The old high school (CBC St. Kilda) as seen from the rear. Was a strange experience going back there last Thursday for the class reunion - great to catch-up with old friends and classmates, sad to see one of them now confined to a wheelchair, surprised to see a couple of them had become cops, surreal to see the teachers now looking anything but the fearsome authority figures they once seemed, and funny to see our old PE (Physical Education) teacher going outside to light-up every 10 minutes (as he said to me when I expressed surprise to see he was now a smoker: "Son, I was just as big a smoker back then. Just because I told you boys not to do it, didn’t mean I couldn’t do it" ).
The tour of the school grounds also produced some mixed emotions. Of course, it felt nowhere near as expansive as it did when you were sixteen. But apart from some changes to the front facade, the addition of a gym, and the rows of books in the library now replaced by rows of computers (sad but hardly unexpected), not a whole lot seemed to have changed...in fact, devoid of the life of several hundred rowdy kids, the place seemed dirty and downright archaic in places, giving it an overall sense of cold concrete decay and depression that felt about as warm and inviting as an abandoned nuclear power plant.