Do you ever reach out to old friends via mass e-mail? I did recently, to pass on some information about a retiring graduate school dean. The first two people to respond were, predictably, among the handful of girls I still exchange e-mails with and have seen a couple of times since grad school.
Next was my best friend from grad school. A boy. We’ve been in touch sporadically and I think he sent a mass e-mail about getting married a couple of years ago. Yeah, I crushed on him pretty hard the first two quarters of grad school, but he had a girlfriend, so I settled, wistfully, for being his writing buddy. During our last quarter together, he found a new female writing buddy and we never regained the closeness of those early months, learning the 5 W’s and the inverted pyramid, and memorizing the AP stylebook.
We loved grad school. When we were assigned beats, we mocked a fellow student who didn’t file a story every day. “Why wouldn’t you want to write a story every day?” my friend pondered.
He also was a vegan, and one of three major influences in my becoming a vegetarian. The other two being my brother and Buddha.
Neither one of us is a reporter now. I don’t think he ever worked as a reporter. To be fair, he is a foreigner, and may have had trouble getting a job, but within a year or two, he was concentrating full time on his music, and touring with his band. I never heard him play or saw him pick up an instrument.
I, on the other hand, still strongly identify with my grad school experience. Maybe I’m not a “journalist” per se, but I consider that education to be the foundation of the skills that I apply every day.
In his recent e-mail to me, my friend said he doesn’t think about grad school much, which I find sort of astonishing. I think about grad school all the time.
He also didn’t mention being married, but did have some weird hyphenated last name going on.