Photo of Aemalia

Listen here: Episode 4 Aemelia Graham

Harper 0:00
Hey, I’m Harper,

Phoebe 0:02
and I’m Phoebe

Harper 0:03
and today we are joined by Sentinel sophomore Meli for episode three of Spartans in focus. Hi, Meli.

Aemelia 0:10
Hi, how are you?

Harper 0:11
I’m good. How are you?

Phoebe 0:13
It’s episode four.

Harper 0:14
It’s episode four. My bad I can’t count.

Phoebe 0:19
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Aemelia 0:21
So I like Harper said, I’m a sophomore. I moved here last year at the beginning of freshman year. I’ve got two sisters, two dogs, and a chipmunk.

Phoebe 0:35
A chimp wow.

Harper 0:37
Oh, can I hear the name of said chipmunk?

Aemelia 0:39
Chipita. Or pita bread.

Harper 0:41
You are amazing.

Phoebe 0:42
Oh my god.

Harper 0:43
That is amazing. Can I meet pita bread?

Aemelia 0:46
Yes. I’m going to bring her in later this spring.

Phoebe 0:49

Harper 0:50
Yeah, excited for that.

Phoebe 0:51
Incredible. What’s your happiest memory?

Aemelia 0:55
I would say that my happiest memory probably has to be. Hmm. I would say my happiest memory was when I was first cast as the London policeman in Curious Incident of the Dog in the night time freshman year. I really wanted to act and I didn’t expect to get cast. So sort of terrifying, but also really happy.

Phoebe 1:27
So you do a lot of theater than.

Aemelia 1:30
I do. Yeah.

Harper 1:32
I would say you killed that role. But I genuinely do not remember anything of last year including Curious Incident.

Aemelia 1:38
Thats valid.

Phoebe 1:39
Harper, you were so great in it. You dropped the F bomb.

Harper 1:42
four times. That’s what I remember.

Phoebe 1:43
I know. My mom was so impressed.

Harper 1:46
I’m sure she was.

Aemelia 1:47
Yeah, you were probably like all the way across from me Harper. So

Harper 1:52
Yeah, that was a that was a show. It was a show.

Aemelia 1:56
It was

Phoebe 1:58
Do you have a scariest memory?

Aemelia 1:59
I would say that my scariest memory was something that still affects me. And it was actually kind of multiple occasions but I managed to get myself into like Wasp hives more than once when I was little, like, so I’ve always liked animals. And we had this little like Hutch that we got at Petco and we put it outside on our hill for like the squirrels to live in. And I wanted to see if there are any squirrels in there. So I tipped it up, and there’s a wasp hive. And I just had stings all over me. And that happened another time. And so still, I’m afraid of needles and wasps.

Harper 2:36
I feel like you need to stop tipping random objects upside down.

Aemelia 2:40

Phoebe 2:41
Not the best choice. How old were you?

Aemelia 2:44
I think it was like three. Okay.

Phoebe 2:45
Oh, wow. Okay.

Aemelia 2:46

Phoebe 2:46

Harper 2:47
I mean, checks out for something a three year old would do. I’m glad you’re okay.

Aemelia 2:51

Phoebe 2:52
Yeah, no, I am like terrified was I got stung. So much as a kid. It was bad.

Harper 2:57
I’ve only been stung once. Lucky,

Aemelia 3:01
Lucky duck.

Harper 3:01
I know. I’m amazing like that.

Phoebe 3:05
What’s your earliest memory?

Aemelia 3:07
I have some pretty early memories. And I don’t know which one would consider be considered earliest. But I do have this one memory and it’s very fever dream esque. But I remember going to this person’s house. It was like out of town. And I didn’t know whose house it was. But then I remember knocking on the door. No one answered. And my parents were like, Oh, they’re home. And so we just went in and went down the stairs. And they were like down there. And there was one of those big inflatable whales that you play on like a pool float. And we were just playing on it. And I told my mom that and she was like, Dude, you were like one and a half. So it was my cousin’s house.

Harper 3:50
That actually happened.

Aemelia 3:52
It did actually happen.

Harper 3:53
That doesn’t sound real.

Aemelia 3:55
I didn’t think it did either. I was like, I had a really weird dream. She’s like, it wasn’t a dream. You were one and a half. And that was Shane Kim’s house. And I was like, oh, solid. Yeah.

Harper 4:06
Brains, man.

Aemelia 4:08
It was shocking that I remembered it at one and a half. So

Phoebe 4:12
Have you always lived here in Missoula?

