Friday, May 22, 2015

The Last Booth Memorial Post

Earlier this week Heather Barrett, who is a producer with CBC in Newfoundland, did a story about how she was a proud alumni of Booth Memorial. The school is closing and this was her way of saying goodbye. I swear to God, it feels like virtually every family member and friend I have either tagged the story to me, retweeted it or did something to make sure I noticed the story was out there.

Now why would they do that? Well, I may have, from time to time to time, written about my....dislike of my time at Booth Memorial. It is possible, while at the Duke having a beverage that I may have regaled a story or two about why I disliked the school and what I might do to the building should I possess the means, opportunity and a plane ticket to a non-extradition treaty country.

So yes, this was poking me, waving a red cape or whatever else to try and get a reaction out of me.

Funny thing though. I found I couldn't get myself to care overly much. The rant wasn't coming forth. I mean, I had something half-assed brewing where I could have listed something good about my time there, like how I fell in love for the first time at Booth (true), but that much of our initial bonding was over how much we hated the place and couldn't wait to leave (also true).

Now, I thought it might have to do with me not being in a very creative mood on the writing front these last few months. But then my friend Andrew posted something up on Facebook and I had an Eureka moment.

Booth is not the only high school in St. John's closing shortly. Booth's "sister" high school, Bishops, is also closing. Andrew is a Bishops alumni and posted this question: "So. People are all in about Bishops closing. I'm not affected. Is that bad of me?"

Most people said "nope". I added "You graduated 27 years ago. If you were affected I'd be worried."

Boom. There you go.

I graduated Booth 27 years ago. It was a miserable three years, make no mistake. But it was 27-years-ago. I've discovered that as I've gotten older I try and save my hate for truly worthy causes. When I was a younger man, I was indiscriminate in unleashing my hatred around to any number of targets (friends from my time at the muse are nodding their heads reading this and going "Oh hell yes"). But I pick and choose these days. I fine-tune my hate. And really, you have to be pretty spectacularly wretch for me to sustained a three decade level of loathing. Booth just doesn't do it anymore.

I honestly had forgotten that Booth was closing this year. I probably won't think about the place again until I drive by it when transiting from downtown to the Avalon Mall the next time I'm in St. John's. Hell, it's been 10 years, at least, since I gave it my customary middle finger as I drove by.

I'd say good riddance, but I think the more honest answer is, who cares.

I will end on this note. When I was rereading some of my old posts as prep for this post, I hit the section where the principal of Booth back around 2003-2004, tried to get me fired because I wrote a particularly strongly worded column for The Express saying the sooner the school closed the better off humanity would be. I thought it was a bit edgy at the time because of the language I used but really, I was a dude writing a column that said I hated high school. I was soooooo edgy.

At the time I laughed off his attempts to get me fired. It was hysterical that someone tried to get a columnist fired for saying he really hated high school. Also, when you're a columnist you want to be loved or hated, but not ignored. And the efforts that Booth's principal, staff, and students went though to try and make my life difficult after that column ran was mostly pretty amusing.

Ten years or so have given me a slightly different perspective. Imagine, for a moment, that my editor and publisher were more....wussy. Imagine if they had actually listened to this principal and fired me. Over a column saying I hated high school. What kind of dick tries to get someone fired and really, deeply screw up someone's life - because it's not as if newspaper jobs were easy to find even then - over a column? It would have caused me significant economic havoc. Getting another reporter job after getting fired would have been very hard.

That's actually annoying me more right now than my misery from decades ago. Maybe I was a bit of an arsehole for writing it, but it takes an extra special kind of arsehole to try and get someone fired for writing it. Maybe there really is something about that building...

Last Five
1. Magic (live) - Coldplay
2. Arthur's Theme - Rumer*
3. I blame you - Melissa McClelland
4. Under the influence - Elle King
5. All our tomorrows - Ron Sexsmith

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