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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM
INTERVIEWEE: Adriana Rowe
INTERVIEWER: Kamlesh Singh
July 6, 1990
K: This is Kamlesh Singh, I am interviewing Adriana Rowe, for a
project in connection with the University of Florida Oral
History Program. We are both students here participating in
the Florida Foundation For Future Scientists Training Program.
Today is Friday, July 6, 1990. We are in front of Beaty
Towers West, at the University of Florida. Hello Adriana, I
would like to thank you for taking the time out to be here for
this interview, and I hope that you enjoy it. How are you
K: Could you please state your full name?
A: Adriana Marie Rowe.
K: Do you like your middle name?
A: Yes, I think I do. Most of the people in our family either
have a middle name of Marie or Maria. It is just one of those
Italian things, I think.
K: If you could change any part of your name, would you change
it, or would you want it to stay the same?
A: No, I never really thought of it, but I suppose I would not
because I do not know what else I would call myself.
K: You have no favorite name that you would like to be called.
K: Let's talk about your ancestry. Could you tell us about your
ancestors on your mom and dad's side as far back as you know.
I would like to know where they came from and what they did.
A: Well, my mom's parents and all her ancestors farther back from
that are all from Italy. I think my grandmother's side is
from Sicily, and my grandfather's side is from Italy. My
grandfather was a baron in Italy, which would have made my
grandmother a baroness. He decided Mussolini was not a really
great guy. This was around the beginning of World War II, so
they decided to move to America and give up their titles. I
thought that was pretty neat.
A: Just to be free politically and religiously was great. My
dad, I believe, is part Dutch and part English. They are more
like Americans because they have been here for a long time.
One thing I know is that I am related to the sailor, Billy
Budd. In case you did not know, even though he was just a
character in a novel, he was a sailor in real life.
A: A lot of sailors in my family lived in New England. That is
probably where I got my taste for the sea.
K: Are you related to Billy Budd through your mom?
A: No, through my father.
K: When they first came to America, did they automatically go
to New Mexico or did they later move there?
A: Oh no. My father grew up in New Jersey, and my mother grew
up in California. My parents met in California. I was born
in California and we lived in California until I was about
eight years old, then we moved to New Mexico.
K: Why did you move?
A: Well, it is kind of weird because we are still really not sure
why we moved. My father felt that he could get a new business
started out in New Mexico. It was kind of odd. My cousins
moved out to New Mexico, ones that we are really close to
(that would be my mother's sister, my aunt), and my parents
felt like they had this calling to go to New Mexico. It was
really weird. At the time I really did not like it because
I love California. I love the ocean and everything.
K: Could you tell me some differences between California and New
A: Well, there are a lot of differences. For one thing, I used
to live near Los Angeles, which is a very heavily populated
city, so I am used to a lot of people everywhere. I was used
to Disneyland, and a different kind of culture, which I did
not realize until I moved to New Mexico. In New Mexico, it
seems to me that people are less prejudiced, and there is less
segregation. I did not realize this until last summer when
I went back to California for a long visit. I was hanging out
with some people my age and they were talking about dark
people. It was really odd. I felt really uncomfortable.
Then I realized that is how I grew up, and it totally changed
me. Not that my parents brought me up like that. It was just
the people around me were like that. Those are the major
differences besides the climate and things like that.
K: What is the difference in the climate?
A: Well, in California, it is really humid, not Florida humid,
but humid. New Mexico is really dry heat.
K: So, do you like New Mexico?
A: Well, I am not sure. Yes, I think I do but, I like the ocean.
K: How did your ancestors migrate to New Mexico? Did they run
over here or come by boat, or what?
A: Well, my Italian ancestors migrated by boat to Ellis Island,
New York. My grandmother grew up in New York. On her mother's
side, they were the typical immigrant family. I thought that
was kind of neat because my mother had just visited there, and
she found out that is where they went.
K: How did they get to California, by plane?
A: I am not really sure. I would think so. My grandmother,
Josephine Paterno, became a famous opera singer, and she went
all over the place. I think she was one of the first people
to fly across the United States. I think she liked Los
Angeles, so she stayed.
K: How would you describe the discipline of your parents when you
were a child?
A: I would say that it was really odd. It kind of changed when
it got to me because I am the third child. I have an older
brother and a sister, so by the time that they got to me, they
kind of knew a little better how to raise kids. I think that
I was brought up pretty well, in the sense of morals. I do
not think I ever got spanked very much, but I am sure I did.
K: Were they strict with you?
A: They were pretty strict, but not overly strict.
K: So, you liked it?
A: Yes, I think so.
K: Could you please tell me about your brothers and sisters?
A: Well, my sister is twenty-two years old, and she is living in
California. She has just finished four years of college, but
she has not graduated yet. She is trying to get into the
K: What is her name?
A: Her name is Victoria Joanne Rowe.
K: And your brother?
A: My brother's name is Daniel Jonathan Rowe. He is twenty years
old, a student, and a very interesting person.
K: In what way?
A: He is very popular, extroverted, and good looking. He
inherited the looks of the family, if there are any. He is
an all-around likeable person.
K: How would you say that they were different from you?
A: They are different in a lot of ways. My sister is very
different from me. She is a real selfish type. I do not mean
that to be an insult or anything, but the oldest child is
always the one who was pampered the most when they were a
baby. Also, she happened to be born on my grandmother's
birthday, so that added to it. She has a lot of problems,
because of her early childhood.
K: Do you mind if I ask what happened?
A: When my sister was a child, or ever since she was conceived,
my father hated her. I do not know why. I think it was just
one of those odd things. When she was little, he use to abuse
her. It was really scary. Most of it was before I was born,
but I still remember some of it. The weird thing is, it was
never anybody else. It was just her. It was physical abuse.
Later,he realized what he had done. He still has not changed
much, but he thinks he has. Nothing has ever happened to me,
but I have had a lot of emotional side effects from it.
Victoria has a hard time dealing with it. She does not like
to talk about it, and she likes to say that it never happened.
She holds a lot of things in. She has become really scatter-
brained, irresponsible, and selfish, too, because she always
wants attention. My mother used to compensate for what used
to happen by giving her presents, and so she just kind of
picked up that habit of getting something whenever something
K: Are there any special moments of your childhood that you
remember, such as great events that you still remember today?
A: I think the most important thing in my childhood, which was
mostly back in California, was that we had this little singing
group called The Bubble Gum Kids. We were like a little
Broadway group. We were so cute. We used to sing Annie, and
The Sound of Music, and we used to perform for the public.
People would have us come and do things for them. I was
always the youngest one, and I did all the little parts. It
was so exciting. It was a great feeling because I think if
we had stayed and developed it, something really good could
have come out of it. That is one reason why I resent moving,
but you never know what can happen.
K: How old were you when you moved?
A: I was about eight.
K: It was probably really traumatic for you.
A: It was really hard. I knew all my little friends, and I had
my singing, and all of a sudden, we were being uprooted. From
then on, I never felt like I had a real home. That is because
when we moved to New Mexico, we moved into a house that was
more than we could afford. We were there for about two or
three years, and we had to sell it. I loved that house so
much. We had to move across the street, where there was a
house for rent. We were there for one year. Then we got
kicked out of there because the owners wanted to sell it.
After that, we moved into another family's house for about
eight months. Then, this was just last summer, I had to move
into another house, and we are renting that one too.
