Rivalry Reunion with Friend #179: Stephanie

Friend #179: Stephanie
Date and Location of Visit: Monday, October 17, 2011, The Press Box, Chesterfield, MO
Known from: All Suburban Band, recitals with our private teacher
Last seen: 1997

Memories of Stephanie: Stephanie and I were French horn rivals throughout high school.  Except we weren’t really rivals because she was always better than me, even though she was a year younger than me, and I always really liked her and we got along.  More accurately, we were French horn friends.  She and I had the same private teacher (also the same teacher as Kevin and Jon).

One particular memory I have of Stephanie occurred at Missouri All-State Band auditions in Columbia my senior, her junior year.  The high school where the auditions were held was always super hot inside.  So they actually had the windows open in the French horn audition room, even though it was December.  Stephanie, her mom (who was one of the choir directors at my high school), and I went outside to eavesdrop on the auditions.  I remember us listening in and making up dance moves to the weird audition pieces and laughing so hard together.

About our Visit: Stephanie and I met up at a sports bar for happy hour, which turned into dinner.  It was so enjoyable to catch up with her.  And she is one who I friended since returning from Phase 1 of the trip.  In general, I’m not usually actively intentional about who I’m friends with on Facebook and who I’m not.  But Stephanie was someone I sought out and wanted to see on Phase 2.

Stephanie went to grad school at Michigan State while I was still in Ann Arbor, so she and I were about an hour apart for awhile.  We tried to connect at that time, but it never really worked out to get together.  Now, with her Ph.D. in Psychology, Stephanie is a professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.  It was fun to talk shop about this project and social media with someone who had some knowledge on the topic and an academically geared mind.  She asked a lot of great questions and helped me to think about some things from a different angle.

It’s always been clear that Stephanie has a brilliant mind, and we both come from the same achievement culture.  I remember that she was taking AP classes as a sophomore in high school.  It was interesting to hear Stephanie say, though, that she didn’t really feel like she had friends from high school because she was so busy with activities and homework.  That is definitely not the case anymore.  Stephanie has found a great balance of intellectual rigor with her career, while not neglecting her creative side and making friends.  She has a niche of creative community through local plays that she does.  She also met her boyfriend, who I got the pleasure of meeting when he dropped by at the end of our visit, in the midst of play production.  My dad’s fiance is on the board of a local theater, so I will be able to connect them in the future, should the need arise.  Networking different people like that is a fun by-product of this trip.  But networking aside, I so thoroughly enjoyed the gamut of topics from surreal to serious that Stephanie and I covered in our time together.


One Response

  1. I neglected to mention the fruit flies at The Press Box, who were also very active participants in our visit!

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