Friday, April 30, 2004

manson high school class of '89: where are they now?

(my hometown [starred] and surrounding area)

I got an e-mail about the plans for my 15th high school class reunion today. I haven't gone to either of the earlier class reunions, but I'm thinking I might drive the five hours back there for this one. Although the reunion dinner, in true Rural Iowa fashion, has three entree options, none of which are vegetarian.

The organizer attached a spreadsheet that had the addresses for the 38 alums (out of a class of 39) that he was able to find. Turns out that the residential destinations of the members of my graduating class can be broken neatly into thirds. Here's where we ended up, with some blue symbols of sociological significance to be explained below:

Stayed within 25 miles of my hometown (34%):

Ft. Dodge, Iowa
Ft. Dodge, Iowa
Ft. Dodge, Iowa
Ft. Dodge, Iowa
Ft. Dodge, Iowa
Knierim, Iowa
Manson, Iowa
Manson, Iowa
Manson, Iowa
Manson, Iowa
Manson, Iowa (cousin of jf)
Manson, Iowa
Manson, Iowa

Note: Fort Dodge is a small city of about 25,000 that is 20 miles from Manson. It represents the closest thing to urban life within an hour's drive of my hometown. One of the big things to do in high school was to drive to Fort Dodge and then drive up and down this one street. Fort Dodge is not just an eyesore but a full-sensory-organ-sore. Spend fifteen minutes within its city limits and you have to take a hot shower of at least that long to wash the wasted life in the air off your skin.

Stayed in Iowa, but more than 25 miles from my hometown: (32%)

Algona, Iowa *
Ames, Iowa
Ankeny, Iowa
Burlington, Iowa
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Clive, Iowa
Decorah, Iowa *
Des Moines, Iowa
Des Moines, Iowa
Grimes, Iowa
Indianola, Iowa *
Mason City, Iowa (another cousin)

Out of Iowa (34%):

Branson, Missouri *
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Fort Campbell, Kentucky (second cousin)
Ft. Collins, Colorado
Fulton, Missouri
Lauderdale, Minnesota *
Lawrence, Kansas *
MTN. Home Air Force Base, Idaho
Madison, Wisconsin *
Norfolk, Nebraska *
Owatonna, Minnesota
Pembroke Pines, Florida *
Valrico, Florida *

* The ten blue asterisks denote the people who graduated in the top 10 in my graduating class.** (Yes, I remember. Keep in mind that I went to kindergarten with 2/3 of these people, so we went through thirteen years of sorting and tracking together.) Presumably you don't need to statistical training to see the pattern between how people did in school then and where they are living now.

** I was third. I was on the path toward valedictory status until the last semester of my senior year, when I began showing up 20 or more minutes late every day to first-period calculus, spoiling my 4.0. I already had my scholarship to the University of Iowa, and so didn't care. That semester I also got an F in chorus because I quit going. The only reason I was in chorus at all was so I could be in the school musical, where I was traditionally bestowed with the role of the largest non-singing male part. I was told the F in chorus would be on my permanent record--yes! my permanent record***--and assume it is, although fortunately the stigma of it has not spoiled any subsequent employment or other opportunities for me, except perhaps my audition to be one of the yodelers for that one game on The Price is Right.

*** In the interests of nostalgia and full disclosure about my permanent record, I should not that this isn't the only F on it. I also stopped doing the pointless assignments in spelling one semester in junior high and was given an F for that. This was the same semester that I finished eighth in Iowa's state spelling bee. I'm no good at busywork, but, believe me, even in my direst moments of intellectual self-doubt, I still know that I can spell, regardless of what my permanent record my suggest.

No comments: