Hoffmeister grew up in a family of eight – six children: Hillary, Peter, Cooper (in red suspenders above, currently a pro snowboarder, see pic and video), Haley, Ellis, and Maddie – living mostly in Eugene, Oregon, Seattle, Washington, and Tucson, Arizona. He lived for shorter periods of time in Zurich and Lauzanne, Switzerland, Montpellier, France, Stony Brook, New York, and Seymour, Tennessee.
He went to four high schools, getting expelled from three (The Stony Brook School, King’s Academy, and Marist High School), then attended the University of Oregon (Honor’s degree in English), walking onto the wrestling team, and Pacific University (MA – Language Arts Teaching). He studied poetry and creative writing with Dorianne Laux and credits most of his early writing development to her.
His favorite school experience, by far, was Hoffmeister Country Day, his family’s home school, run by his mother, the artist Pamela C. Hoffmeister (It is his mother – in the header picture – who is teaching him to smoke so that he can be more like Picasso). His father, doctor A. Charles Hoffmeister, taught math and science. The four older children often packed their books, water, and food into backpacks, then hiked into the San Catalina foothills for a day of reading near the springs outside of Tucson.
Reading, spelling, grammar, writing, Weighty Words, French, Latin, art history, flashcards (artists, composers, U.S. inventors, insects, Central America countries and capitals, and French nouns), math, science, music, and history.
The HCD School Motto:
“We’re not narcissistic,
We’re filled with felicity,
We’re H. – C. – D.”