My last three years of high school were completely devoid of pep rallies, football games, clicks, wood shop class, and the hottest clothing trends. Instead my days were filled with physics, math, orchestra, American and European history, psychology, British and American Literature, Spanish, and a multitude of other enthralling subjects.
You might think it odd that I actually learned more about educational subject matter than I did about what shoes were totally “in” when I was in high school, and perhaps you wonder where this mythical place of learning was.
I attended a private school called Meridian my last three pre-college years. And while attending Meridian did involve some of the stereotypes you might envision when you think of private schools- such as uniforms- it was much different than most of you would imagine.
The Old Meridian Gang
The school was not filled with spoiled little rich kids immersed in educational snobbery. Sure, some of the children were from well-to-do families, but public schools have kids from that demographic as well. The majority of the kids at Meridian were just from average families and many of these families had to make great sacrifices to send their kids to this school. These parents were willing to make these sacrifices because they believed in the importance of education. Their emphasis on education meant that they were very involved at the school and in their kids’ academic progress. I believe that parental involvement contributed greatly to the success of Meridian students. I am very grateful my own parents had the foresight to send me to Meridian.
While the parents played an important role at Meridian, one can’t forget the teachers. Most of the teachers were absolutely fantastic! I don’t know how such outstanding educators were convinced to teach at this school for what I am sure were meager wages. I have not had more capable teachers before or since. So wherever you are-Mr. Bennett, Mrs. Betts, Miss Tueller, Mr. Ramsey, and the many others-thank you.
Meridian was founded in 1989 by a group of BYU professors as an educational experiment of sorts. They wanted to find out if a private school, which spent roughly the same amount of money on each student as the government spent per child in the public school system, could provide a better education than public schools. I believe Meridian is proof that the answer to that question is a resounding yes.
While Meridian’s low tuition made its education accessible to more people, there was one drawback to this affordability: our building had to be cheap. Meridian was located on 9th East in Provo in what used to be a Catholic school, Saint Francis. The building was completed in 1955 and was built to accommodate nuns and a father. These two factors resulted in some architectural peculiarities. One such peculiarity was the hallway of small rooms built to be nuns’ quarters. These rooms were equipped with sinks and vanities and were too small to be terribly useful. But we did manage to squish smaller classes into them anyway. The Meridian School building, due to its age, was also rather rundown. The classrooms never got too warm in the winter, necessitating the use of many layers of clothing. It also always seemed like only half of the toilets worked at any given time. Additionally, our gym floor was deemed unsafe for basketball games so the school teams had to play their games elsewhere. Despite these, and the many other idiosyncrasies, I still think of that building with fondness.
The Halls of Meridian
That’s why, when I found out that Meridian had sold their land to BYU and the building was going to be demolished, I wanted to see it one last time. A big group of my high school friends showed up to say our farewells. And yes, we have stayed good friends over the span of a decade, another tribute to Meridian I suppose.
A reenactment of one of our high school classes
We wandered around what used to be our stomping grounds and reminisced about those good ol’ days. We visited Mrs. Wilson’s classroom that Jim got thrown out of repeatedly, the place in the back of the school where Cam first asked Fran to be his girlfriend (through a note of course-every important conversation took place through notes back in those days), our weedy and hole ridden soccer field where the girls team lost many a soccer game, and Miss Tueller’s lounge where we ate countless lunches of Ramen Noodles purchased at Rikki Tikki’s Tavern.
The Scary Meridian Gym
It may have been a somewhat dilapidated building but it was a great school and I’m glad I was able to pass through its halls one final time.
BTW, although its original building will no longer exist, Meridian School will continue. Starting the next school year it will be located in Orem.
The arrival of spring meant it was time for me and Jason to dive back into yard work. We worked very hard last fall to get our sprinkler system in and our sod laid down. It was altogether a pretty miserable experience because we were in such a mad rush. We worked what seemed like endless hours but we made it before winter hit. We laid our sod on November 17th, about a week and half before it started snowing. Quite a few people questioned the intelligence of laying down sod so late in the season. However, we had done our research and found that late fall was supposed to be a great time to lay sod because heat is much more detrimental than the cold to its root system. I am happy to report that our grass is doing wonderfully. Its roots have taken and it looks healthier than most of the more established grass in our neighborhood. This was accomplished without doing some crazy watering schedule to keep it alive. Because it had months of cool wet weather to adjust to its new home it didn’t require any special attention. Jason took out his new John Deere for the first time a couple weeks ago and mowed it. Our first lawn mowing ever! Yeah!
