As yet another politician finds himself (gendered use of pronoun intentional) in trouble from youthful photographs of hijinks, I find myself reflecting on pictures and our past. Even before we transitioned to a much more digitally connected world, I was careful about who might capture what on film.
I probably needn't have worried. I wasn't popular/important enough to find my way into a yearbook. And thinking about the Virginia governor, I'm wondering about a med school yearbook. All thoughts of yearbooks ended when I left undergraduate school.
I've always found yearbooks to have similar disappointments to those Valentine's mailboxes--I always hope for so much and never get rewarded. I remember looking at each page of every yearbook and coming away with disappointment that so little of what I thought was important was contained there.
Maybe I should be grateful.
Of course, I didn't do the types of things that are tripping up our modern politicians. There may be a picture or two of me with green hair for Halloween when I tried to pull off a punk rock kind of costume. There's a picture of me at a Christmas tree decorating party with a string of lights around my head, while I kneel to pet a cat. Those pictures are in plastic tubs in our cottage, not in the yearbook.
If I could find a yearbook, I'm guessing you'd see a group shot of our honor society, Cardinal Key--the group shot includes me. There's a picture of either the newspaper or radio group--I remember wrapping a scarf around my head because others came to the photo shoot more dressed up than I was. Not exactly radical or problematic. I may have held my fingers up in a peace sign, but if I'm ever disqualified for a political position for doing that, then the country is in a scary state.
Here's my favorite picture of undergrad years that's digitized:
Very racy, that reference to supporting our local rhetoricians! That'll get me disqualified when I'm up for the Supreme Court Justice nominee that I hope will come my way!
I'm the one with the braid. The other woman is my beloved English professor, Dr. Swanson. She died unexpectedly almost 5 years ago, and I still can't believe she's gone. She's the one that set me on my current course by repeatedly telling me that I was grad school material. She's the one that believed in me before I even thought to believe in myself.
It's a shame we don't have national discussions about those kinds of pictures.