K: Do you plan on moving again?
A: Probably. That is one reason why it is really hard for me to
move again, or even to come here. It is so hard to move. I
just want to have a home.
K: If you were given three wishes as a child, what would you have
A: I would have wished that I could fly like Peter Pan. I always
wanted to do that. I would have wished to stay in California.
Also, I would have wished that I could make it to Broadway.
K: Maybe you will some day.
A: I am waiting for it.
K: Would you say that you received a good education in your
A: My preschool and first grade years which were in California
were very good. I liked them a lot. I had very good teachers
which was a lucky thing. I had a Catholic school education.
When we moved to New Mexico, I still went to Catholic school.
It was all right there, but it was not very good. I decided
to take the gifted test provided by my public school. I
passed, and entered the program. I really had a good
education in public school. A lot of people do not have good
experiences there, but I have had a very good experience with
K: So you would say you were lucky?
A: Yes, very lucky.
K: What did you like to do most as a child as far as extra
A: I definitely liked to sing and act. I used to do weird things
like walk around the yard and discover strange things. I have
always spent a lot of time by myself. Most of my free time,
I spend by myself.
K: With the singing and acting, did you just automatically get
up and say "hey I want to sing" or were you just watching
people and you decided you want to try it?
A: Yes. My family is very musically oriented on my mother's
side. My sister played the part of Annie, and that totally
turned me on because she is a singer too. I was very excited
by that. She used to sing with me, and so it was something
I was brought up with.
K: Why do you suppose you spent a lot of time by yourself. Was
that just a natural inclination?
A: I think so. I think I would have been an introvert, no matter
what happened in my childhood. I like to just get away, and
K: Are you still that way now, or have you changed?
A: Yes, I am still a lot like that. I consciously realize what
I am doing, but I block things out. However, subconsciously,
I know what is happening, and I do not like to deal with it.
K: Would you say that you get along with your brother and sister?
A: Yes. I have always been the one who gets along. My brother
and my sister do not get along at all. They have never gotten
along and I do not understand why. I think it had to do with
my brother being a guy, and him being almost like my dad.
Fortunately, he sees the things that he does, and realizes
they are not good. I have always been the one in between.
They both like me.
K: In general, do you have anything in common with them?
A: I think we all have a spiritual and musical bond. I think we
have always been kind of close. My father's family is really
separated. I do not like them. They never call. We do not
even know what they look like. We are really different in
K: But, your mother's family is close?
A: Yes, very close.
K: All right, so you like singing. What type of music do you
like to sing?
A: I love singing Broadway or things that make me feel like I
have a voice, whether I do or not. I will never know. My
mom is afraid to tell me because she does not want me to turn
out like my sister. You know how starving artists are.
K: Do you like it because it is easy for you to sing?
A: No, it is not easy. It is just that I love performing.
I love theatre and drama, and that is a good mix of both. I
love musicals because they are the best of both worlds.
K: I would like to know what you do in your spare time.
A: Well, when I have spare time, I still spend a lot of it by
myself, or with a close friend.
K: What do you do with yourself?
A: I like to sing, play tennis, read books, swim, and do basic
teenager activities like go to the mall, and watch movies.
K: By yourself?
A: Sometimes I feel like it. It depends on what movie it is.
I like to go to the mall by myself. I like going to
Disneyland by myself. I love that.
K: You told me that you miss New Mexico, now that you are here.
What are some of the things that you miss?
A: I miss having the home that I do not have because I am so sick
of being uprooted. I feel like I am always being tossed
around. I miss security. I miss my friends because up until
this year, I have never felt so close to some of the friends
I have had before because friends have used me a lot. In a
lot of mean ways. This year I made some good friends. I miss
them a lot because I wanted to spend the summer with them.
I also wanted to spend the summer with my cousins, who I view
as my sisters and brothers.
K: So, were you coaxed into doing this program unwillingly, or
did you want to come?
A: Yes, my aunt, Mary Budd Rowe, on my father's side, is a lot
like my dad. She is a really strong scientist, and is known
as the Head of Science Education at the University of Florida.
When my father was young, she was the oldest and she always
bossed him around. He liked it and he worshiped her. So, he
has this feeling that he cannot do anything that would make
her upset with him or would hurt her ego or his ego. He has
a big ego. My aunt sent me the application for this. It took
me forever to fill out and I had to miss a day of school to
fill it all out because it had to be in the next day. I did,
and I did not think I had made it. Two months later I got a
paper saying I had been selected.
I had been accepted to another program there, at the
University of New Mexico. It was only for a week. However,
my father just assumed that I was going to this one. My
mother, who I can talk to, tried to talk to him about it. All
he said was "oh, you'll regret you said that once you come
back." I thought that was the coldest, harshest thing in the
world to say. However, that is what happened. One thing led
to another, and here I am. I am not really the "science
person," but I am getting into it.
K: What do you think about the Student Science Training Program?
A: I like it. There are a lot of scientific people. A lot of
it I cannot stand, but most of it, I need to open my mind to,
and just put everything aside. I have always had a problem
with scientists because of my aunt. I do not like her. I
think I just need to decide on a career, and this will at
least help me to see some aspects of the world, and see if I
like it or not because I am not sure what to do with my life.
K: So, you are not used to hanging around those "bookworms"?
A: I am a bookworm, definitely, but I am a real right-brained
bookworm, instead of a left-brained one, if you know what I
mean. I am a feeling person, rather than the majority of the
others, who are thinkers. It is just very different.
K: From what you have seen, what are some differences between
New Mexico and Florida?
A: There are tons of differences. I came here and I was totally
shocked. For one thing there is the climate; it is very humid
and hot here. Something a little more subtle, but I picked
up on, is that there is a lot of prejudice here. I mean, I
could be totally wrong, but I have noticed since the minute
I got here that a lot of the low paying jobs are done by black
people. I went to church with my aunt. She took me to
church. She said we will go on Saturday night because
Saturday night is shorter, that way I will not get bored. I
was thinking to myself, why do you go. Anyway, when I got
there, it's a Catholic church, there was not one trace of
ethnicity anywhere. Every single person in that room was
totally white. The sermon was very safe. He just blandly
preached about God. There was no challenge, no controversy.
It was very flat. There was nobody there to show them what
real life is like. It seemed like they all have their safe
little lives, and that they do not see the things that are
happening around them. Then here, in the SSTP program, I just
notice participants who say things about dark people, and
things like that. It really scares me because I cannot cope
with that. I just do not agree with that at all.
K: So, back in New Mexico, are they less prejudiced, and more
A: Yes, very integrated. One reason is because there is a
military base, and so we get people from all over the world
there. It is a big military base. There are just people from
all walks of life. It is so mixed that I do not think there
are more whites than blacks or vice versa. So, there is just
no way to be prejudiced. It is just not right. It cannot
happen, and even if you tried to be, you would get in trouble
with somebody. Somebody would beat you up, or something would
K: That is interesting. Where would you like to travel in the
world, and why?
A: My dream is to go to Paris. I would like to go to Italy too
because my relatives are there. However, I really want to go
to Paris because the Paris Opera house is there. That would
be my dream in the world to just at least see it, and go down
below it and see the dressing rooms, just to be there. It is
so gorgeous, and it would just be like a dream.
K: So mainly you want to see the Opera House. What about the
Eiffel Tower and all that?
