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In Which My High School Gives Me An Award

I believe I mentioned just recently that Webb, my high school, is the sort of place that takes its annual reunion celebration seriously, and one of the things it does during the reunion weekend is to offer up three alumni awards, for Outstanding Achievement, for Distinguished Services, and to note a rising star amongst the younger alumni. This year is my 35th high school reunion, so I am definitely not a young alumnus, nor have I been so useful as to have been recognized for distinguished service. I have, however, been made the recipient of the 2022 Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award, on the basis of my career as a writer and author. I am delighted and honored and honestly a little dazed that I was thought of for this.

There is some small irony in receiving this award because just before I was informed that I would be honored with it, I had informed friends that I probably wouldn’t be coming to reunion this year, on account that I was behind on finishing Starter Villain, and rather than traveling to California I would hide in my office and grind it out. Then the folks at Webb went “surprise!” and I was all, “Ugh FINE OKAY I will come to reunion I hope you’re happy.” Secretly, however, I am pleased that they roped me into coming, as I really did want to see friends. Don’t tell my editor I am going, I told him I was staying home. It’ll be our little secret.

(Be assured that if I haven’t finished the novel before I travel, that I will be writing on the plane, and in the hotel room, and, probably, backstage just before walking up to get the award. Deadlines are real, y’all.)

It’s my understanding that, while other recipients of this award have written books among the other things they have done, I am the first to get the award for a career as a writer and author. If this is accurate, I think that’s pretty cool (if it’s not accurate, it’s still cool, mind you). Webb is where I decided I wanted to be a writer. To have the school honor me for it feels like coming full circle in a way that’s difficult to fully express. Again: I am delighted. And also — uncharacteristically for me, I know — humbled. Webb friends, I will see you at reunion soon.

— JS

By John Scalzi

I enjoy pie.

21 replies on “In Which My High School Gives Me An Award”

Congratulations on the award and the chance to visit old high school friends again. Will you get a separate Outstanding Achievement Award for taping bacon to the side of your cat?

Have a fun time at your reunion. I find it interesting that, for your picture, the selection committee chose one where you are holding a camera rather than one of your award-winning books (or a photo from one of the ceremonies where you were so honored.) You are an excellent photographer, but that’s not why you are notable.

Congratulations on receiving the award. Hope you enjoy the reunion. It’s fun to see old friends and enjoying being with a group that you were a part of for ~4 years. 35 years is a long time, nice to touch bases and see the different paths everyone took.

Congratulations! I am glad that your school considered your achievements award-worthy, and equally glad that you enjoyed your time there and found it worthwhile. I did not have that experience at the small private high school to which I was sent, which has left me with a lifelong aversion to private schools in general, so it is nice to see that your experience was so positive.

Enjoy your trip!

hmmm… how about…?

telling your editor there’s method in this trip back to your school… field research as you gather notes on a murder mystery set in the aftermath of a reunion after-party gone horribly wrong… like.. like… just spitballing ya know… ask Stephen King to borrow the character of Carrie N. White and in an alternate timeline she quietly graduates high school, becomes an assassin for CIA, globe-trotting and quietly slicing up enemies of democracy-sanity-capitalism (Arafat, bin Laden, Barney the purple dinosaur, etc)

…returns to her high school where some ugly, lingering drama flares up and Carrie has to figure out what’s going on and…

…and the novel just writes itself

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