Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Lucy Baker

I went back to DC last weekend for my 15th high school reunion at Edmund Burke College Preparatory School.   I had not been there since I graduated high school.  I’m not going to lie, it kinda freaked me out a bit.

For starters, I walked to the front door where I entered the school for 4 years, only to find a sign that said “no entrance, enter on the Connecticut Avenue entrance”; when I was there, there was no building on Connecticut Avenue let alone an entrance. 

The school has trebled in size in the years since I left.  It has also trebled in price.  An education that cost approximately $11k when I was a student (not cheap by any stretch), was now over $30,000.  Burke always taught me to think critically, especially of institutions.  So I have to ask critically of my fair alma mater: has the education become three times better to justify the price tag?  Has teacher pay increased threefold?  I doubt it. As wonderful as a Burke education can be, can it really justify such a high price tag?   And I don’t know of the proper forum to raise such concerns I have as an alumni.

But I digress.  Something about Burke brings out the anarchist side in me, and makes me want to hurl bricks at power.

And besides, I had a nice time at the reunion. 

There was a grand total of six of us from my class.  We had approximately thirty in my graduating class (I thought there had been 28 of us in the graduating class, but others said 32 or more).  Ironically, Sam—who organized the reunion for my class of 1998, had also been the one who wrote our senior story in the 1998 school yearbook.  In that story, he literally opened tale of the future of our class along the lines “No one came to the reunion.  Even though invitations had been sent out…”  But Sam had herded five more of us cats for this shindig, which included other reunion increments of five and twenty-five year class returnees.

During the dinner, people told stories of their Burke days, so I shared my story about my first day attending school at Edmund Burke:

I had grown up in public school, and figured I would stay there until I hit a bout of the teenage hormones, and starting acting out.  I got myself booted out of all my honors classes and ran the risk of getting lost amid the crowds at public high school.  So my parents decided to ship me off to private school so that I wouldn’t get lost in the herds.  My requirements for school were minimal: that I could wear a hat; that I could go out for lunch.  Edmund Burke offered both of these requirements, so I acquiesced.

On the first day of school, I was walking up the front steps to the (now-blocked) entry way with a cup of coffee in hand.  That was when I saw Lucy Baker.

Lucy Baker was wearing black leather boots up to her knees.  She had on black fishnet stockings that ran up to her leather skirt.  She was wearing some sort of black goth dominatrix-ish top.  Her hair was purple and her face was kabuki white with black eyeliner and black lipstick.  She was wearing a dog collar.

I took one look at Lucy, and put down my coffee on the stone gate next to the steps.  I stood there, debating if I should turn around and go back to public school. 

Then the first bell rang.  I was going to be late on my first day at a new school. 

I picked my coffee back up, and decided that I would give it at least a day.

 In the fits and starts of the years to come, I went on to graduate four years later.


Abba said...

So when/if she googles her name, this will come up???

Paul Rockower said...

There are enough other Lucy Bakers out there whose good name I can besmirch as well.