A: Yes, I would definitely like to see all that.
K: Is that the only place you would like to see?
A: I would like to see Rome, and Venice. I think Venice would
be gorgeous. I am really into romantic kind of things.
K: Why do you suppose your into that?
A: I think it is just the way I am. I do not like flashy things
or the night club scene. I just like beauty.
K: If you had a choice to stay at a certain age all your life,
would you rather stay a child, teenager, adult, or an old
person, and why?
A: That is a hard one.
K: Yes, it is.
A: I think I would like to stay a young adult, I suppose around
twenty-five or twenty-six years old. It seems like it is the
high point in your life, when you are physically matured, and,
hopefully, mentally matured. Also I think that is the point
in your life when you know, you understand, and you fall in
K: Of course, today's teenagers fall in love at a very young age.
A: That is true.
K: As you already know, playing the Florida Lottery is a very
popular event in America. If you won ten million dollars from
the lottery, what do you think you would do with it?
A: Oh, I cannot even imagine ten million dollars. First, I would
pay my taxes. My dad is in tons and tons of debts, so I would
pay everything. They are in trouble with the IRS. He has a
lot of bills to pay, and I would pay for all of it. Then my
mom and I would go look for a house somewhere, wherever she
would be happy, and I would buy the house, and whatever comes
with that. Then I would give as much as I could to whatever
charities I support. Then I would keep a little money for the
rest of my life. I do not think I could handle having too
much money though.
K: Is that because of security purposes, or just basic human
A: Yes, I kind of think that it would be wrong,to sit here living
in a life of luxury, unless every person in America who was
homeless was housed, and that every person who did not have
clothes had them, and whoever was hungry was fed. Otherwise,
I would not feel comfortable having a lot of money, and
spending it on myself.
K: That is very considerate. If you had the chance to go back
or forward in time, who would you like to meet, and what place
would you like to see?
A: I think that if I had one chance I would like to go back and
meet Jesus Christ. That would be something. I do not know
if it is possible or anything, but if it were, I think that
would be totally incredible.
K: What would you say to him?
A: I could not say anything. I do not know what I would say.
Just to see him would be beyond anything I could hope for.
K: Is there any place you would like to see in the past or
A: I would like to see ancient Rome. I want to see if it was as
bad or good as everybody says it was. I want to sail the
Greek Islands, and see the Trojan War, and see what gods made
up their religion, like what gods they chose to be for
everything. I think that would be really neat, and the
clothes are pretty neat too.
K: Where in the world would you like to live?
A: I would like to live somewhere by the ocean, maybe on an
island in the Mediterranean. Yes, I would like that. I think
that would be great. One thing that would scare me, if I
lived there, is that I would just totally watch life pass by.
I would never even know because I would be so happy. It
probably would not be fair for me to be happy but, if it were
fair then I would.
K: May I ask why it would not be fair for you to be happy?
A: I just feel like I do not deserve it. I feel like since there
are so many people that are not having a happy life, it would
not be right.
K: Well, that is one way of looking at it.
A: Odd, but true.
K: All right, about world affairs, how do you feel about spending
money on the space programs and feeding the poor? If you were
in control of it, would you give money to both or just one?
If one, which one, and why?
A: I used to want to be an astronaut. Then, recently I realized
that a lot of it just goes towards Star Wars, and nuclear war.
It really depressed me, and it totally turned me off. Now the
space programs kind of repulse me. There are so many politics
and scary things involved. Sometimes I do not think we do the
right things in space. I do not think we have the right aims.
It looks like we are just going out to dump our trash in
space, or to have war in space. If space is to be explored,
it is so beautiful that it should not be destroyed. I feel
that man has kind of ruined everything where ever we go. I
would feel bad about spoiling everything. There are so many
problems here on earth to fix first, that I would put my money
towards the homeless.
K: So, even if it were a program which would be for the beauty
of space, you would rather feed the homeless first?
A: Yes, we have to deal with ourselves, before we can deal with
K: Adriana, is there anything that makes you unique?
A: I really do not know. I would like to say that my voice makes
me unique, but I do not think I can really say that.
K: Has anyone ever told you that you were a good singer?
K: Well, that is enough to go by isn't it?
A: Yes, but, I still have a lot of misgivings about it.
Sometimes I get scared of my voice, and of what I can do, if
I just tried. I am afraid to try though. I think my
imagination makes me unique. I have got a lot of imagination,
sometimes maybe too much. It is a good imagination.
K: What are some important values that you look for in a friend?
A: Friends, to me, are so important that they have got to be
real. I cannot stand people who are fake or just have a show
or a put on. Friends to me, should only want to be your
friend for you, and not for popularity, or anything else, just
because you are you and want to get to know that person.
Friends are really hard to find, at least real friends are.
It is great to have tons of acquaintances but, what I look for
in a friend is just somebody who likes me for me, and I like
them for them, and not for anything else.
K: You said that you have been hurt a lot of times by friends.
Is that because of lack of trust or something else?
A: My friends have always used me for everything. When I went
to New Mexico, I made friends with a girl named Sara Carson,
and she was always really selfish. She used me in a lot of
ways, and I let her because I did not understand. When she
found more popular people to eat lunch with that day, she
would just leave me, and I would just be by myself. This
would happen a lot. She would never say she was sorry or
anything. She would not even address the topic. She just
used me to have somebody to hang around with, and then she
would go to somebody else. Then finally, I could not take it
anymore. Actually, she just kept leaving, and I do not think
she ever even noticed that I just was not there. Then there
was another friend, just this past year, which means I have
not changed much. I still let people do this to me. She is
a selfish person too and she used me to get compliments. She
always wanted me to say something nice to her or about her,
and I did because that is just the way I am.
K: Was what you said truthful, or did it just come from her
A: It was usually truthful. I have a hard time telling lies.
It depends on the situation. However, it was forced, and she
would want it so many times, and she would always talk about
herself. One day, I decided to not talk about myself for the
entire day to see what would happen. Nothing happened. She
did not even notice. She was constantly talking about
herself, and she did not realize it. In a lot of ways, she
is a really neat person though. She has an imagination like
me, but she is really selfish. When I told her that I was
going on this program, she was like "oh really." I told her
I was going away for the entire summer. I will be gone for
eight weeks, and she did not say anything.
K: All right, we have heard about your friends.
A: Yes, you sure have.
K: Speaking of imagination, you have a good one. The mind is a
very powerful and fascinating object, what astounds you most
about it, for example, the ability to dream, imagine, think
A: Dreams are incredible. When you go to sleep, it is like your
in a different world, and you find your true self. I think
it can be a vehicle for spiritual connections. Sometimes it
is not you. Sometimes it is someone else who is controlling
your dreams, or at least it seems like it. I think the mind
is incredible with that because when we go to sleep, it is
like a whole new world just totally opens up. It seems like
when we are awake, we have a lot of limits to our imagination.
It is something like only five percent of our brain is used.
It is totally mind boggling what could happen if we all really
used all of our brains. Unfortunately, we do not. I would
say definitely, dreaming is the most incredible feature of our
K: Have you had any great experiences which left you totally
fascinated about the brain?
A: I have always had a weird dream life, if that is what you want
to call it. Ever since I was little, I used to dream that I
could fly, and things like that. Then it started to change.
