Sunday, February 3, 2019

Photos from Our Past

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.

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