Jason and his Deere
We have been planting trees, bushes, and flowers this spring. This is much more enjoyable work than putting in sprinklers! I really love plants and have quite liked planting things in our yard. Jason laughs a little at me though because I have a tendency to talk to the plants while I am planting them.
Me and My Plants
The only thing that has made this planting not quite as fun is the weather. The incredibly cold weather has caused havoc with our planting plans. We have planted through snow and freezing temperatures (snow at the end of April-that’s just not right). While these conditions didn’t bother the plants, most of them have taken very well, they did bother the planters. But we have persevered and now have a few trees, over 30 bushes, and a plethora of other plants in our yard. Wow! What a difference they have made. Our yard now has its own personality. We still have a lot more work to do to get the rest of our plants in before it gets too hot, but I am actually looking forward to some more planting!
This is May 12th not March
I know a lot of people complain about having to put a yard in and they just want to buy a house with the yard already finished or hire the work out to some landscaping company. I admit there are times throughout our yard endeavors that I have questioned the sanity of doing everything ourselves, but there is something exhilarating about seeing a project you have put so much time, effort, and thought into finally come together. Jason and I are so excited to see the plants that we picked and planted ourselves grow and flourish. We walk around our yard regularly just to see how much they have grown.
Jas and the Notorious Driplines
BTW plants are expensive, especially when you are buying them in large quantities. Jason is still in sticker shock from our trips to the nursery. One trip, in which we bought about 20 bushes and a tree, cost us roughly $800. He thought that was outrageous. Apparently he thinks plants should be cheap, but unfortunately they are not.
The title is very prestigious: first wreck of the mountain biking season. And the prize goes to…(drum roll please)…Jason. Yeah!!!! Your applause is astounding I’m sure. Yes, Jason hit a tree root while we were biking in Lambert’s Park today and did a little somersault over his handlebars. But the event only scraped his knee a bit and knocked his bike’s chain off. Both rider and bike have recovered fully.
BTW Lambert’s Park is an awesome group of single-track biking trails located in Alpine. It’s mountain biking without having to go to a mountain.
Jason and I decided that a Salt Lake City weekend getaway was not quite enough of a celebration to commemorate seven years of marriage. So on the following weekend, the actual weekend of our anniversary, Jason had a few more anniversary activities planned.
When he was in the process of planning these events I made one special request. Now I know that there are many girls out there that would use their anniversary as an excuse to force their husbands to go see a chick flick or take them dancing. Normally I would be all for coercing Jason into doing these sorts of activities, but for our anniversary I had something else in mind.
What I really wanted to do more than anything else was go see Ironman. After all, nothing says romance like a comic book based movie about a guy who decides to strap on a metal contraption, of his own geeky design, and take to the skies. Ok, I admit, I’m a geek but that really is not novel information.
Since our anniversary falls on an excellent time of year for high-budget, action-packed, geeky movies, it’s a great opportunity, and excuse, to see them. Last year Spiderman III opened on our anniversary, and going to see it was #1 on my anniversary wish list.
Being a geek himself, Jason was happy to humor my Ironman request. So he bought tickets for us to go see it that Saturday night. Beforehand we went to a restaurant in Salt Lake City called The Paris. This was another restaurant that I had never heard of. It turned out to be a quaint little bistro located in the middle of a residential area. The food was very good; my favorite thing about it was definitely the cheese. I have a peculiar fondness for unusually pungent cheeses and The Paris had some excellent, powerfully strong, cheeses. Yum! The appetizer we ordered featured a potent cheese served with caramelized pears and pecans. Yum! My mouth is watering right now just thinking about it. So if your taste buds are similarly skewed I would definitely recommend trying The Paris.
The food wasn’t the only exceptional thing we sampled that night, Ironman was awesome! Jason and I have already seen it a second time.
I have bangs!
But the weekend of our anniversary was not only filled with scrumptious food and high quality entertainment, it also marked a life altering event for me-I got bangs. I haven’t had bangs since I was in junior high. For those of you who are extremely behind the times-bangs are back in. I once promised myself that I would never consent to having bangs again, but that was back when bangs were only worn by rednecks trapped in the 80’s.
Me with my new bangs
Since bangs are once again stylish, and I was ready to try something new with my hair-I decided to take the plunge. My new hairstyle is apparently exactly like Heidi Klum’s. It is also surprisingly similar to the haircut I had in fourth grade.
Heidi Klum with her bangs
Jason thinks the bangs make me look European but he won’t tell me if he likes my hair better with or without them. He refuses to give a real answer and says I look good both ways. While this response proves that Jason is a smart man, and I do appreciate his enthusiasm, it would be good to get an unbiased answer now and then. So if any of you have an opinion about my new do, I would love to hear it!
My fourth grade hairdo