It started about a year ago, and I get this same dream every
night. It has the same basic theme. It seems like I am
almost being haunted or something. Every night when I go to
sleep, I dream of darkness, like total blackness but, I dream
it, which is weird. I see it. Then, strange things happen
in my dreams, this black dream. There is this voice, and it
talks. Sometimes I can remember what it says, and sometimes,
I cannot. It is there every night though. Sometimes I can
hear music which I usually cannot remember but, sometimes I
can. It depends on how extraordinary it was that night. It
is weird but, I can hear other people's dreams in my dream.
I can tell what is going on. Sometimes I have the same dream
that my friend had or something, or similar. Perhaps it
continues from their dream. This black dream, and this voice
is something I always hear. I know the sound of it but, I
usually cannot remember what it says.
K: Does your sister have dreams like that?
A: I do not know. I am really not sure. I have never been able
to talk to her about things like that. She has a hard time
expressing her emotions. I, on the other hand, am an emotion
spigot. I am like a faucet, just turn me on, and I pour. I
am a flood of emotions, definitely.
K: You told me that you like the rain. Do you like it more than
the sun, the snow, or night, and why?
A: I love rain but, I love the night the most. Night is the
best. Rain is good because it brings out my little emotions.
Night has something about it that totally turns me on. I love
it. There is like a mysterious aura about it.
K: Do you like the rain better than the sun?
A: Oh yes, definitely.
A: I think it is just more mysterious. I hate plain truth. I
like mysteries better.
K: So, in other words, the rain is more mysterious than the sun
because all the sun does is shine, so it is boring?
A: Yes, and rain changes things. It changes how the world looks,
and it is a purging facility.
K: Also, you said the beach amazes you. What about it amazes
A: There is something so hypnotizing and gorgeous about the
ocean, and just sitting on a beach. It is amazing how for
millions of years the waves crashed on the sand, and that you
are watching it, and you are at the end of some part of a
continent. There is a whole other life under the sea, another
aspect that we never see. I think it would be really neat to
colonize under the sea except that we would probably spoil
that too. Man has a way of really screwing things up. I just
love the ocean.
K: Do you think it has anything to do with its natural beauty?
A: Yes. I guess I am really into things that are natural and
K: Adriana, even though you may not think this, I think you are
a very talented singer. Is this a natural talent, or have
you taken singing lessons?
A: I have never taken singing lessons. Like I said, my
grandmother was a famous singer. She sang at the Met, and
major concert halls, which totally amazes me because now she
is like a normal grandmother. It is weird. She totally
turned off to that life all of a sudden. However, she
encourages me to sing, and my mom sings like I do. I think
I just grew up with it. They coached me though. They would
tell me what to do and what not to do. It's just natural I
K: What about further back, did your grandmother get the talent
from her ancestors?
A: I am not sure. I would think so, though probably from one
of those singing Italians.
K: Is she still alive?
A: Yes, she is. She is about eighty years old.
K: How many of your grandparents are still alive?
A: Just my two grandmothers. I have never met either of my
grandfathers. It is kind of hard for me because I really do
not have any male role models. That is kind of why I idolize
a certain actor.
K: Who do you idolize?
A: Well, first both my grandfathers died when both my parents
were little, so there is no way I ever would have known them.
I think they both died of some sort of heart problem. We have
a lot of heart problems in our family. I hear that my
grandfather on my father's side was a lot like my father. It
is kind of strange because bad traits like that run in the
family. Good traits do too but, bad traits really roll along.
I hear that my grandfather on my mother's side was a wonderful
man, and I really wish I could have met him because I have a
hard time looking at men, just their whole aspects.
K: Do you like singing in public?
A: Well, actually it is kind of weird. When I am on a stage,
nothing can stop me. If I see a stage, I can just go up there
and do it. When I am on a stage, I am not myself. I cannot
explain it. When I am just sitting around I cannot do it
because I feel like it is me, and I feel like people do not
like me and they do not like what I do. I think that came
from my bit with friends. Anyway, if I get on a stage, I can
do anything, well, I can try.
K: I understand that you have a passion for musicals and plays
like Phantom of the Opera. What about you makes you like them
A: I have always been drawn to Phantom When I was little, this
is really weird, I used to wonder what Phantom of the Opera
was. This was before the musical came out. Once I asked my
mom what it was. I asked her several times. She kept saying
it was a scary story, and that I did not want to know about
it because it would scare me since I was little. I could
understand that. In the story Christine thinks the Phantom
is the angel of music, and I used to know about an angel of
music. So, I used to pretend that I was singing for it. Then
all of a sudden, about four years ago on television, the old,
silent Lon Chaney version of Phantom was on, and I saw it.
I was like, "this is it!" I knew it all along, and I knew the
story, I knew what was going to happen. I started listening
to some old tapes of myself because we used to tape record and
make stupid musicals. I found that I talked about a Phantom
of the Opera so many times. I used to make up little stories
about it, before I even knew the story.
Then I saw a cartoon version of it, and I wish to God I could
get my hands on it because it was what really drew me. I
still remember Christine's face. That is the lead female.
I can still remember exactly what she looks like, and I have
not been able to see it ever since. When I first saw it, I
knew that was it. Then, I found out that the play had come
out, and I got the music. It was September 10, 1989, I
remember. It was three days after my birthday. I listened
to it for the first time and I felt like, I cannot even
explain it. It was like my soul had been lifted of some great
burden of innocence. When I heard it, I knew.
Since then, I cannot stop singing. I think the story really
drew me because I am so much like Christine, the character.
She is so much like me in everything. She is a real dreamer
like I am. She had a father who was just wonderful. He was
like my mom in a lot of ways. There used to be this story
that he used to tell her about a little girl who the angel of
music used to come to. It sounded just like my childhood
because my mom said that when I was a baby, I used to sing
with the birds in the window, and things like that, which is
K: Yes, it is.
A: The way she thinks is exactly how I think. It is hard to
explain. I am destined to do that role some day because I
feel so much like her. The book is so good. The end is so
sad. The music is so gorgeous that I got totally hooked on
it, and now I cannot live without it. I got to see my idol
actor, Michael Crawford, play the Phantom. He was just beyond
anything you could possibly imagine. I have never seen an
actor like him before.
K: Why is he so incredible?
A: He totally, totally puts himself in that part. He is the
Phantom. I cannot explain it. When you read the book, there
is this way that Erik, the Phantom, thinks. You can just tell
on stage, that there is this presence that you always feel,
and you can feel his voice. When I read about his personal
life, it was so cool because he is just like the father I
never knew. He is like the male role that I have always been
looking for. At least on the surface it seems like that. I
got to meet him on January 26. That is why the twenty-sixth
is so special to me. It was beyond what will ever happen to
me again. I felt like I tasted all the happiness the world
could give me.
K: What did you say to him?
A: Well, I wrote him a letter, and I told him exactly how I felt.
I just said "you are the best actor," and I had not seen him
yet perform the part. However, I loved his voice on tape, and
the interviews with him. I had never written a fan letter or
anything like that but, this was just so different. I met
him, and he was just so nice, and I could tell that he was
still trying to get out of his part. He is so emotional, at
the end he dies. It is really, really sad, and you could tell
that he still had so much emotion inside. I could just feel
it. He was really quiet, too. He let me talk to him and I
got to go back stage and see his gorgeous costumes.
K: So you got to meet him when you went to see Phantom of the
K: You had a back stage pass?
