UPDATED: Chris Borland, Lili’s dad, emailed me to say that the working title of Borland’s high school memoir was incorrect. It has been corrected in the copy below.


Lili Borland is heading to Wesleyan University in Connecticut – but not next year. She’s first taking a gap year to travel and hopefully work in expanding use of biochar stoves (read about them here: http://seachar.org/)

She’s written a book about high school and hopes to adapt what she describes as her parents’ love story into a screen play.

She is 18.

She said she’s interested in being a writer so, well, she ought to get to writing.

“No one has written a high school memoir,” she said. “Probably because they don’t want to remember it.”

Borland has penned 45,000 words but plans to put the (working title “101Ways to Survive the Best Years of Our Lives”) on the shelf for a couple of years before touching it up and seeing what happens with it. She started now because she wanted to capture her own high school voice and experiences while they are fresh.

Will readers see fellowing Vikings or Montgomery teachers in its pages?

“If you are affecting my life you are probably in it,” she said.

This summer she will spend at least five weeks in her mother’s native Bali, an experience she relishes.

“I’m really grateful for that,” she said of seeing rural villages. “It makes me see how much I have to be grateful for.”

But Borland says she considers travel as not a chance to get away, but an opportunity to get to. She seeks relationships and conversations when she travels to other countries.

“Life is not a race,” she said, echoing the theme of the speech she plans to give her fellow seniors at Montgomery’s graduation ceremony tonight.

“It’s not like you get over one obstacle or after the obstacle or the hill you think ‘Oh my life will be there and I will enjoy it,’” she said.