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Apr 21, 2019 2:12 AM
Lianne and Kaylee in PMMM
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Yaaaaaawn.  Stretch.  First day of school in a new town today!  She hopes everyone will be nice!  Well, everyone's not gonna be nice, there's always a few jerks.  But most people are pretty great once you get to know them!  She's looking forward to it.  Nervous, but the good kind of nervous.

She climbs out of bed and puts on slippers and heads for the dining room - better to have breakfast before she brushes her teeth so the OJ doesn't taste gross.  Oooh, her mom made waffles today!  Thanks Mom!  In fact: "Thanks, Mom!"

Then brush her teeth, then get changed, actually come to think of it she's more nervous than she thought.  She packs her lunch, PB&J and a few apple slices, with lemon juice so they don't brown, and a water bottle and a bite-sized chocolate for dessert.  She packs her backpack, books and binders and sky-blue pencil case.  Her mom kisses her on the cheek and, "Love you!" "Love you too!" "Bye!" "Bye!" and she's off to the bus stop.

It's cold but thankfully there's no snow yet even though it's already the first of December.  They do seasons weird this far south.  No one else her age lives nearby enough to share the stop with her, so she doesn't meet anyone new until the bus has already pulled up and she's inside, navigating the cramped aisle and looking for a free seat.

"Hi!" she says brightly.  It's how she says most things; even as a teenager she's that kind of person.  "Can I sit here?"

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The girl already there looks up from her book, startled a bit, then smiles. "Sure! Hold on a sec - " She slides over to the window a bit more, nudges her bag over so it's properly between her feet. "Hi, I'm Lianne - I don't think I've seen you around before, are you new?"

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"Yep!" she says.  She sits down, puts her backpack in her lap, hugs it.  "My name's Kaylee.  My mom's a consultant, she travels a lot.  What are you reading?"

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She tilts the book so Kaylee can see the cover. It's a Discworld novel, Men at Arms. 

"Traveling sounds like fun, though I'd hate to have to uproot in the middle of the school-year. I've lived here all my life, haven't had much opportunity to go anywhere."

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She peers at the cover.  "I think I've heard of Terry Pratchett," she says.  "I haven't read any of his books, though.  Travelling's okay - you get to meet a lot of people, but you also have to say goodbye to all of them pretty soon.  Hard to make long term friends that way."

Then she laughs: " - Sorry, am I getting too heavy?"

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"Pratchett's pretty funny, if you're familiar enough with the fantasy genre and into dry humor."

"And you're fine." Smile. "Trust me, I've gotten way more awkwardly heavy with new acquaintances before. Still, sounds lonely."

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She giggles, then sighs.  "Yeah, kinda.  Plus I'm always really nervous my first day at a new school.  Everybody always knows everybody except me.  You seem pretty nice though!  One down!"  She laughs again.

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"And I can introduce you to people, too. If you're into clubs and all, the anime club's really friendly to newcomers - we meet Tuesdays in the art room - and there's a couple of other decent clubs."

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"Anime club sounds fun!  And I'd love to hear any other recommendations you have."

The bus hisses and squeals and makes other old-bus noises as it pulls into the school parking lot.

"Hmm, maybe later, though, looks like we're here.  Uh, do you know where room 302 is?"

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"Yeah, it's on the way to my class, I can show you." (Technically most everything's on the way, she's out back.) "Did you get one of those silly student handbook things? There's a map on the back, and a bigger map in the front hall."

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"I think so," she says.  "I'll check once we're off the bus."

It takes some doing; for some reason the aisle didn't expand in size during the bus ride.  Plus there's a bunch of other people trying to squeeze through at the same time.  But then:

"Yep," she says; she has extricated a student handbook and started comparing it to her schedule.  "Yes, I can decipher this.  Show me to room 302 anyway, just to make sure?"

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"Sure!"

The hallways are pretty noisy - everything echoes, which adds up to a proper racket when they're full of people - so conversation will probably be sparse. Lianne also shows her where the 10th grade lockers are - they have just enough time to run by theirs before class; luckily people in the same year share a hallway, and it isn't much of a detour - before dropping her off and promising to see her later.

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"See ya!"

*

Classes: straightforward.  Students: friendly.  Success!

Before lunch she has AP Bio, which she shares with Lianne.  She waves to her as she arrives in class, just under the wire, but they wind up on opposite ends of the classroom.

Kaylee catches up to her on the way to lunch.  "Hi Lianne!"

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"Hey Kaylee! How's your day been so far?"

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"Good!  How about yours?  Did you enjoy the bio lesson?"

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"My day wasn't anything unusual - the lesson was pretty interesting, I'm glad we got those new microscopes..." She stops by her locker to grab her lunch as they pass, "Oh, and you're more than welcome to sit with me for lunch, if you'd like."

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"Thank you!  I'd enjoy that."

Lunch ensues.

"So you like biology too, huh?  I thought I was the only one."

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The table's one of the more crowded ones. Lianne makes introductions all around.

"It's really cool! Helps that the teacher's good, of course. Plus, I'm hoping to be a nurse or EMT or something like that, it'd be silly if I didn't like bio."

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Kaylee greets her tablemates, cheerful and friendly as always.

"Really?  I'm aiming to be a doctor!  I want to go into medical research."

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"Cool! I don't think I could put up with med school at all. I don't have an exact career path picked out yet, but I'll probably get a CNA or an EMT certification then work part time, do nursing school part time. Though who knows how things might change."

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"Med school's supposed to be really tough, yeah, but I think I can handle it.  And there's just so many things we don't have cures or vaccines for - I feel kind of like the world needs me to fix it."  She blushes.  "I guess that sounds kinda silly."

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"It doesn't sound silly at all! It's very wonderful of you, actually, most people I know who want to be doctors are in it for the prestige, or the money, or because of their parents. I'm more hands-on than that - I like seeing and talking to the people I'm helping - but grand ambitions will definitely help more."

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"Aww, thank you!  And I don't mean to denigrate being an EMT at all - I don't think I could handle that many emergencies, I'd get all tense and panicky after a while of nothing but that."

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"Yeah, which is why I'm thinking part-time while I work on an LPN or RN. I might also volunteer with the fire department a bit first, get a feel for being a first responder before looking into being a full-blown EMT - it's also easier to get certified for that. Might just do elder care or something, though, I'm really on the fence."

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"That's a good idea - volunteering, I mean.  I have an uncle who's a doctor and we're trying to work out an opportunity for me to shadow him.  He's not a medical researcher, he sees patients, but I'll have to complete a residency anyway, and it'll look good to med schools either way."

"And you're right, there's lots of different places to do good.  Which is kind of sad, when you think about it."

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"Yeah, definitely. I volunteer with a nursing home in the summers, talking with the residents, doing art programs, that kind of thing. There's just - so many gaps for people to fall through." Pause. "Anyways. Shadowing your uncle's a good idea. My mom's a doctor, too - infectious diseases, maybe you can shadow her to get a feel for it - and my sister's all lined up for pre-med - I'm kinda the low achiever of the family."

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