05 March 2009

90th Anniversary - Tapa Gümnaasium - Thursday, 20.00

Tapa Gümnaasium began its 90th anniversary celebration tonight with a disco in the school auditorium. Clap off. Clap on. The strobe light, that is. I was on the verge of an epileptic seizure sitting in the auditorium, near an open window, watching the kids dance. It makes everyone look like they are moving really fast. Turn it off and it looks like everyone is stuck in some vortex the crew of the Enterprise encountered. Add trance music loud enough that it drowns out passing freight trains less than a block away and you know why it is difficult for 15-year-olds to sit quietly through seven classes a day five days in a row.

One of Tapa Gümnaasium's - dare I say - most famous alumni is Priit Pärn, who drew a cartoon characteristic of his style for the commemorative t-shirts that will be sold during the anniversary. Pärn's recent film Life without Gabriella Ferri won the Scottish Leader Estonian Film Award at the 2008 Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival. Pärn was there in the Russian Theatre to accept the award with co-director Olga Pärn. I was there, too, and I was struck by how short Pärn is. He appeared to be sort of a Truman Capote-like character.