Molly Shafnacker has been making lemonade stands with friends since she was 11 years old. Here’s Molly in her own words, recorded last fall. Listen to the recorded interview here.
It is funny to see where lemonade stands pop up in town. You’ll see them at the end of the dump, or right where the Fourth of July parade goes along, and there are always kids in very strategic places to catch people as they go by.
The end of my driveway is very well placed to have the lemonade stand. This year, we sold lots of succulents and potholders. We’ve begun selling plants at the stand, because I hoard all the little pieces of my succulents that break off and pot them to become new plants.
The sign read “Philosophical Stuff Brought to You by Local Kids.” I had some vague idea that we could be philosophical if anyone asked about what the sign meant, but no one really did.
Music’s always been a part of my life, starting with violin in school, then finding that there’s actually a surprising culture of Celtic music on the Cape. I’m trying to learn guitar, and, I hope at some point, cello and banjo. I just want to do as many as I can.
I’ve lived on Cape Cod my whole life, and I go to Nauset High. I absolutely love it here. I love the people, certainly, but also the wildlife and everything you can see here that you can’t see anywhere else. You can go from Wellfleet, with swamps and beaches, to Eastham, and you’ll have a whole different sort of nature. You’ll have locust trees here, and you’ll have cedars over there. And all the different landscapes that you can find within a very small area that people think of as just one thing.
Right now, we’re all writing up our senior bios for the yearbook, and it makes you actually have to think about high school ending. And it’s by the time you’re a senior that you’ve gotten how to be someone in school. And that’s why seniors are the way they are. But at the same time, it feels almost unfair. I’ve just worked it out! Why is it only now?
It’s taken me this long to work out how to be who I am without being upset about it. It doesn’t always work out, but it’s about mindset, about thinking I’m here right now, and I’m alive! I still get worried about assignments and homework and silly things like grades. It takes a while to understand I don’t have to put every ounce of myself into this little thing, but I should put a lot of passion into this big project. I should care about this, but not feel guilty for doing things at home like practicing music, when I feel as though I should be doing my math homework right now.
Do what you care about. That’s what school’s about. It’s about teaching you how to learn and how to learn about the things you love. I think it takes a long time to get that clear in your own way.
Editor’s note: We checked in with Molly again this week. She had won the state title in the English-Speaking Union’s National Shakespeare Competition and was invited to compete in the nationals at New York City’s Lincoln Center on April 27. That was canceled, of course, though students did submit performances via YouTube. Molly didn’t win, but she said that mattered much less to her than missing the trip to New York and the chance to meet the other competitors.