Aemelia 4:14
So the first like two and a half years of my life, we’re in Salt Lake City. And then we came here in 2008 built a house. And then right after we finished building the house, the practices my both my parents are both pas, which is physician assistant that they were working at closed. And so they were like, Oh no, we have a two year old and a brand new house with a mortgage. We can’t be jobless. So they were just kind of job searching for like locum jobs, which is like substitute doctoring. And they found jobs in Plentywood Montana, which is far far northeast Montana.

Phoebe 4:52
We love planning wood.

Aemelia 4:53
Do you know where that is?

Phoebe 4:54
I know where yes. Yeah, my mom’s always joking, or my dad’s always joking that he’s gonna send us there. The summer so you can just golf all day. Yeah, it’s a lovely relationship.

Aemelia 5:05
Yeah. So we ended up having my parents had really good jobs and plenty wood and they could work opposite. So someone was always home with us. And we lived there for 12 years and kept our house here. And kind of used it as like a vacation home and then moved back last year for permanently.

Harper 5:24
That’s exciting. Yeah. Do you like being in Missoula?

Aemelia 5:27
I do. Yeah. It’s really nice. And I’ve missed the mountains when you’re in plenty wood. And it’s just flat as flat can be you I really needed the mountains again. So

Phoebe 5:44
Do you have any like good trips, have you been on in good trips?

Aemelia 5:48
I’ve been on all sorts of good trips, especially when we were air quotes “commuting” to plenty wood, it’s a 12 hour drive. And so one way and so there were plenty of funny, and not funny, but retrospectively funny incidents that happened on all those trips. And then we were definitely the driving type of family. We don’t really fly places. So we go 13 hours to my grandma’s house 20 hours to my aunt’s house. And so all of those were really amazing trips, and really fun memories.

Phoebe 6:24
Do you have any, like siblings or anything?

Aemelia 6:26
Yeah, so my sister Lily is 12. And my sister Ani is eight.

Phoebe 6:30
Oh, so those, those car rides are really special?

Aemelia 6:34

Harper 6:35
Is it better now that they’re older, like when they were younger, was it harder?

Aemelia 6:39
It’s sort of a mix, when they were really young, it was okay, because, like, baby sleep, and that’s pretty much all they need in the car. Whereas now they’re a lot more needy and a lot messier. But at the same time, there were also phases in which Lily would like not care for her car seat and figured out how to unbuckle it. And we’d be climbing around the car when we were on the highway. And there would be parents trying to dive into the backseat putting her back in her car seat. And another point in time in which she figured out how to make her self throw up. So she didn’t have to be in her car seat.

Phoebe 7:20
Oh, wow.

Aemelia 7:21
And so there was definitely I would say now it’s better because they kind of understand that they have to stay in their seatbelts and be, behave appropriately. But they’re still pretty messy. So

Harper 7:37
It’s also the benefit of like, I don’t know, I’m assuming here. So if I’m wrong, tell me. But there’s the benefit of they’re older now. So they can recognize Oh, this drive sucks. But I know what’s at the end. Yeah, excited for that.

Aemelia 7:49
Yeah, definitely. Yeah, I would. I would say that that’s a big thing, too. And now we can also understand that we can’t stop at every park we drive past and get ice cream. Yeah.

Harper 8:03
Oh, no, I think we can stop at every park.

Aemelia 8:04
I think we need to stop at every park. Yeah. we have like a mental log of every good park all the way from Plentywood Montana to Missoula, Montana.

Harper 8:13
So that’s a good mental log to have.

Aemelia 8:15

Phoebe 8:19
Do you have like just any story, anything really, I guess, we’re just very broad, but.

Aemelia 8:26
Um, I’m sort of just reading your list. And the one that like pops at me is near death experience, which maybe isn’t a good one to pop,

Harper 8:33
No, thats a great one to pop.

Aemelia 8:35
And, um, it’s a very short story. But I was staying with my grandma in South Dakota when I was like three. And I was just playing in the baby pool. And she was sitting on the edge in the sun. And I was like back floating, because I really enjoyed that. And some random little kid just like came over to me and stood over me and like, held my head underwater. And I just remember, like looking up and like splashing around and my grandma came and like threw the child off of me. And I was like coughing and sputtering. So that’s near death experience?

Harper 9:08
Do you have any idea how old that child was?

Aemelia 9:10
I don’t remember it super clearly. But you had to be under four to be in the baby pool.

Harper 9:15
So like four year old attempting murder, right here.

Aemelia 9:18

Phoebe 9:18
Wow. I mean, there’s a first time for everything.

Harper 9:21
So four year old on a four year old murder. by drowning.

