It's about fourteen years since I left Ryde High School, clutching a handful of A-level results and a misguided notion of how life would turn out for me.
I have a lot of memories of my education. Not all of them great. School shapes you in ways you don't often appreciate until later on in life. It forms how you relate to people, influences your tastes, pushes you out into the world in a specific direction.
It left me with a distinct distaste for authority, an abiding love for rock music, several scars, a few mental issues, respect for those that can make learning fun, and a deep affection for several branches of literature.
It also left me with friends.
I am spectacularly bad at staying in touch with people. This much is obvious. That doesn't mean I don't think about those folks that I shared these formative times with. With fair regularity, actually, I recall the times I enjoyed - and kind of avoid thinking about the ones I didn't.
Everyone's moved on and grown up. Everyone's grown into lives. I've always wanted the best for all of you - even the ones that bullied me, especially the ones that I in turn bullied. We're all so different, now, of that I'm sure - different in many ways, the same in others.
I just got thinking about it, on the way home from work. Got thinking about all the folks I knew so well that I didn't see at all after we all left school, or after two years, or five. Honestly...it's my own fault for not staying in touch. I should have. I was kind of messed up but I'm getting better every day.
If you're reading this, and you know someone we went to school with that hasn't - would you do me a favour and pass it on to them?
Just so they'll all know that however far they go in life, and however well they do, THIS oversized nerd is cheering them on.