We didn't have yearbooks, so we bought journals and signed them for each other. I can't quite describe what it was like being dropped down in a group of teenagers who could quote literature to each other with total sincerity because we all LOVED IT. Or whatever our particular intellectual enthusiasms were. It was a place where intellectual enthusiasm wasn't "weird"; for the first time in our lives for most of us, it was currency.
I grew up in north Georgia, among the ridges and valleys of the lazy tail end of the Appalachians. My father was a civil engineer and my mother was a high school English teacher. My family is full of educators, storytellers, and eccentrics, and I am no exception to any of it.