Leaving a small hometown wasn’t easy, but it helped her discover music—and herself
Sandi Mesics attended NSFG sight unseen. Just a few weeks before school started, she decided to join her best friend in Northampton, moving from her hometown in Lebanon, PA. At NSFG, Sandi flourished, singing in the Hampsters choral group and editing the school newspaper. After graduation, she attended Simmons College before marrying her husband, Joe, who was in the Navy. When Joe was sent to the Mediterranean during the Suez Crisis, Sandi joined him, living in France and touring Europe with other military wives. She had two children and worked in retail after the couple returned stateside. She now lives in Cornwall, PA, where she’s an avid gardener and often visits her six grandchildren.
Can you describe your transition to NSFG?
I found it difficult. They had to sneak me in as a third person in a room in Hathaway House. I remember enjoying the round tables in the dining room and getting to know people. I felt at that time that some of the girls—when it came to the boys at Williston— were very immature. I think some of those girls had no brothers and had been sent away at a young age. I think it was very helpful for me to get out of my roots. My father lived in Lebanon all of his life. My mother and father met there. I hadn’t really known people that were from other places. It was very enlightening for me.
What did you try at NSFG that was new for you?
I enjoyed singing with the Hampsters. I had never done anything like that before. I had taken voice lessons. I went out for the lead of “The Pirates of Penzance.” I lost out. She was a better singer. In the Hampsters, I’m pretty sure we sang “Blue Moon.” We sang for events at Williston and NSFG. We had two different directors who were our classmates. It was current and familiar songs. We had a lot of fun, and I think all of us enjoyed that. It’s one of my really good memories.
What teacher had a strong impact on you?
One of the things that I hadn’t learned to do was really write and compose an article or a piece of English literature. I didn’t have any experience with poetry. I was scared to death about that. I remember vividly when Mrs. Dunham said, ‘Close your eyes and open your hands.’ She gave each of us an acorn. We were to write something about the acorn. I just about fell off of my chair. I had never done anything like that.
What other memories stand out about NSFG?
At dinner, there was plenty of food but for some reason I wasn’t getting filled up. I thought maybe a second glass of milk would be good, though I had to get permission. I called my family and had them call our doctor so he would write me a note to get a second glass of milk.
How did NSFG impact your life?
It helped me to broaden my perspective coming from a small town. Everybody knew my family, and I always felt like I was under a microscope. It gave me a little more substance and helped me become the person that I am. It helped me to mature and not to depend on my family. I was there and I was alone. I think all of that is important.