Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cogitare, Agere, Esse

Last weekend, Mr. J and I flew back to CT to attend my 10 year high school reunion. It coincided with the school's final events for its 100 year celebration, so Alumnae Weekend was a lot bigger and fancier than usual. The weekend ran all day Friday and ended with a Sunday brunch. It even included a black tie optional gala underneath a beautiful tent that covered the soccer field on Saturday night. Needless to say, it was pretty darn special in my opinion.

See the picture above? Well, campus certainly didn't look like that 10 years ago. The school now has an athletic center as well as a performing arts center that was not there before. Despite its age, the school continues to age like fine wine.

Anyway, I felt a little bad since I planned poorly and didn't attend any of the Friday events. That meant missing out on a class gathering on Friday evening. My graduating class was only 45 or so, and 22 of us came back to catch up last weekend. I barely had a chance to speak with half of us there and now I am sad. I guess that's what Facebook is good for, right?

Instead of attending the Friday and early Saturday festivities, I decided to go with Mr. J to visit his parents, grandmother, and aunt before heading to my high school to eat lunch and hang out with my friends. We arrived on campus right in time for my class to take our 10 year reunion photo. Well, my old roommie actually convinced everyone to push back the time until I arrived. Apparently, I was notoriously late for everything in high school and some things never change. SMH. I hope to get my hands on a copy of that class photo soon.

Besides the class photo, I was able to attend a panel discussion entitled "Women in Business and Finance." How fitting. The panelists were all distinguished alumnae in their 40s and 50s and they discussed the trials and tribulations of being a woman in the industry. I asked the panel how each managed work and home life balance, especially children. The best advice I heard was to "keep in mind that not everything has to happen in the same decade." Food for thought and a topic for a totally different post. Oh yeah. Also, another alumna mentioned to just "own your choices" and roll with the punches. Interesting.

After the panel discussion was the gala. Boy was that all sorts of fun. One of my besties helped my wedding caterer, Emily's Catering, land the job for our high school's Centennial events. The food was delicious as expected and the drinks certainly flowed freely. I took a ton of pics, but here are some that will hopefully provide a decent summary of the evening.

And drum roll please...the only pic I deemed safe enough to be on the interwebz yet can still accurately depict what was taking place at that moment. lol.
On Sunday, Mr. J flew back to FL without me. You see, my junior year roommate, who currently lives in Australia with her fiance, actually decided to attend our reunion a mere two weeks before the event. Needless to say, I HAD to change my plans to spend some more time with her. This meant hanging out with a few of my high school besties at brunch on Sunday. It also meant that I shopped it up at Woodbury Commons (my fav outlet mall) in NY with my roommie. I even had a chance to hang out with some friends and former co-workers in NYC before heading back to FL.

A pic from Sunday brunch with a few classmates (forgive the sleepy looks):

A pic of some of my beloved friends / two of my favorite former co-workers in "our" bar where everyone still knows our name in NYC on Monday night. All three of us worked as a team in investment banking years ago. Alas, only the guy in the suit still works in that world while us two women are trying to get back into the game.

Cogitare, Agere, Esse. To think, to do, to be. That is my high school's motto, and I strive every day to live by these words. I spent 4 years trying so hard to escape my alma mater yet I am thankful for the experiences, the friendships, and the opportunities that my high school awarded me. I just can't believe it's already been 10 years since I graduated!