Thursday, April 09, 2009

University of Scranton Class Reunion

A lot of friends have been asking me if I'll be going to the University of Scranton Class of 1989 reunion. My stock answer has been: I'm not sure, I'll have to see if I'm free then.

Turns out I'm not. It's scheduled for June 12,13, and 14, and I'm working all three of those days, as well as the 15th. So I'd have to take another full rotation off, after I've already scheduled a vacation at the end of April to do yard and garden work, and I may be taking more time off in August for a friend's wedding.

Even if I were free, I'm not sure I would go. When I graduated in 1989 it was as a double-major in Physics and Philosophy, headed off to grad school. When we had our ten-year reunion in 1999 I had been working as the DVD Asset Manager for a few months - not exactly something I had planned, but still, an exciting, interesting job that had me working with cutting-edge consumer technology while interacting directly with people in the movie industry.

Ten years later, and I'm a factory worker popping out DVDs on night shift. Not exactly a career path to be proud of. No wife, no kids...own a house I don't live in yet...

Thing is, some of the people I graduated with might be doing worse. A lot of them were working in firms directly affected by the economic downturn. Makes me wonder how many will actually show up.

So the reunion would be an uncomfortable, humiliating experience. On the other hand, it would also be an excellent networking opportunity - maybe. Would that be worth it?

I don't know. Somehow I don't think so. I've got Facebook, and I'm in touch with a lot of college classmates on there. I'm also just thirty twenty-five miles from the school, so if I want to interact with professors there, I can.

I'm actually planning to try to arrange lunch with one or more old Physics professors during my vacation at the end of April. To talk about the future and things like that.

I'd also like to buttonhole some members of the administration that I know. The school has a Career Planning office, basically designed to help graduating students get a start in their post-graduation careers. Why stop there? It's in the best interests of the University for every one of its alumni to have the most lucrative careers possible, so they will be in the best position to kick some of their income back to the school in the form of donations, scholarships, what have you. The school likes to boast of its network of influence throughout the nation. Why not put that to work?

So, bottom line: I don't think I'll be going to the reunion this time around. Maybe the 25th...

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