We’ll soon find out.
My daughter Lucy, 18, is a newly minted honors graduate of Harrison High School, where she finished with a 4.4 GPA. Quite a turn for a girl who didn’t like to read until she got into the fourth grade.
Lucy not only “shot out the lights” at Harrison, she made it look easy. She never pulled an all-nighter and never seemed to spend more than an hour or so per night doing homework, even with a course load that included Advanced Placement classes in calculus, physics and chemistry. And on those occasions on which she was doing homework, she typically was not seated at a desk but sprawled instead on the living room couch in front of the big screen TV while simultaneously watching YouTube videos on her laptop and texting to friends on her smartphone. Multi-tasking, thy new name is “Lucy.”
Every so often she would set all that aside for a quick session playing her cello or piano. She learned the rudiments of cello from teacher Scott McAfee and later the finer points from his teacher, Sara Paul. And she’s still a student of her original piano teacher, Corinne Jarman, next door, who has schooled a whole generation of young pianists in the Brookstone II subdivision.
Lucy has thrived playing cello in the HHS orchestra under the baton of Angela Baddock and also plays two and sometimes three services each Sunday as a member of the Due West United Methodist Orchestra directed by Billy Payne. It takes a special talent not just to play that well, but also to be able to sit through the same sermon multiple times!
Those hours of practice have already paid off, courtesy of a scholarship to major in music at Martha Berry College in Rome, Ga. She also is the proud recipient of a Steve Tumlin Scholarship from the Marietta Kiwanis Club, the Phil McGuire Memorial Scholarship from the United Methodist Men at Due West UMC and the Dean’s Academic Scholarship from Berry College.
Her dad had hoped she would choose Georgia Tech instead and show off the numerical skills she used to earn a 740 on the math portion of the SAT, but anyone who has ever visited the Berry campus knows it is an impossible one to say “no” to. She wants to be a conductor and also plans to study psychology.
Those hours immersed in music, and working as part of a team, have helped overcome her natural shyness. She was the quietest girl in her kindergarten class and my wife Fran still recalls how excited her teacher was on the last day of school, telling her that Lucy had actually spoken out loud that day! Hmm, not a problem she ever had at home or around good friends.
Her BFF (that’s “best friend forever”) for most of the past 18 years has been fellow new Harrison grad Sara Keenum, who’s soon headed to Auburn. They’ve spent uncounted hours through the years watching “Harry Potter” movies (over and over and over) and more recently, episodes of “Dr. Who” and “Supernatural.”
Lucy’s U.K.-centric tastes got another boost after being told by Cobb Superior Court Judge Adele Grubbs she had been a piano student years earlier at The London School of Music — and that one of her classmates was a guy named Reg Dwight. You might know him better by the stage name he later adopted — Elton John.
And Lucy’s fetish for all things English really went into overdrive after she visited London last year with the Harrison High Orchestra. She liked the U.K. so much, in fact, that she changed her email address to include the words “London loving.”
Although she’d probably rather be going back to London this summer, she’s going instead on the upcoming “Band of Brothers” trip of D-Day and Battle of the Bulge sites that her dad has helped put together in July. (Fran is staying at home with younger brother Miles.)
The trip hopefully will enhance not just her appreciation of the sacrifices of the World War II generation but also expose her to the rich historical and cultural legacy we’ll encounter elsewhere in France — sites associated with William the Conqueror, Joan of Arc, Claude Monet and Gustave Eiffel to name just a few. She’s excited to be going — and her dad will be happy to have her along.
Happy Graduation, Lucy!
Joe Kirby is Editorial Page editor of the Marietta Daily Journal and author of “The Lockheed Plant” and three other books on Cobb history.