Aemelia 9:25
Yeah, definitely. Wow.

Phoebe 9:27
So you like remember things from really far back?

Aemelia 9:30
Yeah, I do. I have a really good memory. And

Phoebe 9:34
I know. I don’t have half my memories.

Aemelia 9:37
And a lot of people envy it. But at the same time, it’s not all chalked up to me because sometimes you remember things that you don’t necessarily want or need to remember.

Phoebe 9:46
Right. Gotcha.

Harper 9:47
I don’t remember what I ate for breakfast.

Aemelia 9:50
It’s funny though, because it’s selective like that. Like if you asked me what I ate for lunch yesterday, I’d really have to think about it. But if you asked me about Salt Lake City when I was two years old, I could tell you like five have different memories. So

Harper 10:04
I’m gonna ask a question here that’s kind of specific to Meli. But you’re part of an organization for scholarships for kids to get outdoors.

Aemelia 10:14
Yeah, so the organization is called Montana Matters Youth Outdoor Experience. It’s a mouthful. But we work to do fundraisers, and banquets and all sorts of things. So that we can raise money. And then on May 6 this year, but we do it every year, we have a big Expo. And we’re doing it at the Hamilton fairgrounds, where we have like 40 Plus outdoor vendors come and do like demos and spiel, and they have climbing walls and like practicing bear spray, and all sorts of things that kids can come and do and see what they’re interested in. And after they’ve had so many signatures, they come over to our table and pick a camp that they want to maybe try to be drawn for. And then if they’re drawn, we pay for the camp to the point of even like getting gas cards for them just so that they can get there.

Harper 11:10
Wow, yeah, That’s a super cool thing to be a part of it. It’s definitely like in the area we live in with there being so many outdoors opportunities. Yeah, that a lot of people still don’t get to experience. I think that’s a really cool thing. Yeah.

Phoebe 11:23
And gear being really expensive for all those things. Yeah.

Harper 11:23

Phoebe 11:27
What, what made you like interested in this organization, like what got you into it.

Aemelia 11:31
So it was totally a fluke. But last year, we ended up going to the expo, because my sister brought home a flyer for it. And it was like, Oh, well, we’ll just go see what it was. And there was not a lot of people there. It was a really rainy day, it was at Tiller Wildlife Refuge, which if you know where that is, it’s like, by Corvallis kind of in the middle of nowhere.

Phoebe 11:53

Aemelia 11:54
And so we went, did our little stations and signatures and picked a couple camps that we wanted to go to. And I got drawn for two, and my sister got drawn for two. And so it was already really cool. Because we’re like, wow, we’re going to these camps, so we don’t have to pay for them. And then I had such a fun time at camp that I was like, I want to come back and be a counselor next year. And so I didn’t really hear from any of the people that were running it until I reached out, but I was like, I want to come back as a counselor. And they’re like, Well, we’re doing a banquet, so why don’t you come and just help us plan for that? And I was like, okay, so I started going to these meetings. And then at the banquet, it was like, Montana, in the little program. There was a thing that said, Montana Matters Board and my name was on it. And I was like, Oops, I guess I’m on the board now, which wasn’t necessarily the goal. But I’m really glad that it ended up that way. And I’m really looking forward to see where it goes.

Harper 12:53
Yeah. Super, super cool opportunity.

Aemelia 12:56

Harper 12:57
And I definitely think you’re going to help a lot of people with that. So props to you.

Aemelia 13:00
Yeah, I’m really looking forward to it.

Phoebe 13:02
So what do you like individually do for it?

Aemelia 13:06
So it is run by four or five older people. And they need all sorts of help with social media and outreach and planning with like, logical ideas. They’re all super ambitious, which is sometimes good because people in the Bitterroot Valley and Missoula area I really like what they’re doing. And so they’ll do pretty much anything to make it happen. But I had at one of the meetings, Fred was like, I think for the expo, we should have skydivers. And I was like, Fred, Fred, that that might not work out. And it actually is happening. Well, the Aviation Museum, if you Google later, there’s a plane called Miss Montana. And

Phoebe 14:03
oh, yeah

Aemelia 14:03
For everyone that read the big burn.

Harper 14:07
I’ve never read that book.

Aemelia 14:09
You’re lucky if you haven’t.

Harper 14:10
I have

Aemelia 14:13
It’s the plane that dropped the smoke jumpers into the Man Gulch fire. That was right over in this area. And they are going to have either parachuters or smoke jumpers jump out of it. While whoever is singing the national anthem is singing the national anthem.

