Day 19- Someone whose intelligence makes them beautiful. Kate Spieker and Courtney Glenn
This week we are doing two people, because they both fit the description so well in complementary ways, and because they occupy adjacent spaces in my heart. Kate and Courtney are two women who are both gorgeous. I mean they are both very pretty girls, but they are also extremely intelligent and good at what they do. As much as I love them as people, I respect them so much as women because they are so smart and capable and driven.
Courtney and I had a kind of on and off friendship throughout school from elementary on. She was best friends with Jenny through the majority of elementary school, but I can remember sleep overs at her house as a kid. In middle school, Courtney became friends with a different group of girls and ended our friendship (it’s a pretty typical situation, I think). In high school, I think we had a perfectly cordial friendship and were in lots of honors classes and publications together.
From what I remember, Kate in high school had her fair share of drama, especially related to boys. She was a cheerleader and basically prettier than everyone else, which can get you a fair share of negative attention with the good. She could have been “that girl” except that she was 10 times too smart to be that girl. I remember always thinking she was funny and respecting her balls, but for the first half of school, I didn’t know her that well.
Both of my friendships with these girls really picked up my junior year in Pag’s English class, because we were in small groups together (I can only imagine that he engineered this on purpose). We did a rap about William Faulkner and dressed as Trafalgamadorans for our report on Vonnegut. If you aren’t friends after that, there is something wrong with you. Working with them as a team, I got to appreciate firsthand the kinds of intelligence they have. Kate is creative and BRAVE. Courtney is thoughtful and meticulous. Both are tough, fun, committed, and incredibly on point collaborators. Being in that group with them was probably one of the best intellectual experiences I had in my life, and I learned a lot from them about finish and follow through (not my strong points).
Since high school, both women have gone on to only be more amazing. Both have faced a lot of challenges in their personal life, but they remain on point in school and their careers. When Kate was still a teen, she got pregnant with her daughter Riley. For a lot of women, having a baby is the end of their career, but for Kate, she not only survived but thrived, and she has been very successful (and independent) in her career since then. I feel like both of them have dated men who are not near as smart as they are, but in my way, I have trouble imagining who in this world could out smart-cookie them.
Courtney is currently doing her residency in Rhode Island as she finishes her mission to become a podiatrist. Kate has a pretty high-powered business job and has established a life for herself in Columbus. Both of these women have really pushed themselves and been ambitious, but that ambition is fuelled by their intelligence and drive. Both never settled for being a Courtney will be a great doctor. She is a strange combination of kind and thoughtful and take no nonsense, that you probably need when you deal with people who are ailing. I look up to both of these women, and I am excited to see what the future holds for them, because I feel like the possibilities are endless.
So here is to you, Kate. For being the world’s most capable and inspiring young single mom. For being articulate and driven and for being the kind of woman who genuinely takes no crap. For every so often, writing me a great smart email reply to a blog I wrote. For balancing being girly girl and a career woman with grace and intelligence. For being freaking funny. You are a badass, but what makes you so dangerous is that you are a super smart badass.
And here is to you, Courtney. For being one of the smartest people I knew from kindergarten on. For always having a good coat. For being a wonderful collaborator who is smart, honest, and detail-oriented. For being hilarious when you are mad. For taking huge risks with your time to finish your goals. For being the kind of person that I would never doubt that you will achieve your goals.