A; Yes. He let me go back there. It was so cool because he does
not usually do that at all.
K: Why did he pick you?
A: I guess he liked my letter.
K: Oh, so he knew who you were?
A: I told him who I was, yes.
K: So you would say Phantom of the Opera was your favorite play?
K: Do you have a second preference?
A: Well, nothing is as good but, I love the music from Les
Miserables. It is another one of those plays where the music
is so good to sing. I love the emotion. It is one of those
big musical extravaganzas.
K: What would you say was your favorite part of Phantom?
A: The very last part, the end. What happens is she is in love
with this other guy, obviously she is not in love with the
Phantom. He has this guy trapped in a noose. She kisses him
which is really cool, then he totally freezes up. Nobody has
ever loved him, ever in his entire life. When this happened
he totally freaks out, and he lets them go together. The last
line he says is: "You alone can make my song take flight. It
is over now, the music of the night." Then he dies. He puts
his cloak over his head on his chair. They were all trying
to track him down. They found his house and a little girl
pulls the cape off of him, and all that is left on the chair
is his mask. That is how it ends. It is so good. There were
men sobbing in the audience.
K: That is unusual.
A: I know. It was very unusual.
K: So do you think about the play often?
A: Yes, because I feel so much like Christine. I wish I was in
her situation sometimes. However, sometimes I do not because
it is a bad situation. Sometimes I really feel like I am a
lot like her. The woman who played her, Dale Kristian, acted
very well. She acted exactly how I would act in the part.
It was kind of weird, almost eerie.
K: All right. We are going to stray away from that a bit now.
Besides lunchtime, what is your favorite subject?
A: Well, if I had drama class that would be good. If I had to
choose between classes I have already had, I probably would
like English the best because we read good books. I cannot
stand grammar. We read Shakespeare and I love that.
K: Do you like to play any musical instruments? If so, what
about them do you like?
A: Yes, I play the flute in marching band, concert band, and wind
ensemble. I am going to be first chair next year. I play
piccalo too, and I am not sure why. I just started it once
when I was little, and I just never stopped. I wish I played
the piano because I love it, and it is a really useful
instrument too. It is so hard though. I take flute lessons
and that costs a lot of money. It is either flute lessons,
voice lessons, or piano lessons. I am kind of forced into
taking flute. I wish I took piano though. Nevertheless, I
K: Besides the play, Phantom of the Opera, what is your favorite
A: I loved Dead Poets Society. It was so good. I loved what
happened. It is a really good account of what would happen
to kids who just want to do well. There reactions to what
happen when their parents find out is really typical of what
would happen with kids. I do not think parents realize how
much of an influence they have on their lives. I love that
K: Is there a favorite song you have?
A: I love Music of the Night, the song, because it is so
entrancing. I think besides that, I just love so many songs.
K: Are they mostly opera songs?
A: Well, no. They are musical songs, slow rock songs, or new
K: All right! I like New Wave also. It is clear that you have
a great love for drama and music. Do you want to be an
actress when you graduate?
A: Yes, I want to. I would be horribly happy. I would be beyond
blissful. My parents will not let me because I would be very,
very poor, and they want me to get out of the little rut that
they are in and get a good life for myself. I think what I
will do is probably get a career, and then try my acting on
the side. If it works, then I will just go with my acting,
and then I would always have my career to fall back on.
K: What kind of career do you think you are going to have?
A: I am not sure. This summer program has shown me a lot about
medicine. It is kind of neat. There is so much science and
statistics though. Maybe I want to be a psychologist because
I would like to figure out how the human mind works, why, and
things like that.
K: I am sure that since you love acting so much you have acted
in plays, right?
K: Could you please tell me about some of the plays you have
A: Yes. I sure can. I used to be in the little singing group
and we used to do plays. However, I think it really started
when I went to New Mexico. I got into a big production of
Annie. I played the oldest orphan which was a really
incredible experience. I was picked out of 200 girls. It was
totally exciting for me. We were tap dancing and all those
things. From there, I have been in Fiddler on the Roof,
Oliver, and I have helped back stage with tons of plays like
Oklahoma, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat.
Next year I plan to be in The Wizard of Oz, then Evita. Also
I love Shakespeare. I go to anything about Shakespeare that
I can get my hands on.
K: Do you understand Shakespeare?
A: Yes. I do. I loved the movie Henry the Fifth. That was
totally Shakepearean. I can basically understand his
language. He has a good sense of humor if you just figure
out what he is talking about.
K: Which of the plays that you have been in do you like the best?
A: Probably Annie because that was my first step in a very good
K: What kind of cultural foods do you like to eat?
A: I love Italian food. I love eating pizza, lasagna, and
spaghetti. I cannot eat enough spaghetti. I like all Italian
food, basically, except for maybe snails. However, I have
not tried them. Maybe they are good, and I do not know it.
I like French food too.
K: Everyone has different views about people who are lucky. How
would you describe a lucky person?
A: Luck is a very interesting thing. It is quite hard to define
what luck is. I would probably describe a lucky person as one
who was born in a family who loved them, and just someone who
grew up well. Actually, I think luck is more like taking your
chances with things, and if you get a good break, then that
is good. It is hard to explain.
K: Speaking of chances, you told me once about a sickness you had
that was strangely cured. Could you please explain it?
A: Well, it was about last October. I started to get a stomach
flu sickness. The doctors did not know what it was. I could
not eat anything. I had to have crackers and coke. It would
not go away. Then all of a sudden, it was like four months
later and the sickness was still there. I went to several
doctors because I wanted to find out what my problem was.
They gave me all these different things, but it would not go
away. They said that it could be stress. They made me take
time off to try to relax but, it is impossible to try to erase
your past and things. When I take in something, it goes
really deep. Everything goes really deep with me, and so that
could have been it. I do not know. It was really bad, and
I would get sick every day. My teachers all knew about it,
and I had to leave class if I ever got sick. I went on a trip
to go see Phantom. The twenty-sixth of January was the feast
day of Saint Timothy. I am Catholic. I did not know it at
the time. That day, I got better, and I have never had any
stomach troubles at all since that day.
K: All of a sudden, it just disappeared?
A: It totally stopped.
K: What did the doctors say?
A: They were totally baffled. They could not figure it out, and
were totally mind boggled by it. Saint Timothy is the saint
of stomach disorders, which is weird but true. I saw that in
a book just the other day. I was totally blown away by that.
K: Did you know that at the time?
A: No, I did not know. I had no idea what had happened. I
really thank God for that because it was really tramautic.
I felt really weak, and I lost a lot of weight. It was bad.
K: If one of your friends was depressed, what do you think you
would say in an attempt to cheer him or her up?
A: I am constantly trying to cheer people up. I get depressed
myself. I think just being with somebody, physically and
spiritually brings some sort of a calmness to them. Sometimes
they want to talk about it, and if they do I am more than
willing to listen. When they do not want to talk about it,
I just like to be there, and let them know that I care because
I always care.
K: Are there any special words that you say to anyone?
A: It depends on who it is. Not really though. I just take it
as it comes.
K: How would try to cheer yourself up if you were down or mad?
A: I listen to music, and I sing, but only when nobody else is
around. If someone else is around, I have a hard time
cheering up. I pretend a lot. I pretend that I am happy or
in a good mood.
K: Even if your close friends are there?
