Sunday, June 24, 2012

#67: The Brain Trust.

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Back when I wuz a wee lad in middle school and high school, I was blessed to to have some incredible friends. Due to the fact that we were all, um, academically-minded (I need to be careful not to call all of my friends nerds), other kids at school frequently referred to us as the "Brain Trust". During the summer of our senior year, the males in the group even formed a Junior Jazz Brain Trust basketball team. Unfortunately, we didn't win a single game, but I guarantee that we had the highest aggregate GPA out of any team in the league. Boo-yah!
The Brain Trust: Nerds. Academically-minded young people.
We never won a game. But we looked awesome in purple.
However, far more importantly than any level of academic achievement or skills on the basketball court, my friends in the Brain Trust helped me to make good choices and stay away from the kinds of temptations that are so readily available to teenagers. Rather than getting into trouble, we would play games, go to school dances as a group, or even just sit around and talk. We felt safe and comfortable together, and I am grateful to have been part of such a great group of friends.
Brain Trust future missionaries.
In most cases, once graduation is over and yearbooks have been signed ("Have a great summer. Call me!"), high school friends tend to drift apart as each individual pursues a different path or goes off to far flung places (like Logan). Occasionally these friends may see each other in passing at Wal-Mart, at the gym, or at least at their five or ten-year high school reunion. But, typically, high school friendships do not continue on for years into the future.

Well, for whatever reason, the Brain Trust has been different. And I couldn't be more grateful. During the last 11 years, we have tried to make it a priority to get together at least two or three times a year. Additionally, many of us "hang out" (don't tell Elder Oaks) in smaller groups more frequently. Not everyone can come each time we get together, but it is always a blast to just sit and talk and laugh for a few hours. Some of my favorite memories include debating politics with Abe and Eric in my backyard, winning three straight games of Settlers of Catan (I'm a pretty big deal), or simply watching the next generation of Brain Trust kids play together.
Brain Trust: Part II.
Last night we had one of our Brain Trust get-togethers at Anna's house. It wasn't anything crazy or big, and in the end, we just spent time talking about life for a few hours. No electronics, no games, no movies--instead, just visiting and enjoying being together. And I loved it. I don't know why I have been blessed with such wonderful friends, but they mean the world to me.

7 comments:

  1. So fun! You forgot to mention the monthly trips to the temple though. :) I (along with my parents) always loved getting the late-night phone call where most teens would think there was some raucous party to attend, but the message would be something like, "Jordan River Temple. 6 AM. Be there." I must admit, having a few good friends definitely saved me at times and I only hope my kiddos are half as lucky (because sadly, I know that being JUST as lucky isn't a reality).

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    1. That's right! I loved doing baptisms together. I was always worried my hair wouldn't look good afterwards, but I managed to survive. :)

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  2. I am definitely who I am today because of you and all the other Braintrusters. I absolutely LOVE that we still get together and can have such a great time just chatting about life, or debating politics. :) Life is just better with great friends. Loved this post, thanks Steve!

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    1. You bet! Thanks for being such a great friend, Brooke. It was good to see you and your tall red-headed hubby on Saturday.

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  3. Good times. It was fun to be a fringe Brain Trust member. I too hope my kids enjoy the same kind of group of friends when they're teens.

    That dude you're boxing out in the Jr. Jazz photo looks absolutely THRILLED to be playing a bunch of nerds. :)

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    1. I look like I am either in awe or horrified. And it also looks like I'm also boxing-out Bryan...must have been trying to pad my stats.

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  4. Some people say they hated high school, but I just think we were ridiculously lucky because I lived high school. But the fun part about getting older is that most of us are married now which had brought even more awesome people into the Braintrust (like Diane, who I love!). We are all so lucky to have each other.

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