Phoebe 14:33

Harper 14:35
That’s yeah,

Aemelia 14:36
I’m just sort of in charge of making connections. Yeah. So and I do have a lot of connections. So I have connections to Vital Ground and EPI and Vasque and all sorts of other things. So that’s my job is making connections. Yeah.

Harper 14:54

Phoebe 14:55
Yeah, cuz like, I mean, they had that plane like fly over like the grid games. That’s crazy.

Harper 14:59
Yeah, just picturing the national anthem is being sung and super dramatic people are leaping out of planes. It’s like a scene from a movie and it’s for a children’s camp scholarship.

Aemelia 15:10
Yeah. Yeah.

Harper 15:13
Which is like a really cool thing. It’s just not what you would expect that to happen. Yeah.

Aemelia 15:16
It’s really cool. So,

Phoebe 15:18
So it seems like you have like a big role for being. I mean, pretty young.

Aemelia 15:23
I, yeah, I keep being told by all these old guys that when, quote, they go belly up, I’ll be taking this over with my sisters. Oh, so it’s a little morbid, but at the same time, I have always been interested in entrepreneurship. And I could really see myself turning it into something that’s really cool. And big. Yeah.

Harper 15:46

Phoebe 15:47
So you see yourself continuing this, you know, organization and your future?

Aemelia 15:50
Yes, I do.

Harper 15:53
Do you see yourself at this exact one? Or do you think you’ll, you know, well, okay, here, instead of do you see yourself with this exact one? Do you see yourself spreading it to different states or just sticking with Montana?

Aemelia 16:04
That’s a great question. I haven’t really thought about it too much.

Harper 16:08
I mean, obviously, this all depends on whether or not

Aemelia 16:10
I actually took it over. Yeah. But um, as of now, it’s not even a nonprofit. It’s all volunteer. And so I think the first step that I would take is to turn it into like a 501. C three, I think is what it’s called, and turn it into a nonprofit and have employees and see where I could branch out and start with all over Montana. Because now it really just applies to the Bitterroot. Valley. And, and Missoula area. But yeah, I think it would be really neat to see if I could get it all over Montana, and then from there other places, or even bringing kids to Montana, that that’s gonna be controversial for some people, because I know that not everyone is thrilled about having a bunch of people coming to Montana, but I think it’d be really cool to see where it goes.

Harper 17:03
I think it definitely you’ve got ideas and aspirations. And I think they’re really cool.

Aemelia 17:08

Harper 17:08
So I’m excited to see what you do with it. Yeah.

Phoebe 17:11
And then does that mean you see yourself staying in Missoula for like, college too, or…

Aemelia 17:15
Right now, I’m planning on going to U of M, but my other thought was maybe USD, because that’s where my grandma lives. But I think U of M would be really cool. And I’m definitely a person that’s just going to see where life takes me. And I’m not going to resist change. But for now, I think Missoula is where I’m going to be,

Phoebe 17:38

Aemelia 17:17

Phoebe 17:40
So who’s the most influential person in your life?

Aemelia 17:43
Oh, I have so many influential people in my life. But I would say, this is sort of not answering by one person. But my parents. My parents really are big inspirations to me. And they always encouraged me to keep going, and they always give me great advice when I need it. So yeah,

Harper 18:04
That’s a good answer. Parents are important.

Aemelia 18:06

Phoebe 18:07
So true.

Harper 18:08
Without them, you wouldn’t even be here.

Aemelia 18:10

Phoebe 18:12
So what’s your outlook on life? deep question.

Aemelia 18:16
Do you question. Hmm. I would say that my outlook on life is really trying to be optimistic and positive, which is not always easy for me. But like I said, with the other question is I try really hard to not fight change, and just to let it happen, and trust the process and know that wherever I’m going is where I’m supposed to be. And yeah, I really try to just accept my fate.

Harper 18:52
So ominous.

Aemelia 18:54
No, it really is. But I yeah, I just try to take it day by day and go with the flow and know that it’ll be okay. And trust that it’ll be okay. And above all else, just be okay with myself. And not need anyone else for it.

I think that’s a really good outlook to have. Yeah, I agree. It’s definitely the most positive.

Harper 19:18
All right, that was the end of episode four of Spartans in Focus. Thank you so much for listening.

Phoebe 19:25
And thank you Meli for being here.

Aemelia 19:26
Yeah. Thank you for having me. It was really fun.

Phoebe 19:30

Harper 19:30
See you next time.

Phoebe 19:33
Can you make a strange noise for us?

Harper 19:35
Please. Just write into the mic.

Aemelia 19:38
*fart noise*