Sunday, January 10, 2016

Perceptions and Misperceptions

Surfing Facebook this morning I came across an article 11 Hidden Castles in Massachusetts.  I knew
my high school would be among them.  Sure enough!  There it was, # 11.

Many things came to mind.  The title of the article, itself, was the first.  These castles aren't hidden.  People in the area know them.  Second, that misnomer gave me cause to reflect.  Misperceptions have a life of their own.  Most of the time, there's no rational reason for them.  There may be a slight thread of an immature impression that resulted in the misperception.  Hopefully, that misperception will be corrected by an open mind.

My early impressions of my high school were connected to the seminary next door.  St. Basil's Seminary, back in the day, decorated its building with lights, during the Christmas season.  I had always assumed that all the adjacent buildings belonged to St. Basil's.  When my parents were suggesting high schools, and Presentation of Mary Academy came up, I was surprised that it was a bona fide school on its own, not part of St. Basil's.

Remembering my high school days, I think of the fun.  We had a pond on the property.  We skated in the winter.  We had nice rolling hills that were perfect for sledding, especially tobogganing.  We had what we called a "runway."  It was a covered pedestrian bridge that connected the school to the convent.  I could tell you some funny (strange, creepy, and funny) stories.  But I won't, to protect the innocent.  The grounds were spacious and beautiful.  I was always rather proud to have gone to high school, in a castle.

Fast forward to marriage.  When I brought my husband around my hometown, I showed him where I went to high school.  His response, "You went to a prison?  Was it a reform school?"  Prison?  How insulting!

You just can't account for people's perceptions.  This one school, Presentation of Mary Academy has been perceived as:
high school

As for me and all PMA Alumni, it's a high school blessed to be in a castle.

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