Francis Libermann Catholic High School 40th Anniversary

By: Talin Orfali – Student Alumni – Fall 1999 to 2003.

40 Years ago in 1977, Francis Libermann Catholic High School opened its doors to teachers, students and administrative staff, and this year in 2018, on June 3rd, we had the anniversary and reunion. Many past and present teachers, and alumni students were present.

A couple of months ago, I had opened up my Facebook, and on my news feed, I see an event from Francis Libermann of which a fellow classmate of mine from my time, invited me to it, I definitely said, I am going. At first, I had mixed feelings about it, and I was hesitant at first because my high school life wasn’t what I had expected it to be, but I toughed it out for 4 years. It wasn’t perfect and there were good times and bad times, but nothing really is perfect.

We envision high school to be perfect where everyone gets along, but that is not the case, however, I forgive those who have bullied me and belittled me throughout those times. I realize now that when you are a teenager going to school, all these emotions run high, going through the puberty stages where sometimes teens just don’t know what they are doing, plus getting through school with studies and everything else with making friends whereas some others don’t get so lucky about that. It’s a huge phase that kids go through before venturing out to college/university and maybe not and just going right to work or whatever the case may be.

Anyway, when I saw about 90% of the teachers at the reunion and anniversary, they all automatically remembered me even though 15 years have passed since I took my last walk out of those doors. I never visited back since then, but I feel like I really never left yesterday. I was so sad to hear about my favourite principal back in the day had passed away a few years ago from cancer. I was so devastated and cried. I truly know how to appreciate teachers and administrative staff for all the hard work and sacrifices they make and made to make sure we are educated and well looked after.

Some of the teacher’s names I had forgotten about and some that are still fresh in my mind, but they remembered me and some of the teachers said that they think about me from time to time. One of them said to me yesterday, Talin, you were my favourite student and I think about you all the time. I am so happy to be seeing you here today and in return, she was really one of my favourite teachers at the school. One of them always knew I was going to get into some sort of writing and when I spoke to her and told her what I do now, she got so excited to hear that I am doing what she thought I would do.

Anyway, I did a walk-through the school and I familiarized myself with the lockers I used to have, the classes I went to, the hallways that I walked around, familiar smells of the halls and classes, the gym, the library, and the staircases that was used to go up to the 2nd, and 3rd floors. The memories just came to me and some have faded and some have stayed with me. The washrooms and everything are also the same as I remembered where the washroom stalls are smaller.

I remember being part of teen voices, and other outreach programs. I was never really a sports person and I had joined into more interactive committees and creative writing.

I remember when I used to seldom take public transit home from school. I used to hate taking public transit up to now. That hasn’t changed. I remember getting a sign of relief when I saw I was being picked up by my dad or my brother and one of the teachers pointed that out to me yesterday, saying she remembers that I used to hate taking the bus and she remembers me being picked up. I said to her, nothing has changed on that front. LOL, and the only difference is that I drive now.

The 40th anniversary of Francis Libermann Catholic High School was definitely an eye-opener for me, which has overwhelmed me because time is flying and these are the moments of our lives that we will never get back and it teaches us to be grateful for each moment, even though they weren’t perfect and our expectations weren’t what we wanted, but we are getting older now and it truly makes you appreciate that little time you have in high school. Time never waits for you. You truly have to cherish life and the phases.

I was in tears while walking through the halls and I am in tears now as I write this now. I really miss high school a lot and I miss being a teenager. My advice to teenagers going to high school now, is to never waste a second of it, don’t take this time for granted. Even though it may not be a positive and good time for you, but also I want you to realize that high school is temporary and things do eventually get better and they will. It has for me. 4 years go by so quickly that you don’t even realize once you graduate and have your prom and then life changes right away. Well, it did for me.

2003 for me seems like yesterday, but in other ways, it does feel like its a long time. It really hit me hard yesterday and I just want to say how truly grateful I am for having a school to go to and getting to know many people of whom I am still in touch with. We didn’t really get along in high school, but we do now and that is what counts. Life and our personalities change and it’s absolutely amazing. You never truly learn to appreciate something until after the fact.

Thank you and congratulations to Francis Libermann and here is to another 40 years and beyond. I am super glad to be part of 4 years of it. All the best and may what happens between those walls be educational, fruitful filled with knowledge, respect, and getting closer with God in his teachings while learning valuable life lessons to take with you when you take your last walk out those doors. God bless Francis Libermann Catholic High School and all those in it.

Parties and Wedding RSVP Frustration and Annoyance

In life, we have special moments that come up with friends and family and planning parties, weddings and everything else is absolutely so difficult with inviting people and it becomes so stressful. When you want people to be part of your special day and when you enjoy the process of setting up the cards, mailing them out, and happily do it until stress strikes.

It is not everything that is the most difficult, frustrating and annoying; it is sending the invites to people with a due date that is never honoured and respected and some take their sweet time and others respect it and send the invite on time, whereas others respond after the due date. Some you have to remind. It is absolutely crazy.

You also have those people who don’t respond at all and then just show up. It doesn’t work like that. In most cases RSVP Cards come in, people need to fill those out and return them. The people inviting put postage stamps and have those cards out for a reason. To get organized. You can’t just tell the person they are coming by mouth. Chances are the people planning the wedding or event will forget, so it’s important to fill out the cards and mail it back in a time-sensitive and timely manner.

When you get an invite to any party, it is either a yes or a no. It is not that difficult. You look at your schedule, and boom, you answer and send back the RSVPs. It is not cool to wait for people to respond back while you have a million things to do and plan with the tables, how many favours or gifts you need to get for the guests arriving to your party as well as financially too with how many people you need to pay for.

It really isn’t easy to plan things when some people do not co-operate and respect you enough to send the RSVP’s back. It is common courtesy. It isn’t nice at all having someone wait and then hunting people down with calling, messaging, emailing, texting them until the last weeks of the wedding to see if it is a yes or a no.

Then there are those people who respond with attending, and then you write them down on a table card or chart and then they never show up or give an explanation as to why they did not bother to show up where you spent money for their meal. It is absolutely unfair and disgusting behaviour which needs to really stop. Some do not even respond back and you know you sent it to them and it did get sent to them or else it will be returned back to the person who mailed them with the return address.

Weddings and parties all go smoothly with planning until it comes time to the people attending them. You expect people to respond right away, but that never happens and it probably never will even with a strict time limit and being time sensitive.

The guests don’t think about how much work it takes to plan tables and everything. If you have ever been in these shoes where you plan an event and you wait for responses, it’s absolutely so frustrating and annoying and so absolutely ridiculous.

Yes, I realize some people cannot financially to maybe afford to go to parties, weddings and everything, but there is no excuse not to answer on due dates. It is not right at all. There is no excuse unless something very very important comes up or some other things arise, but it doesn’t give someone the right to delay an RSVP.

Have you ever been through this situation? Have you been frustrated and annoyed with this? Would love to hear all about it.

All the best with planning. It is not easy.