A: Yes, because I do not like to burden other people with my
problems. I feel like they are more important than me. When
I am depressed, I usually blast some music and try to cope
with it somehow.
K: What is your favorite color?
K: Why, because of the ocean?
A: That could be it. I have never thought about it that way.
I just love it. There is something some deep and kind of
melancholy about it. Maybe that is why I like the ocean too.
It's all tied in one. It is also my birthstone.
K: What is your favorite holiday?
A: Christmas, definitely. I love Christmas because the whole
family comes over, and we are celebrating something that is
sacred. A lot of times, it gets really commercialized. I
also get caught up in it but, it is the one time that I feel
like I have a home. I sit around a fire with a bunch of
people that love everybody, and everybody loves each other.
I wish it could be like that all the time.
K: Does it snow in New Mexico? If so, do you think the snow
makes it more special?
A: We pray for snow. It is so erratic though. We can not
predict whether snow will come or not. It does snow, and when
it snows, it snows hard. Sometimes it just does not snow, and
I get really frustrated. Once it snowed on Christmas night
which was really neat. We were all excited about it. It does
create a good atmosphere though.
K: There are many different designs of cars. Which car do you
like the best, and why?
A: I am not really sure. I think I would probably like a Mustang
simply because my brother likes them. I have seen so many of
them that I think they are kind of neat. They can be really
gaudy, or they can look like a lot of work and love has been
put in to them. As long as it gets you there, it is good.
K: Yes, that is true. Do you have any pets?
A: Yes, I have a bird which I have had since fourth grade. I
love that bird, and I have a dog.
K: What kind of bird is it?
A: It is a parakeet. It mumbles out of time, and it says the
weirdest things. It never really says anything flat out. I
love my dog so much. Her name is Belle. She is a Sheltie
K: Crossed with what?
A: They do not know what, maybe husky. She is the sweetest
animal. Both my brother and sister are away. My brother is
at college, and my sister is working in California so, Belle
is like my little sister. I brought her up, and I love her
so much. She is great, and she is always happy to see me.
K: How long have you had her?
A: Almost two years, now.
K: Did you ask for her or did your parents want to get a dog?
A: Well, there was a movie theater kind of near our house, and
there was a little pet shop right next to it. One day, I came
out from the movies, and my cousin, Gabriella, brought me to
the shop because she saw this little puppy there. I saw it,
and I could not leave. I was totally hooked on the dog. It
was so darling. I whined to my parents for about a week, and
they finally let me have a dog. We had a cat, and my mom was
allergic to it. It was was really sad. I loved that cat so
much. She died when she was about thirteen. I miss her a
lot. Once we had a dog when we were little. After one day,
it bit me, so they took it away. Now, the whole family loves
K: Do you love her more than your parakeet?
A: Yes. No, I cannot say that. I love animals.
K: What is your favorite animal?
A: I think dolphins really attract me. I do not know why. I
have never gotten to go up close to them or anything but,
something about them really draws me.
K: Do you think it might be because they are sort of humanly
A: I think so. You can almost see their emotions. It is so neat
that it is almost eerie.
K: If you could come back as something besides a human in your
next life, what would you like to come back as?
A: I would be a dolphin, definitely. I could be in the ocean,
and be happy. I could communicate with others. It is better
than be a snail or something.
K: This is a strange question but, if animals and trees could
communicate to humans, what do you think you would say to
A: I do talk to the trees. Unfortunately, some people think I
am kind of strange. If they really could understand me, I
would tell them that not all humans are alike. Some are very
abusive of plants and animals, but others love them. I really
love every single one of them. Even ants are wonderful.
Actually, I talk to them all the time. Ok, so I am a little
K: So, you talk to trees?
A: Yes. I talk to my plants and things.
K: Do you think it helps them to grow better?
A: I think so. I am almost sure that they can feel things. If
you sit there and say "oh you are terrible," they can feel
it. They know.
K: You said that man has pretty much messed up a lot with this
earth. What are some things that you think we have done
A: Well, there is the all important issue of the environment that
we have a problem with. It seems that we are really selfish.
Everything is convenience these days, like the use of plastics
and things. I think we have just tainted so many things like
the rain forests. There are just things around us, that I see
everyday, and I wonder what life would be like if we had not
cleared anything out. Of course, we need our space but, a lot
of it has gone overboard. We have done too much.
K: What do you think this planet is going to look like, say
thirty years from now?
A: I think there are going to be a lot less rain forests, which
is a big problem.
K: If you had to choose between a radio or television, which one
would you rather have?
A: A radio because I love music.
K: More than you love television?
K: But you can watch plays on a television.
A: You are right. Yes, but not usually. Normally you just get
Gilligan's Island (she laughs).
K: What is your favorite meal, like sea food, pasta etc.?
A: I cannot eat seafood.
A: I do not know. I just feel bad when I eat seafood. I think
I probably like pizza the best.
K: Is that because you are Italian?
A: I think so. I know a lot of people like it, and they are not
Italian, but I really like it.
K: What is your favorite drink?
A: My favorite drink is cranberry juice. I like it because it
tastes neat. I always get these weird cravings for Cranberry
K: Usually, people who like music like poetry. Do you like to
read or write poetry?
A: Yes. I love poetry. Poetry is wonderful, and it is one of
the finer ways to express your emotions. I love Shakespeare
and mostly anything. I have a hard time writing poetry
because I can never get my feelings out. I cannot speak my
feelings or write them. Maybe that is why music is all right
with me, because I can put my feelings in that, or in drama.
I love reading poetry because it is like people are reading
my mind by what they say. A lot of it is exactly how I am
K: If you had to write a song, what would you say in it?
A: Let's see. I am not sure. Like I said, I have a hard time
expressing myself. It would probably be about love if
anything. Those are the best songs.
K: Do you have a favorite author of songs?
A: I like Shakespeare, and I like e.e. cummings.
K: What about Robert Frost?
A: Yes, I like Robert Frost. I like most poets, except for the
really weird ones. I like my friend, Tiffany's poems. She
has incredible poems.
K: What kind of subjects do you like to read about in poetry?
A: I like love poems, and poems that talk about the way somebody
thinks. For example, if you see someone walking down the
road, and the poem explained how that person was thinking,
that would be incredible.
K: What kind of things do you write about in your poems?
A: I write about people that I like. I write about how I feel
about people that I like. Usually, I do this, unless
something happens to turn me off of it.
K: What kind of emotions do you have trouble getting out?
A: All, I just cannot say them in words. I have so much emotion
inside that I have a hard time expressing it.
K: Are they mixed emotions?
A: Yes. A lot of times, they are very mixed. I have a lot of
K: In regard to your future plans, do you plan to stay in New
Mexico and go to college there, or are you going elsewhere?
A: I do not know. I am so afraid of moving. I would feel
horrible about leaving my mom by herself with my dad. I
really do not know what my future holds for me because I have
not decided anything.
K: Are you scared about not knowing?
A: Yes, I am very scared. It is like I live each day and wait
because I do not know what is going to happen.
K: You have two more years of high school left?
A: Yes, two years.
K: Your brothers and sisters are in New Mexico, going to college
A: My sister is in Los Angeles, and my brother is in a different
city in New Mexico. He is about two hours away. I never see
them. We keep in touch all the time.
