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Junior High School Personal Narrative

A Narrative from English Class: The dream always starts the same way, my feet firmly planted on an indistinct sidewalk, fear beating my heart. Noise presses in on my ears, filling the space with a dull indescribable drone. The need to run, to escape, to flee the intangible threat behind me grows in my heart. I try to begin my stride, gravity holding me to the earth like a weight pressing me into the earth. No change, no movement, nothing except for the growing sense of urgency. Suddenly, my legs are freed from the invisible glue attaching them to the sidewalk. The need to move forward growing, I once again try to run. This time, my legs spin around and around in the motion of running but propelling me nowhere. Resembling Jerry seconds before he takes off, fleeing from Tom, the ominous threat behind me closes in. The veiled menace presses ever closer to me and, with no avail, I wake up in sweat-soaked sheets and with the same beating heart I imagined in my dream.

Until August of this year, the dream would only come at times of extreme stress and after every instance of the nightmare popping into my subconscious I dash downstairs, yell to my parents, “Be back soon,” and run out the door.

Gravel crunches under my feet, the incline of Hubbard Park Drive looming before me. The terrain abruptly switches to sodden pine needles that cushion my footfalls, marking the trailhead. Entering the park, the cool breeze blows my disheveled ponytail, and my feet quicken their already rapid pace. Elation accompanies the racing blood in my veins, a sensation unreplicatable in any other situation besides the present moment. I fly over roots and rocks and streams, the laws of physics almost insignificant. My thoughts only involve the challenges at hand, releasing me from the relentless metacognition and anxiety marking my non-running hours. The pain builds in my legs and lungs, but without worry, I press on, knowing that the tiny tears in my muscles I’m creating will only strengthen my stride further. The sound of my ragged breath fills my mind with reminiscent thoughts of an ocean’s whistle. With that, the run becomes far more important than merely fitness; my body is in control and my mind is free. In an attempt to compensate for the feelings of fear and incapability still fresh in my mind, I run as fast and hard and long as I could until I couldn’t run anymore, appreciating every step I was able to take without restriction. 

When, in my completely conscious state, an excruciating pain emanates through my lower legs as if scissors are cutting the muscle away from the bone, none of this was possible anymore. The dreams intensified, both in frequency and magnitude, along with the pain in my shins. As I crossed finish lines in tears, my legs searing with pain like jagged knives were being stabbed into my lower legs, my ability to run away from both the horrors of the nightmare and everyday life dropped off a cliff. The dream became a nightly ritual like an unending horror film of my subconscious worries. Sleep was substituted for a feeling of restlessness unable to be satiated by movement. The doctor, whose pants were always too tight and who desperately needed a new pair of uncracked lenses, was infuriatingly patient, continuously reiterating, “You need more time to heal” and, “You could use a break”. 

Looking back, he must’ve been pretty used to teenage girls sobbing in his exam rooms because he came equipped with tissues and a response to every insinuating question and retort I fired at him. Five months later, my physical therapist, who I’d come to associate with pain and bad news, gave me the go ahead to run for a whole two, grueling minutes. The night after I was able to move my legs in the motion that I had longed for for so many weeks was the first night that I didn’t have some version of the dream with which I had come to dread. 

I’m allowed up to four minutes of continuous running now but my patience remains nonexistent in contrast to the rage provoking fortitude of “doctor tight pants”. The dream, still marking my sleep every now and then, isn’t the same. Now I’m able to run away from my captor. It’s an unending, exhausting run but the feeling of paralysis is replaced by fear, an exchange that, for the time being, I’m happy to accept. 

Sophomore High School Introduction:

My name is Meredith Stetter. I am a Sophomore at Montpelier High School and this is my personal narrative, an account, chronicle, or even story of what I find important, how I got to where I am, and what I see in my future. Over the course of the year, I have attempted to maintain my core principles throughout all facets of my life. In the past, I have tried to do anything and everything that I might be even slightly interested in. This remained true as I started my Sophomore year of high school. I signed up for even more clubs and, at times, was playing two sports in the same season. However, a couple months into the school year, when I got a chance to reflect on my core principles, I realized that I had spread myself so thinly throughout all my different activities that I could no longer be fully engaged in any of them without thinking of something else I could or had to be doing. Knowing that something needed to change, I did a sort of ‘inventory’ of what I truly valued and how I could put those things first without creating monotony. Through this process, I realized that playing the cello was no longer something I enjoyed and was now only viewing it as a menial task that needed to be accomplished each Friday afternoon. Knowing that I was only hurting myself and my teacher by continuing something that was only of superficial value to me, I made the conscious decision to stop playing for the time being. Quitting has always been a word of taboo for me because I see it as showing weakness and vulnerability, both of which I fear demonstrating. However, if quitting something means improving your motivation, boosting your engagement in other areas, and increasing your general happiness, then the decision to quit an activity should not be seen as ‘weak’ or ‘vulnerable’, but rather as a mindful life decision. Therefore, from an outsider’s perspective, it appears that I have quit many things this year, but in a society where you determine the amount of weight the words of others carry, it’s not what others think happens, but what you have gained from an experience or decision that matters. Moreover, in my sophomore year of high school I have made a series of decisions on the path I wish to take throughout my secondary education by eliminating extraneous activities and keeping my core principles at the heart of everything I do. 

