One of the best times ... no, the
best time of my teenage years was my time spent at the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts
, back when the program took place during the summer on the campus of Furman University
To spend that time with other kids who were creative and focused on their talent was inspiring and invigorating, and it is just as much so to see where these kids have ended up. One of my classmates is a documentary filmmaker and writer for The New York Times. Another is a fascinating historian in Charleston
who livens up a dinner party with her funny stories from traveling the rural South to document family histories. Caleb Jones, a 2003 alum (I participated quite a bit earlier than that...ahem) is a noted cellist who has performed at Lincoln Center and works to diversify listening audiences around the country through outreach and charitable programs. One could fill a large volume with the tales of the interesting lives of SCGSA alums.
One such alum will be on the new (to us old fogies who attended during the 1990s) campus on Monday, Oct. 8, at 7 p.m. Megan Mayhew Bergman
really does lead an interesting life. Presently, she lives in Shaftsbury, Vt., with her two adorable little girls and her veterinarian husband, whom she refers to as "The Dogtor." They live on a small farm where the tend to chickens, dogs, goats, a horse and some cats ... a life that is a bit of a departure from that which she led here in South Carolina.
I was introduced to Megan via social media through a friend who was giving me advice about whether or not to apply to a Masters of Fine Arts program. My friend quickly referred me to Megan, who is also an alum of the MFA program at Bennington College. We realized that we were at SCGSA within a year of each other and had studied under the same teacher, the ever-witty George Singleton.
On Facebook I'm always excited to see her latest update about chasing down an errant hen or that day's juggle with active children, teaching duties and her busy household. She reports it all with a grace and calm that carries over into her book of short stories titled Birds of a Lesser Paradise
, which was published this year. The stories range from sardonic to wryly funny to deeply sad in a way that completely envelops the reader and leaves your mind mulling over the characters as you do the dishes the next evening. It's only logical that Barnes & Noble added it to its Discover Great New Writers selection (it was also an Amazon Top Ten Pick and Indie Next Pick, and a BookBrowse Editor's selection). Her new novel, Shepherd, Wolf
, will be coming out soon from Scribner.
On Monday, Megan will give a special reading at Smith Recital Hall on the Governor's School campus that is sure to be brilliant, enlightening and charming. For more information, please visit www.SCGSAH.org
or call (864) 282-3777.