K: Well, it seems like you are slightly psychic. Can you feel
A: Yes, this Easter, my brother actually had a heart attack which
is very strange because he is only twenty years old. It was
really scary but, I kind of knew something was going to
happen. I had that feeling. It was kind of like what Jim
Henson died of. It was the same thing, except they got my
brother to the hospital faster, and he still has to recover.
He had to stay in bed for a long time. It was really hard for
him. It was just some virus that attacked his heart.
K: Why was it hard for him to stay in bed?
A: Well, he is a real extrovert. It is hard for him to keep
still. He always feels like he has to do something. He is
never at peace with himself. He has to be doing something.
K: Does this come from the way your parents are, or is he
basically his own person?
A: Well, my mom is not like that at all. My mom is a lot like
me in every way. My dad is definitely not an introvert but,
I cannot say he is an extrovert. I would say that he is a
very strong person in that he is such a strong thinker, that
he has no feelings. It is weird.
K: What do you do when you are bored?
A: Well, in class when I am bored, I have a really good way of
writing things, with my teachers not knowing. They just have
no clue. I look like I am taking notes. All I do is sit
there and write poems, letters to people that I will never
ever send, or I write words to songs. I am always writing
words to songs. Also, I draw pictures and other weird things
like that. I like my art. I do not think anybody else would
understand it but, I like it.
K: Why, what kind of things do you draw?
A: I just draw characters from plays and things like that.
K: Like characters from Phantom of the Opera.
A: Yes, whatever I want.
K: I have noticed that you have an ability to kind of daydream
when someone is talking to you. Where does that come from?
A: I have no idea but, I have developed it to such a perfection
that I can talk without even knowing what I am saying. I am
constantly doing that, and people can even have conversations
with me. Subconsciously, I am probably listening, or maybe
consciously I am listening. I do not know. My mind is always
somewhere else, always, no matter what, even right now. I
feel like I am at the ocean right now. Anyway, I can sit
there and block everything out of my mind while still talking
to someone without even paying attention.
K: Is that a skill you have developed since you were a child?
A: Well, I have always been able to do it. I just never realized
it. Now, consciously, I can do it. Usually I cannot help it.
During class, I ask an important question or something, and
the second that I ask it, I will start to think of something
else, and I will totally forget. Someone could be sitting
there telling me the answer, and I will totally miss and have
to ask someone else. That happens all the time, even when it
is something very important. In those occasions, I will start
to listen with great interest, and my mind will wonder. I
cannot stop it.
K: Why do you suppose that happens?
A: I am not sure. It is kind of scary sometimes because I feel
really bad when I miss what somebody says. Sometimes I think
it is my hearing, but it is not. It is just me going off into
another world. I cannot help it. I will start to think of
one thing, and then it will just lead to a chain reaction of
thoughts. Then all of a sudden, I will be in another world.
K: So, is it very easy for you to dream at night because of this?
A: I think so. I am not exactly sure how it is tied in. Dreams
are a world of their own. I think I am really lost in the
clouds most of the time. A lot of people tell me I am.
K: Are you a heavy sleeper or a light sleeper?
A: It depends if I am having the black dream or not. If I am
having the dream, I usually cannot get up. It is like this
all encompassing thing. If I am not having the dream and I
hear a sound outside of me, it will be incorporated into my
dream. I will start to take off on that. Sometimes I get
scared. I will hear an alarm ring, and I will start dreaming
that it is a fire and I will still be sleeping. I can wake
K: Have you ever talked to your mom about maybe having some
correlation with her?
A: I am scared to tell her because I do not know what she will
say. She might say that I am just imagining everything. She
knows that I have a really strong imagination, and she does
not want to encourage it too much, even though she has it too.
She wants me to be normal. I try to be normal.
K: Can you remember a lot of your dreams?
A: Yes. I like to write them down. I have a journal where I
write my dreams because some of them are so intense that I
cannot help remembering them.
K: Are they recurrent?
A: Yes. The black dream recurs every night. There are some that
recur since my childhood that I remember distinctly, and they
keep coming back years later. Twice, it could be the exact
K: Is it all right for you to talk about these things?
A: Yes. Actually, I do not usually because I think people
probably think I am crazy. I get scary dreams, usually when
it is intense, it gets very frightening.
K: How do you deal with it?
A: I do not know. Sometimes I can have this thing in my sleep
where I can just say "I am dreaming so, I can make this
happen." I try that sometimes but, sometimes I am so locked
in a dream that I try to escape from it, and I cannot. I am
consciously trying to get out of a dream, and it will not let
me. That is a scary feeling. Once I almost dreamed that I
died. I heard that if you dream in your sleep that you die,
you do die.
K: I have heard that too.
A: I came so close to that once, that I fell out of the bed to
make sure that I could wake up. Once my friend was having a
dream, and she was in my dark dream. It was weird because I
knew she was in my dream. She could not wake up so, she
started to hit me. She started to tell me to get up, and I
said "I cannot." She tried to get up. Then she slapped me,
and I woke up. Then she woke up. We called each other at the
exact same time, and found that we had the same dream. That
is really weird. Sometimes I get trapped.
K: Have you ever been to a psychologist to see if you have some
kind of special psychic power?
A: No, that scares me. I think maybe I am kind of afraid to
touch on psychic powers because it seems like it is satanic
or something. I am afraid of demons so much. They scare me
more than anything. I cannot watch horror movies.
K: Is that because of your past experiences or just your
A: I guess it is feelings. The whole world is so scary. I think
in my dreams I am really open. I think in everyone's dreams,
they spiritually become more open to things coming in, and if
they are not careful, unwanted presence can enter. I truly
K: Do you think that is because you are vulnerable?
A: Yes. I am very vulnerable.
K: So, if you are not really a believer, you do not think it
would effect you?
A: Well, if you are not a believer, it is usually for a reason.
It could be because there is something inside of you that says
K: Are you the only one in your family that dreams like that?
A: I think so. My mom does have pretty neat dreams. Once, yes,
(I feel bad,) I looked in her dream book because I was so
curious. She had the wildest dreams you could imagine. They
were very wild and crazy, and very spiritual. They were
things that were totally symbolic.
K: So, there probably is a connection.
A: I think there is but, she is afraid to talk about it, and so
am I. I usually do not.
K: I am sorry. Please let me know if I am disturbing you.
A: No, it is all right. It feels good to talk about it.
K: It is very interesting though. It really is. Getting away
from the psychological world, what kind of sports do you
A: I love tennis. I have only been playing for a year so, I am
really bad. There is just something about it. There is one
reason why I have always been very inferior. I had this P.E.
teacher in sixth grade, and he hated me. I always felt bad.
I had this feeling that I could not do sports. I felt like I
could do nothing at all until last year when I tried tennis,
and I could actually do it. Even up until this summer, I have
never done so many sports in my life.
K: How many different sports have you done?
A: Well, this summer, I have done running, volleyball, and
K: Do you like them?
A: Yes. I like them a lot. I always thought of sports as a
chore because of that inferior feeling.
K: So, it was the sixth grade teacher that made you not want to
K: What was it that made this feeling so strong?
A: He gave me a "C." That was the only "C" I had ever gotten.
It was so scary and the reason he gave me a "C" is because I
would not do twenty chin ups. He would grade on physical
ability which was not fair. I always thought I was really
bad. There were other girls in my class like me, but I just
could not understand. That was really hard. I am just now
trying to break out of that. I have been afraid to try out
for the tennis team and everything else because of that
feeling that I could not do it.
