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Meredith, describe yourself in high school and any specific memories that may define that time?

I had a lot of acquaintances and some very close friends. Like now, I loved to learn. It never occurred to me that I wouldn’t be able to learn something I was intrigued by. In school, I found particular joy in chemistry, biology, calculus, and English. Outside of school, I wrote songs and stories, took on home improvement projects with my mom, and dabbled in several musical instruments. I learned the guitar sufficiently well to play some songs so that I could sing along. I didn’t have a car, but had a bike, sometimes biking over an hour to visit friends. At 15 I became vegetarian and then vegan at 17. I learned to cook a wide variety of foods, in part because of that. I didn’t have much pocket money, and got most of my clothes either from the thrift store, or hand-me-downs from my grandmother—she lived with us and never threw anything out, and I would periodically find a bag of clothes (hers or my mom’s) she had tucked away decades before. I found some real gems and some that were, to put it frankly, weird. As a result, I had an eclectic style.

Oh yeah… one year I decided to do away with shoes during the non-winter months. I don’t know how I got away with that at school. Some of the things I remember clearly are borderline embarrassing things, things that are such a teenager thing to do. Sometimes I’d go to the grocery store on break, bring back a package of chocolate peanut butter cookies (PB was allowed back then), and hand them out in class like a hero. I once bought a coconut. At a loss for how to consume said coconut, I headed to the shop where the teacher cut the end off with a band saw, then drilled a hole so I could put a straw in. During the last week of highschool a bunch of the graduating class walked from one classroom to the next, serenading the school while one student played guitar. The teachers didn’t object, and basically any graduating student got to pass on class that day. Do kids have fun like that in high school still?

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