Thursday, January 16, 2003

Where Are They Now?

I came to Commonwealth, a prep school in a single Boston brownstone four blocks from the Public Gardens, kicking and screaming. I'd been pulled out of public school the preceeding Spring due to failing grades, in turn due to an increasing tendency to prefer McDonalds road trips to math class and, more generally, flagged interest in the facelessness that is public school in rural Massachusetts. But this tiny school -- my class of 33 students was at that time the largest class to graduate -- became home quickly, and it remained that way until I left for Bard in '91. I found first love in Commonwealth's dark wood hallways, learned the value of small and fierce and independent education in its classrooms, flew to Florida to bask in the sun and write a sonnet a day for an entire month for credit, and participated in marathon overnight readings of Joyce's Ulysses at its biannual week-long retreat to Hancock Farm. The school was too small to sustain true cliques, but as in any group of a reasonably small size, the connections one made were true and plentiful.

This morning out of the thin blue ether of cyberspace swam an email from Sam:
Hey Commonwealth Friends!

The recent alumni newsletter (in which I read about Josh Farber's current exploits among others) and last week's dinner (in which I saw Deborah and Jess for the time in close to a decade) has inspired me to write as many of my old friends as I could find (I searched the database on and say hi and give a little update of where things are for me now and hope to get back in touch with some or all of you! : )...
A close look at the To field revealed a mailing list of fifteen, a vertiable who's who of friends and friends-of-friends, some recognizable from their email addresses, some mysterious, tantalizingly familiar but too partial to decode into late-adolescent bodies and faces. And, predictably, over the course of the day, the messages started trickling in.
...I'll write more later, but I wanted to say to everyone that I'm alive and well in Seattle, WA....

...Indeed - I was thrilled when I saw Mark's mail. It's great to hear from you all! OK, me. I got my BA in Philosophy...

...So what's happened to me? Well, let's see. I invented a form of underwater squid dancing which was a huge hit in Bali...
And my own, which included a link to the blog; here's how I introduce myself to those long-absent:
Dear Lord. What a wonderful blast from the past. Hello all!

Lets see...after three years as a teaching fellow at the Boston Museum of Science, two years as an undergrad at Marlboro College to finish a BA in the social sciences of cyberspace, and a Masters of Arts in Teaching with Web Technologies, I'm in my fifth year at Northfield Mount Hermon school, the biggest residential prep school in New England, in Northfield, MA (at the intersection of MA, NH, and VT on a map), where I am dorm parent / media and communications faculty / ed tech specialist and chair the school's Professional Development Committee. Married to Darcie (who I met in college) for five years (she coordinates weekend events and yearbook), our first child Willow just turned 6 months and cut her first two teeth on the same day. Other than a quick Jess Potts sighting at Newton Wellsley Hospital last Spring, I have been far out of touch for a while, but if anyone is interested in hearing and seeing more, my blog is at

Anyone else?

The potential here is interesting to me professionally. If conversation continues, the insta-listserv phenomenon/scenario it creates is a new one to me, worthy of footnote for a media teacher always on the spy for memes and materials. If this current exchange turns out to be a primarily one-shot yawp from the far reaches of the 'net, however, we might say that the media, when used in just the right combination of elements, merely spurts forth a grassroots alumni mag with no warning or precedence.

While I wait in line to host the 2003 Blog A Day Tour, yet another wish-I-thought-of-it-first idea, this time from out-of-work Texan Lawrence Smith of the oft-permalinked Amish Tech Support, my email has been filling up with fragments of my history, pouring the past into the present. I am grateful for the peek into the parallel lives of friends once had; if it lasts only for a moment, it will be enough.

posted by boyhowdy | 12:39 AM |

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