In a reversal of Big, the Tom Hanks classic from the 80s, your adult self is suddenly locked in the body of a 12-year-old kid. How do you survive your first day back in school?
I shake and shutter at the thought. The year would be 1960 and I’d be going into the seventh grade in WAJ Central.
You cannot make me do it, I am not going back.
I am, in fact, missing on the reunion list, although my name appears with the caption “Do you know where this graduate is?”
But I am not returning.
The school is named WAJ, after the sending towns; Windham, Ashland and Jewett. You can locate it on a map, by looking for Green County above Kingston, New York. If you ski, perhaps you’ve been to the sloops of “Windham Mountain Resort.“
WAJ is a small rural school with kindergarten through twelfth grade housed in one building. There were thirty-five students in my 1966 graduating class, one of which was my brother, because although older, he was left back twice.
Our move from Long Island to the Northern Catskills was a middle of the night move, motivated by our father’s belief it was better that constructing a bomb shelter.
Anyway, why go back as an adult, I was one of the few adults way back than.
Well I could go back and tell the science teacher, Mr. Christman, not to throw a frog reeking of formaldehyde out the window and comfort to Ms. Lazare, the French teacher, who after hearing a loud pop believed she’d been shot and fell to the ground clutching her chest.
But I am not going back and you cannot make me!
. . . Seriously just saying