Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Interview Tag, Anyone?

Tania interviewed me so here are my answers!

1. If you could live life as any other animal for a day, what would you be and why?

That's a tough one because I'd want to try so many different animals.

From a hedonistic viewpoint I'd choose dolphin or otter, just because they just look like they are having a lot of fun. Don't they? They seem like they enjoy life a lot.

From the viewpoint of wanting to try something totally different I'd say an arachnid or an insect, maybe a spider or a praying mantis. Or a honeybee. That would be interesting. They just seem so alien to me, I think it would be interesting to see the world like they do.

I also feel I could learn a lot from being a bear. I just think bears are cool.

From the viewpoint of what animals do I feel closest to or identify with, I'd say a cat, bluejay or crow. But I feel I already share a sort of understanding with these animals (especially cats). So, I don't know if I would pick them.

When it comes right down to it, I think I would choose: my dog - Betsy. I would choose her just because I would want to see how she views her life, if she's really happy or sad, if I could be a better dog owner. Also, I'm really curious about what her memories are of her life as a stray dog. I feel like she has this whole long story that I know nothing about. Did anyone own her before us? How did she become a stray? What happened to her puppies? Does she miss them? Does she miss her former owners? Her stray doggie pals? Her freedom? She seems sad to me sometimes. I wonder if she really is, or if she just seems that way? Here she is, isn't she so beautiful?

2. How did you become a librarian?

Yeah, I ask myself that question too! :-)

My first job, at the age of 13, was in our local public library. I was a page. Mostly, I hung out and read poetry in the back room, sitting on a stool. I was supposed to be shelving books, but even back then I was a slacker. The librarian there used to tell me all the time that I was fated to become a librarian. I would cringe at the thought. How boring! I had no intention of being a librarian and my teenage goal was to become a stripper, a famous writer, artist, anthropologist or a rock star.

All through my life I would run into this librarian and she would smile and say "Are you going to library school yet?" Or "Got your MLS yet?" And I would think "Yeah, right, Lady, I don't think so."

Well, I worked as a waitress (a job I enjoyed and still miss at times. Former waitresses: don't you sometimes eat in a busy restaurant where the waitress is swamped and wish you could jump up and help her cover some tables? Don't you also wish you could reach into your pockets on laundry day and always pull out big wads of cash? I do. ) Other jobs I had were: manager of a vintage clothing store, (also fun) and clerk in a copy shop.

I put myself through college little by little and majored in English because I liked to read and write, and it was something I was pretty good at. I got good grades and my professors started talking to me about graduate school. There seemed to be this assumption that I would go on to get a PhD in English and become an English professor like them. I didn't know if I wanted to do that, but my professors seemed to think it was a given that I would.

I also worked in the University Writing Center and I knew from my graduate school friends how cutthroat gradschool could be. I knew that many of them felt that they had given up their creative side, given up their social and romantic lives, given up most of their free time for years and years, but that the chances that they would be able to get a full time tenure-track position teaching English at the college level with their graduate degrees were pretty low. I didn't want to go that route.

I liked to write and I was trying to write a novel. I also had many notebooks full of interesting anecdotes and observations, sketches, etc. But really I wasn't as committed to that as I would have to be to really be a writer. I also knew that I wanted to have kids and so I wanted a more stable income and health insurance.

So one day, I ran into the librarian mentioned earlier and told her all about this and she said: "Thats because you are supposed to become a librarian! Get it now?" So, I gave in and accepted my fate. I also looked through the jobs section of the Chronicle of Higher Education and figured out that there were way more jobs for academic librarians than for English professors, so Voila, here I am.

Oddly enough, a few years ago a position became available at the college I work for that fit the interests and background of the librarian who pestered me all those years, and I was on the search committee. Yes, we hired her. I work with her now!

3. Suppose civilization was wiped out, and all electricity, gasoline-powered engines, municipal water supplies, and other infrastructure ceased to operate. What would you need to survive?

Ha! You know I like to fantasize about this. I like learning all kinds of traditional skills and I do kind of have that "survivalist" mindset at times. Knowledge of hunting, fishing, gardening, foraging for wild edible plants, knowledge of medicinal plants, knitting, quilting, canning/drying preserving, etc. are things that I always want to learn more about.

My friend Chris wrote a great essay about this.

4. Have you ever seen a ghost?

Who doesn't love a good ghost story? I think everyone has a few. I've never "seen" a ghost, but I have heard and felt some strange things but I'm not sure if they are ghosts or not.

When I was a kid we lived next door to an old family graveyard and I used to hear music coming from there frequently. It sounded like banjo/fiddle music. Later in life I recognized the tune as Old Joe Clark.

