Part II: The Awkward Years

That’s right ladies and gentleman, here we go with the most awkward time of everyone’s lives: middle and high school. My stomach twists to think about it! I was so weird! I succumbed to insecurities in middle school that drove a lot of what I did. That didn’t go away in high school either but high school wasn’t that bad I guess. I feel like I was a normal student but at the same time not. Most memorably, I met my best friend in the whole world in high school. Teresa and I were attached at the hip all through out high school and we have been close friends for over a decade now. While I’m studying in Clemson, SC she’s out in Colorado maybe snowboarding, building ice castles, teaching little kids how to snowboard, playing bass guitar, just you know, a regular Thursday for Teresa. But, if it’s the summer time, she’s in Alaska! She is an actual nomad and people should study her for secrets of the nomadic way of life (lol). But okay, that’s not why we are here.

We’re here because I am going to try to convince you that anyone can study physics for a living. I’m not special, I don’t have a gift, none of that. I was never good at the sciences or in mathematics. They were consistently my worst subjects in grade school; from middle school up until I graduated high school. By the time I entered my junior year of high school, I was in Pre-Pre-Calculus (Yes, two Pre’s), not understanding or retaining a lick and scraping by on a D in the class. I just barely passed the class by the end of the year and by senior year, they told me I finished all of my math requirements for the advanced diploma. So, I said, cool. Not gonna take math if I don’t have to, right? So, I didn’t. I didn’t take physics either. I took oceanography my senior year. All I remember from that class is how sweet the teacher was and how mean classmates were to her.

In 2012, I graduated from high school with highest honors and an advanced diploma. I had not taken any calculus or physics courses up to this point (I will realize in college that I had no study skills. How I got a 3.5 in high school still bewilders me). I was very good at failing math and science classes so when I entered Radford University as a freshman, it was not a thought at the time that I would pursue physics. I enrolled as “Undeclared”.

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Teresa and I at our first Badfish concert (we went to five!). This is circa 2013.
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Our 2012 high school graduation.
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Teresa’s 2016 college graduation.

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