Freshman Year Introduction:

My name is Meredith Stetter. I am a Freshman at Montpelier High School. Over the course of the year, I hope to increase my learning of personalization, world languages, and advanced mathematics. One of the things that is most important to me is my academics. Throughout my attendance at Montpelier Public Schools, I have grown tremendously in the areas of persistence, dedication, and resilience. One example of this can be seen in my attitude towards school. In the past, I have seen work within school as a chore. However, after being in the multiage classroom of Team Summit, and experiencing their values and activities, my attitude has changed. I now view academics as a place to cultivate my own learning, and develop a program in which I can thrive. Thus, having this newfound clarity within myself, I plan to work towards this goal for my peers. I hope to achieve this goal by creating a Community Based Learning project. After contacting my guidance counselor and CBL coordinator, I set up an opportunity to work with my personal mentor; Don Taylor. On the Fridays that I am in his classroom, I tackle tasks such as creating a policy linking the middle and high schools, creating a personalized and integrated blog, and molding a template for an official personalization record. In addition, I am slowly building up an interest to work in a English Language Arts environment. In a more personalized setting, my family and I have recently taken in a yellow lab puppy named Bodie. Having another living being in our household has become a learning experience in responsibility and reliability. The first weeks of having Bodie in our lives were hectic. Since he is mainly my responsibility, I spent every waking moment with him, making sure he was fed, watered, and active. As he has grown, I think I have grown too. I’ve seen him walk on a leash for the first time, sit on command, and come running across a picturesque field. All of these things combined, have made me more relaxed and at the same time more in control of my emotions and anxiety. Ultimately, with all of the craziness in my life, I am extremely grateful that I have the stability and unconditional acceptance of Bodie and my family.

Middle School Introduction:

Meredith Stetter, a 14 year old girl from Montpelier Vermont has a personality unique to her alone. She has a wide variety of interests that keep her running from activity to activity. Nevertheless she enjoys every minute of it. Meredith also attends Main Street Middle School in Montpelier and when not playing four square at recess, she labors over her school work to attain her fullest academic experience. Throughout her life, so far she has been highly athletic and enjoys soccer, cross-country skiing, and her main sport, swimming. Stetter hopes to aspire to be either a marine biologist or any sort of educator. To make it to that point she plans to go to a college that fits her personality just right and nothing less. Ultimately, as a public schooled kid raised in a state not widely known, Stetter hopes to achieve her highest 
aptitude for success and shoot for the stars.

Wordle 2014-2015

Thirty-Second Video About Me

YouTube Video

Meredith Stetter: Over the Years Presentation
This presentation portrays my physical growth over my 14 years of existence.

Meredith Over The Years

My PLP Reflection From 2013-2014


2013-2014 PLP Reflection Interview

 Question Answer
 What did you originally think of the PLP Project?"Originally, I thought that these would be a waste of time and divert us from studies" 
 What was a challenge of creating the PLP?"One challenge that I faced was the technology barrier, the inter workings of a Google site were new to me and often times I found myself confused or puzzled about how to continue" 
What was a success of creating the PLP? "Definitely learning how to work independently along with the guidance that the exploration section of the PLP gave us " 
Did your thoughts change about the PLP project after doing it awhile? "Yes! Like I first said I didn't think they were the greatest idea but slowly they began to grow on me as we got more into the details of what this actually was" 
Do you want to continue PLP's next year? "Yes again! They are something that I think everyone could benefit from and they provide a ton of guidance as well in terms of the future" 
What are your final thoughts on PLP's?  "This is an amazing project that connects to many aspects of our lives and the impact that it has on my thoughts is invaluable!"