I also used to see distinct shadows moving across the walls that looked like a procession of pallbearers carrying a coffin. At the time I didn't know what pallbearers were.

Also, I would wake up suddenly because someone or something pulled my hair really hard. Also, at times I would feel the sensation of a cat jumping onto the bed, I would see the impression of something on the covers of the bed in that spot, but there was no cat there.

When we moved to Albany, I had another bedroom that really creeped me out. There was a closet in the bedroom that had stairs going up to the attic that had been walled off. The closet door would not stay shut. Every night I would shut it carefully and make sure the latch "clicked", but every night it I would hear it swing open in the middle of the night with a loud creaking sound. I always had the sensation of being watched there and it was very eerie. Later, when I moved out, my younger sister got that room and she told me she also had the creepy sensation of being watched in that room.

When my husband and I went to Ireland for our Honeymoon, we wandered upon an Irish graveyard on Mizen Head Peninsula, near Goleen. We decided to explore it. The graveyard was surrounded by a "moat" of running water. I think most of the people who were buried there had died in the famine, or drowned at sea. We both felt strangely unsettled there. My husband isn't the type to be afraid of much, especially the supernatural, but he was nervous too.

The ground was lumpy and spongy, like as we walked we were stepping on the bodies of those poor starved people, who seemed to be buried very shallow, or perhaps they were pushed up as the earth shifted? We imagined that their hands could reach up through the earth and grab our feet! We looked at each other and said "Let's get out of here, Scoob!".

Here are some pictures of it.

I am pleased to say I have never felt the presence of any ghosts in my current home, although I have found some bones in the garden that sure looked human to me, but Dave says he things they are animal bones. Anyway, they aren't haunting, whatever they are.

Well, I don't think they are. But Danny once said there was a man sitting in the rocking chair in his bedroom and when I asked: "what does the man look like?" He said: "You can see through him, like he's made out of water".

5. Do you think there's life on other planets?

To be honest I've never been the Sci-Fi type of girl who cared. I'm more the Lord of the Rings/Carlos Castaneda type of nerd. :-)

I love this earth and I just hope we don't fuck it up too badly. There could be life on other planets but I find this one so mysterious and interesting that I don't feel too compelled to speculate about others.

Sometimes it seems like the visions people had in the Bible could have been extraterrestrial things, (i.e.: "a wheel within a wheel" "Jacob's ladder" etc.) I think that's kind of interesting. Also, how did the Egyptians build those pyramids? And how did that wacky guy in Florida build that coral castle? I guess aliens could have been involved. Who knows?

Thanks Tania, that was fun!

Now, if you have a blog and you want to be interviewed, leave me a note in the comments that says, "Interview me, please." I will respond by asking you 5 questions, but not the same as the above questions. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions and interview someone else in the same post or new post. Yay!


Blogger katiedid said...

How funny - when I was a kid, one of the phases I went through was WANTING to be a librarian, so I could hang out with books all day. We didn't have much money growing up, so I never felt like I had enough books of my own. I always thought that being a librarian was the next best thing to owning your own library.

Stripper, huh? It's never too late you know ;) Isn't that secretly every guy's fantasy anyhow? The way-too-sexy librarian who flings off her glasses, lets down her hair, and rips her shirt off?

3:51 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

LOL! It's never too late for you to become a librarian either! :-)

4:06 PM  
Blogger mireille said...

what is there about you that made all those authority figures want YOU to be like THEM? I think it's your free-spiritedness. They wanted that to be contained, like theirs was. Aaand, probably true about the shallow graves in Ireland. So fascinating. Not to mention Danny's vision of the man-you-can-see-through-like-water. This was so interesting, K. Thanks. xoxo

4:19 PM  
Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

Love that dog!

And I love that you are a librarian. What an awesome occupation.

12:56 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Thank you Barbara! I love it when people love my dog.

I also feel proud to be a librarian, librarians are much cooler than my 13 year old self knew! :-)

12:58 PM  
Blogger Jenny G said...

Your dog is so cute :-) I think it would be awesome to be a librarian! Do you have to have a degree in English (mine is in Psychology)?

3:59 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Thanks Jenny! I have a BA in English and an MLS.

4:24 PM  
Blogger Tan Lucy Pez said...

Good questions, and very interesting answers. Well done.

3:10 PM  
Blogger Tania said...

Kate, your answers were so entertaining and so enlightening! I'm so glad I got to interview you. I feel like I know you even better now. And yes, that is one good looking dog.

6:28 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Thank you T. :-)

7:38 PM  
Blogger Atreau said...

Yay! I've always loved the library in fact when I entered college I found out I coiuld check out up to 99 items at once. Although I never did, that power did excite me something fierce!

8:27 PM  

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