meltdowns (in more ways than one). Olympic gold medalist charged with murder. The State of Union chant “Deserve a vote!”

I don’t know how many of you will be in a hurry to board a cruise ship any time soon, after the news and photos that emerged from the 3,000-some passengers on the Carnival Triumph cruise ship mishap. Ironic how the ship was named “Triumph,” meaning “a great victory.” Definitely not a victory for the Carnival cruise line.

As the ship docked in Alabama after five days or so stranded in the ocean, national media outlets were playing Lynyrd Skynrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” welcoming the passengers back to the main land.

While the media could have blasted the crew and Carnival name to bits, the passengers themselves were all praising the crewmembers for tending to their needs and trying to keep the peace in a situation like that. No running water, no air conditioning, no electricity and poor sanitary conditions could not have been easy for the 4,000 or so on that ship, including the crew.

You may not remember the name of the South African gold medal “blade runner” from the London Olympic Games who wore prosthetics to run in track and field. But you’ll know him now as someone charged with the murder of his girlfriend.

Some reports say he (Oscar Pistorius) mistook his girlfriend as an intruder, but either way, it’s a sad situation for all involved. Pistorius was at the top of his game after winning in the Olympics, against all odds, and is now at the bottom of the pole, sitting in jail, awaiting trial.

Let’s hope the fame didn’t go to his head.

I watched the State of the Union address last week, and the only thing I took away from the hour-long speech was this, “Deserves a vote!”

I know Obama touched on many hot topics during his speech, but my take-away was this… He is pushing Congress to vote on a variety of gun control issues currently up for grabs. Obama named those affected by gun violence in this nation, Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, the parents of Hadiya Pendleton who was shot on a playground in Obama’s hometown of Chicago, the families of those killed in Newtown, Conn., and more. Soon, the entire room was filled with those chanting for a vote.

Another take-away from the State of the Union, although minor compared to the politics of it all… Did you notice the colorful attire worn by the President, VP Biden and Speaker of the House Boehner? Pastel purple, pink and blue ties.

The speech was on the eve of Ash Wednesday, the start of the Easter season. Those colorful ties may have been a statement in-and-of-itself.