Too cool for school? Not me!

In case you were wondering, I went to high school twice.

The first time, I began the experience at my local public high school, then transferred to spend 10th-12th grades at Emma Willard School, in Troy, NY.

At both schools, I’m not afraid to tell you, I was decidedly uncool—however at Emma it was kind of cool to be uncool. Which is why I loved Emma then. (Now, I love it because I have dear, dear friends with whom I share a wonderful bond. In time, girls who were mere acquaintances in the school years have become women I can call friends.) Still, all of that counts as once.

The second time I went to high school, I was 24. It was 1997 in New York City. Incidentally, I had the same boyfriend the second time around, only this time, he was my husband (still is). It’s a little strange being married in high school. And I’m not sure he has ever recovered from the unholy numbers of Backstreet Boys concerts I dragged him to in a matter of a few short years. He even played along when I insisted that he watch  Dawson’s Creek with me.

No, I was not in some real-life 21 Jump Street (retro-cool or the hilarious, bawdy romp that is the Jonah Hill movie. What, you haven’t seen it yet? Go see it. It’s one of the best cool/not cool conundrum depictions ever.). It was a legit setup: I was the Entertainment Editor at YM, a then-widely-red and now-defunct teen magazine.

Want proof? Click here to read an article in the New York Times, which quoted me…ME!…about what the kids, cool or not, were doing, watching and talking about in 1997.

And, yes, I will shove this post in the face of my children when they accuse me of being uncool—if only to prove that cool doesn’t last forever. It’s fleeting. And fickle. Or, if nothing else, defined within peer groups. But I think we can all agree that being interviewed by the New York Times at age 24 for one’s professional expertise is pretty darn cool. I’ll hang my uncool-mom hat on that, thankyouverymuch.

Your turn: when in your life did you feel the least and most cool? What do your kids think is cool that you don’t—and vice versa. I’ll go first:

My kids think it’s completely uncool when I sing. And my best friend Nancy thinks exactly the opposite.



  1. Ross · April 18, 2012

    ah, memories. love the article, being quoted by the nyt at any age is very cool, and love you. there i said it 🙂


    • Bari Nan · April 18, 2012

      I love you right back. There is only ONE Ross the Intern in my book, and it’s YOU.
      You rock—and I was remiss in not mentioning that YM also yielded the kind of quality friendships I found at my second high school.
      ALSO, I know your “second high school secret.”


  2. Norman Cohen · October 20, 2015

    Be sure to mention to those kids (who by the way in so many ways are a carbon copy of their mama), when you shove this post “in their face” about the spot on the Today show and all the trappings…and some of the things you “observed” when you were their age, and if you can’t recall them call your ever proud papa as they are indelibly sealed in my memory bank.


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