Saturday, February 12, 2011

Another sort of 10 year thing.

With "Hot Steve" and "The Brain". No idea about real names.
Today is kind of an important day. Kind of, sort of. Because 10 years ago today I interviewed for my first Walt Disney World College Program.
That's right, on February 12, 2001 I finished my classes for the day, drove to a nearby college (as mine wasn't big enough to host an interview session), sat through the approximately hour-long College Program presentation and participated in an interview with the hopes of landing a great job in Operations. Or, to be more specific, Attractions.

Don't remember this kid's name at all.

Why is this so important? Well, normally I wouldn't bother talking about the whole "it's been so-many-years" thing until August 20th, which was my check in date for the internship. But this year is a little different because this year I'll be attending a ten-year reunion in May and organizing another ten-year reunion in October. And this particular week is a bit important because before this week I really wasn't considering even going to the reunion in May...but within a few days I had a couple of close friends tell me they would be there, and realized I could do the trip for next to no cost to myself and that I even had the extra vacation day to spare. So One-Two-Three and I'll be heading to Orlando sans Steve for two nights in May.

I think the girl in the middle was named Erin?
Of course, it took a bit of convincing. Me convincing myself, I mean. Because while on the CP I had two pretty distinct groups of friends. Not because I wasn't comfortable with the two groups meshing--often times, they did. But because I had close friends like Kim, Ali, Jamie, Sarai, and a few others; but I also had a giant group of people that I partied with. Sounds weird, maybe, but that's how it was--the same crowd of party goers in apartment 1501 every Sunday night and often those same people at the pool or partying elsewhere in building 15 on other nights of the week.

That's Los on the far right. The rest of them...?
Table dancing. I remember about half of these chicks.
And this reunion in May is comprised mostly of those people who I partied with. Not that I had problems with or disliked any of them (weeelll...there was one, but I'll just leave that situation be for now), but I simply didn't keep in touch with most of these people. Because this was 2001 and when the College Program ended, we all went home with notebooks full of names attached to now-defunct college addresses and email addresses and cell phone numbers (if we were lucky, because I knew more than a few people who didn't have cell phones at all). The close friends and the people I've run into since the CP are now my friends on Facebook, but those were maybe half a dozen people out of the dozenS of people I partied with that semester. So yeah, I was a bit...nervous, I guess, to spend two days with a crowd of people I have rarely if ever been sober with.

But if you know me, you know that I'm not one to turn down a vacation. Especially one to Disney. And even more especially, one that involves Drinking Around the World ;o) So, I'm going.

Pretty big group of building 15 party people.
I'm a bit giddy about this upcoming reunion; a bit excited. But the fact of the matter is, as much as I return to Disney I left my College Program behind years ago. When I go down to Orlando and visit friends, fewer and fewer of them are people I knew in 2001. And I let go of the Fall 2001 WDWCP even more when I divorced Ex, considering, you know, we met on the college program.

None of this means that I didn't have some freaking amazing times on my CP. It is to this day the craziest four and a half month period of my life. And it also doesn't mean that I didn't learn a lot; I did. I also met some amazing friends, many of whom I'm still close to. But ten years is a long time and a lot has happened. Maybe more for me than for other people. I went home to Connecticut after the CP, then transferred colleges and ended up in Virginia. I got engaged, got married, continued to return to Disney for vacations and stints as a seasonal cast member--but always without Ex, despite his former CP status. Then we separated, I moved back to Orlando, I ended up as a Restaurant Manager with Disney and yet still eventually gave that up to save our marriage. Or to attempt to do so. I left Orlando again, this time for the final time--at least as a Disney employee. And then we ended up divorced anyway; I couldn't get over the bullshit and I left him, what can I say?

And of course the rest is history...getting back in touch with Steve, moving to Greenville together, falling in love with this city, getting married here. And suddenly ten years have passed and I can't even remember the names of 90% of the people I met on the College Program.

But I do remember that I had a crazy, amazing time with some crazy, amazing people. So happy 10 year WDWCP interview date anniversary for me...and let the countdown to the first reunion begin!
This kid I remember. He's putting together this reunion in May...gotta love the BONERRRRRRRRRRR!
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