Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Breakfast Club

Have you seen the movie, The Breakfast Club? I just caught the tail end of it last night, but I'm sure I've seen it at least 10 times or more since it first came out in 1985. There's a scene in the movie where the five kids (the brain, the jock, the basket case, the princess, and the criminal) are sitting on the floor in the library, and they're beginning to open up, share things and learn things about each other and themselves. It's essentially the pivotal part in the movie when they learn that while everyone is different, they're all pretty much the same. It's not exactly the "ah-ha" moment but, when I watched it last night, I realized that I had had my own "Breakfast Club" scenario in high school.

There were five of us (Daniel, Junior, Claudia, Selena and myself) that had talked our way out of history class under the guise of doing library research. Over the course of the school year, the five of us had all become acquainted with each other just because we had taken the same history class together. Daniel was the star athlete, Junior had transferred during our junior year, Claudia and Selena were popular and intellectual, and I was -- well, just me. I had friends that I hung out with, I was on the track team, and I guess I was fairly well liked by most of the people I knew.

This was our senior year, and I had never really taken the time to get to know Daniel, Claudia or Selena prior to that class; whereas Junior and I quickly became best friends the year he transferred in and we were pretty much inseparable. Junior and Daniel bonded over football, Claudia and Selena were friends with Daniel, and I guess the circle of circumstance just worked its magic and drew us all together.

My "Breakfast Club" moment happened on that one day that we had sweet-talked our way out of class, and got a pass to the library. We took a table towards the back and initially settled down to get some work done. But really, who were we kidding? It was freedom! After about five minutes of small talk, and spreading out books and paper to make it look legit, we began to share stories about ourselves. Some of what we talked about has faded from my memory, but I realized that the people sitting at that table really weren't all that different from myself. Daniel was funny and had a quick wit that I admired, and he had the ability to laugh at himself. Claudia and Selena weren't the enigmatic geniuses that I thought would never give me the time of day. I found myself coming to the realization that we three had a lot of things in common. And, Junior was what I had already known him to be . . . a really great friend. For myself, I think they all found out some things about me that they didn't know . . . and they still liked me.

I have nothing negative to say about my high school years. I had a great time. I had fun. I had a lot of friends. I have tons of great memories to draw on, but I think watching the movie made me realize that I missed out on opportunities of getting to know more people. But, I think that was sort of the point of the movie. Comfort zone; step outside of; bubble; burst.

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