In a few hours Devorah and I will be off to our thirty year high school reunion. It's going to be a boat ride - reminiscent of those excursion day trips to Bear Mountain that Stuy had back in the day.
Having taught CS at Stuy for the last twenty plus years, I've also been invited to my share of reunions as a teacher. Sometimes the current crop ask me about the reunions and how they compare to mine. I usually say that the reunion that I just went to was pretty much the same as my high school reunions just that I knew more people at the reunion that wasn't my class.
I guess that makes sense – as a teacher I work with and get to know a large swath of students over their careers - when I was a student I was pretty quiet and fairly asocial. I had friends, but not a huge amount. Since 1984 I've only kept in touch with a few. Ben, Bill, John, more recently, Eliza and Steve. There are others would have like to have stayed in touch with but life happens.
As it turns out, while each year is different, all the reunions I've been to have had a similar vibe. Similar clicks, similar groups, and similar conversations. I guess that's what happens when you put a bunch of smart people interested in a range of things in a room together.
Funny thing is, I don't think the Stuy Vibe is unique to Stuy. I'd bet that, if you permit me to posit, that Bronx Science reunions are largely similar and if we put some Science alums in a Stuy reunion and the conversation was not Stuy specific, we probably wouldn't spot the interlopers.
I also had another reunion of sorts earlier in the week. As many of you know, I maintain our StuyCS Alumni group or family, sometimes called the StuyCS mafia. We had our latest meetup this past Wednesday Around 60 Stuy alums, most of whom are my former students but some from '84 and even before gathering together sharing food, drink, stories, and fun. At the end of the evening I was chatting with Peter and Ilya. We spanned 25 years of Stuy but we're all part of the same family. Incidentally, if anyone reading this is in Tech and a Stuy grad, head over to family.stuycs.org fill out the form and join the family.
I've been thinking about my Stuy class and the StuyCS family a lot recently. Probably because I see that the end of the Stuy portion of my career is close at hand. The thing I've realized is that my Stuy isn't the building on Chambers street nor is it the one on 15th. It's my graduates, who have become my friends and my classmates that started that way. It's like minded interesting people who do interesting things and it's about the type of kid that grows into that type of person.
Looking forward to reconnecting with some of those people in a few hours and meeting some that I never knew before.