Nostalgic search problems

Recently, I have been kind of wondering what has happened to some of my friends from high school, and even some people who were not maybe friends but I thought would go somewhere. Don’t worry, I won’t spend much time talking nostalgically, as there is a larger question to what I am writing about. But first, let me detail some of the kinds of references to people I can find:

  • One person is in a bowling league
  • One is now a teacher in middle school
  • One appears to be working for a women’s foundation
  • One got an MBA and appears to have cut her hair
  • One studied physics in her undergrad, and then went on to graduate school to study dance
  • One is now a lawyer
  • One appears to be in finance and real estate
  • One might be doing artwork for some RPGs
  • One wrote a letter to a survivalist magazine
  • One posted a few messages to some newsgroups right before and after graduating

These were the best results of well under half of the people I tried to find things out about. Granted, I limited myself to checking the first results page from Google doing a regular text search and an image search.

It is worth pointing out that when I do a search for myself, I come up under ten of the first eleven entries (strangely, the second one is not me), and four of the first five image results (the third is some random baby, and the sixth is a friend of mine who links to my CS website). Some of this might be because there appear to be a total of three people in the world (online) with my name: a guy in Texas, a guy in Australia (Sydney, maybe), and myself. Another part is because of what I do; computer science (formerly math), with an occasional paper published, and I have taught college courses of one kind or another for the last five years or so.

Most of my friends from more recent times are similarly easy to find out about (because they’re in the same boat as me), but then I don’t really have much need to find them. The people I am now curious about I mostly lost touch with within a year of graduating, and completely after another three years.

So what is my point (finally)? Well, I am just amazed that at this point in time it is still this hard to find out what has happened to people. I am sure that there are resources out there specifically designed for this kind of thing, and I just don’t know about them (Or want to. Paying for it is not really worth it to me.) I’m not sure what kind of information Google could grab from, but it would be great if they were able to provide a better people search.

Oh, and if anyone from my old high school is reading this, feel free to add your name to the alumni list someone nicely set up.

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