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18 Years Later

In high school, I was a class clown. I enjoyed - and still do - making people laugh especially with my totally nerdy raps about whatever the teacher was lecturing on. That’s right all y’all high school friends some of you know the only reason you passed biology (the 3rd time you took it, yeah you know who you are) was because of my catchy songs about osmosis! I’ll also admit to being a pretty fast learner and being completely board in school most days and not really taking any of it seriously. I had 100% in most classes higher in some because the teachers forced me to do the extra credit to keep me busy, that was all that mattered… a big fat A!

The one exception to this was Astronomy class. I was quite determined that I wanted to be an experimental particle physicist and this class, and the internships and independent studies I knew the teacher could get me, were all very serious. I had no time for distractions, no room for fun!

When I walked into class the first day and discovered the normal teacher was on maternity leave and we would have a sub for the first 4 weeks I was quite upset. I didn’t want to lose valuable time with a real teacher and the connections she had at the local observatories - and their relationships with international observatories. I had my eye on Budapest and Switzerland, I was focused!

The sub called us all to gather around for a very rudimentary experiment in physics, I took my spot in the circle with a bit of a chip on my shoulder. The sub attempted her experiment, but she wasn’t impressing anyone else either, but she wouldn’t let us move on until she finished. Normally I probably would have been at the lead of the trouble-making jokesters, but like I said chip on my shoulder and serious about the class… So that is why I got extra irritated at the short kid across the circle from me who wouldn’t stop messing around. I knew of him, he was the grade above me and my friend had once had a crush on him in middle school, but I didn’t remember his name.

At last, I couldn’t take it anymore so I called across the circle to him, “Shut up short stack let’s get this experiment over with.”


In that moment I had no clue that 4 years later I would marry that kid - who was nearly a foot shorter than me at the time, and 18 years later we would have 5 kids together. It’s crazy sometimes to think how far we’ve come! More than half of my life has been spent crushing on and loving that “short stack” from Astronomy class.