A Room Full of Mirrors: High School Reunions in Middle by Keiko Ikeda

By Keiko Ikeda

The highschool reunion happens during the usa and cuts throughout variations in age, locality, and ethnicity. This renowned occasion is often considered a light-hearted social celebration or an workout in nostalgia that has little different value within the lives of its contributors. Drawing on candid own narratives derived from reunions starting from the 5th to the 50th, this pathbreaking examine demonstrates, despite the fact that, that for plenty of americans the highschool reunion is a wealthy and sometimes poignant event. Of specific curiosity is the truth that this ethnographic examine was once performed by way of a eastern anthropologist informed within the usa, who bargains a comparative point of view on excessive faculties within the nations. excessive colleges serve very various social reasons in Japan and the U.S., and the methods humans within the nations view their highschool years fluctuate as a result. the writer examines the yankee highschool reunion as a dramatic scene within the building of self and which means in maturity. in the course of the highschool reunion, americans are thrown right into a room jam-packed with mirrors within which they're faced by way of assorted visions of themselves. There they see pictures in their highschool selves filtered in the course of the lighting and shadows forged by means of classmates’ stories and projected opposed to the backdrop created by way of the lives of these classmates right this moment. via an research of the a number of reflections of self that emerge in the course of reunions, the writer exhibits how reunions have enough money humans an celebration on which to reevaluate their very own stories and arrive at a brand new realizing of self. the yank highschool reunion hence offers contributors with a sequence of self-perceptions from which they could build new narratives in their personal lives.

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The commonplace cognitive exercise of matching impressions of an adult with a high school type. One good illustration is a matching game invented by Keyes on the basis of his collection of instances in which public figures were described by the press in high school metaphors. He provided each description with a list of possible matches and invited his readers to play matching games. For instance: (1) On stage she sometimes projects the air of a spoiled, slightly heartless prom queen. (a. Lily Tomlin, b.

Their faces glowed. Some were still frantically talking, making promises of future contact or plans to get together the next day before leaving for California, Minnesota, Coloradothose places where they led their adult lives. As I neared the exit, two women approached me hurriedly, as if they had urgent business. One woman was tall and was wearing a plain dress; the other short, wearing a white blouse, dark blue skirt, and thick glassesmodest attire in comparison to that of the other reunion participants.

High school may be the first, and perhaps also the last, time in one's life that is spent with a social and economic cross-section of peers, exposed to the comprehensive and merciless judgment of others. Keyes (1976: 34) writes, recalling his own high school experience, "Never again are we ranked so precisely by those around us, and on so many scales. Through the popularity polls of our classmates, and their inexperience at tact, daily feedback was conveyed about how we were coming across. " Cultural differences in the high school experiences of Americans and Japanese spring from the different emphases the two societies place on high school education.

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