Thanksgiving weekend is also reunion weekend. I've been on and off invited to Stuy reunions over the years. Not as often it seems as some teachers but more often than others. I always do my best to attend. I have very fond memories of many students and many classes over many years and think a lot about them so feel very honored whenever I'm invited to one of these.
In the past each class due a reunion did its own thing - some club or bar usually in Manhattan. This year, things were a little different. Stuy held some "all class" reunion activities at the school during the day and then multiple reunions were held at the school during the evening. They hosted three classes - 2008, 2004, and 1998 in different parts of the school. The class of 2013 also had a reunion off site - that's my daughter Batya's graduating class so she got to catch up with her class wherever they held their shindig.
I think the format worked well. Two classes were in the cafeteria separated by a curtain and the third in one of the gyms. There was self serve beer, wine, and water along with assorted snacks and finger foods. Each area also had a DJ playing music though not too loudly. Everyone knew the location, costs were kept low and for the most part it wasn't so loud that you couldn't talk to each other.
As usual it was great to see some former students that I hadn't seen in years and also chatting with non-cs students that I really didn't know but there were a few highlights.
I spend a good amount of time with some of my 1998 crew. As I told them, I really honestly missed them. We had some really good times. Some of them had moved out of the city but talking to the NY contingent we all left feeling that we should do a better job of seeing each other in person.
I also enjoyed my time with the other groups but I've manged to see more of them more recently.
In a couple of weeks, I'm actually going to have a reunion of my own alumni community. I've put together a loose association of my former students and other Stuy students involved in tech. We're having a meetup in early December and right now it looks like around 100 people are going to attend. I love those meetups because they bring together people across the generations. The downside for me is that it's like a big family event. As the host I never get to really catch up with anyone since I'm running from person to person.
One final nice takeaway from the evening. After I exited Stuy I
started to gear up in my Cleverhood for the rainy ride home and
started chatting with a group of '98 grads one of whom was my
student. He said to the group "you might not remember this guy and
probably have no idea what he did for all of you." He went on to
explain how I got Stuy on the internet in 1994/1995 and set up email
accounts for everyone. I remembered that I ran the internet stuff at
Stuy for years but never really thought about the fact that we got
online and got those facilities to the kids that early. Working with
Bruce, a student at the time we
stole requisitioned one of the IBM
RS/6000 machines that were supposed to be used in the cad classes, got
it onto the net, and set up email accounts for everyone. It's funny
that I just always thought of that as something we did but to some of
the students it was a pretty big deal.
Goes to show that you never know what makes a mark on your students.