K: Would you be willing to try?
A: I think so.
K: Would you say you are changing more now, mature-wise?
A: Yes. People influence me so much. It is kind of strange,
but I am kind of totally one way, and totally the other
because in one aspect, I do not care what people think about
me in terms of conformity. In another sense, if someone says
something about me that is personally important, like if
someone told me "you cannot sing," that would effect me, and
I would probably never sing again. Something can hurt me so
badly that I cannot even explain it. One side says no, the
other yes, or both say no.
K: Do your grades have any influence on your ability because you
said you got a "C" and that disturbed you?
A: Well, I usually get "As" and "Bs" and am usually a pretty good
student. I am not even sure why. I think it is because I
just owe it to myself to at least try. I have never been a
valedictorian. I could if I wanted to, but I do not think it
is that important. It is important for me to get a good
education and get out of life what I can. However,I do not
want to overdo it.
K: So, you would see living as doing what you want to do, and not
what is required.
A: Yes, right. I just want to be myself. It is hard. I still
do not know who I am.
K: I do not think many people do.
A: Yes, at this age, it is hard. This year I have learned a lot
K: If you were to get a "C" in some class, would you feel like
you could not do it or what?
A: Well, I did get a "C" in geometry, but it was only a nine
weeks grade. I was still scared because one part of me said
"I cannot do this" and the other part of me said "you are so
stupid, you have got to do it" I barely pulled off a "B-."
There are some times when one part of me says that it just
does not matter who cares, just get on with the rest of your
life, and the other part says you can not just leave something
K: Which part is stronger?
A: I do not know. I am still confused about that.
K: Which part do you listen to more?
A: Probably my achievements part. I am not horribly proud of
that, like I should be. I want to do well, but at the same
time, not become a maniac about it.
K: Besides music, do you have any academics that you love or are
really talented at?
A: I think English comes really easy to me, except for grammar.
K: Do you think that is because you like literature?
A: I think so. Anything that is more on the right brain side,
like languages which are not too hard for me, except for the
memorization because my mind wanders, and I forget.
K: If you had a choice to know a certain language, what language
would you like to know?
A: Even though I am studying Spanish, I would love to learn
French because it is such a romantic language. I would like
to know Italian because my family speaks Italian.
K: Do your parents speak Italian?
A: Not at home regularly, but my mom and my grandmother know
K: Do they try to teach you Italian?
A: Not really. There is so little time for everything. It
always feels like time is running out.
K: Do you think French is gorgeous because of the soft tone it
A: Yes, it is very soft. I cannot stand German. It is so hard,
and French is so smooth. It is like a river.
K: Do you think the cultures are that way too?
A: Oh, yes. The French are very interesting people. They have
had a very interesting background. I think the Romance
languages all come with a very interesting and unique culture.
English is weird. I hear it is one of the hardest languages
in the world to learn. It is so diversified. I think our
language is a lot like its culture because our country is
weird. Of course English did not come from America, but still
in general we are weird.
K: Do you think you will ever end up in Rome or Italy, since you
would love to go there some day?
A: I do not know. I never really thought of actually taking up
residence there. I think it would be incredible, but I hear
Rome is a really bad place to be.
A: Well, there is crime, and things like that, and being a woman
in today's world, there are a lot of problems. It is hard for
me to say I want to move because I do not. I want to arrange
it so that things will stay the same, but I want good things
to happen. If they happen by change, then maybe I just have
to deal with it.
K: How does it feel to wear braces?
A: Braces do not feel good.
K: Do you think they are worth all the trouble?
A: I should hope so. They could bring out my Broadway smile,
A: About my childhood and my dad, I would like to say that he
tries really hard. I have a lot to resent him for, and
sometimes I feel like a terrible person for it. I get really
confused. I try to pretend that it did not happen but, I
cannot. My mom is constantly trying to make him deal with
it. She has so much on her back.
K: You would say she was your hero, right?
A: Yes. My sister resents her though because she says she should
have taken her out of the situation. She does not realize
that my mom is like me; meek and humble. She did not know
what to do at the time. Now she is so strong. If it should
ever happen again, she would leave. My parents just
celebrated their twenty-fifth anniversary, and it is so hard
to say that it was a joyous marriage. The thing that scares
me the most is that I will marry somebody like my father. I
can not have that happen, and I do not know how to stop it
from happening. My mom will not let it happen. There are
good things about my father.
K: She did not know about it before she was married?
A: Of course, she did not know. It is just one of those things.
I do not want marriage to be like "I love you, let's get
married," because then you are stuck.
K: Would you say this is a good experience for you and things
about your future?
A: Yes. I have learned so much about life and people from my
dad and his family.
K: Does he ever try to make up for his doings?
A: No. What he likes to say is that it is over. There was never
any healing. They went to a psychologist, but he made my
sister go. He would not go. When you get somebody who will
not deal with something, it will never go away, it will always
be there. The psychologist did not help my sister very much
either. I know psychologists can, it is just that he did not.
He just has to deal with it. He does not talk about it at
I get mad, scream, yell, then feel bad. I say things I
should not but, sometimes they have to be said. Somebody has
to say them. It seems like nothing can hurt him. I came here
this summer, wondering if he was going to miss me. He was
just like "oh, you will have a good time." Maybe there is
something way down, so far inside that I do not know about.
He is so unbalanced in that way. He comes off to be a real
warm personality. He is really good with kids now. However,
if they were his own, he would not be able to stand it. He
is really selfish. Maybe that is what it is. He is his own
boss. He cannot work under another boss. He has almost
gotten fired so many times. Now, he is a lease broker. He
leases trucks and medical equipment. The job is just like
him. It is totally erratic. Sometimes he will get money.
It never seems that we have money when we need it. My mom is
a teacher which does not help because teachers get very poorly
paid in New Mexico. I hear it is not good here either.
K: It is about thirty thousand a year here.
A: It is less than that in New Mexico.
K: Does she enjoy it though?
A: She loves teaching. She never thought she would spend her
whole life as a teacher. Sometimes she wondered what she
would do if she had the money. Once she said she wanted to
be a travel agent which is kind of strange.
K: What about wanting to be an actress?
A: She has been an actress. She sings so beautifully. All the
women in her family are all like that.
K: What prohibited her acting?
A: I think her mother discouraged it because my grandmother is
a lot like my father. I think that is kind of why she married
him. It is unconscious. It is not something you plan, and
it happened. She had to stop that part of her life. Her mom
made her take college courses to become a teacher.
K: Does she still sing?
A: Yes. Every night we go and play the piano, and sing and
things like that. Sometimes she gets so emotional about it
that she can not do it. It hurts her. The thing more than
music that she always wanted to do, that she was so good at,
was ballet. She was a ballerina, and worked with the famous
ballerina, Cynthia Gregory. They worked under the same
teacher. My grandmother made her stop when she was about
twelve. She was already on point. She was doing incredible.
Once her father died, my grandmother made her stop.
K: Why did she make her stop because her father died?
A: I think it had to do with money. Also my grandmother is an
Opera singer and she knows how hard it is to be an artist.
She did not want to encourage that. I do not think she
realizes that she is making me stop. However, I cannot stop,
even if she tells me to. It is a different generation because
back then you did what your parents said no matter what. Now,
we are kind of a little more rebellious which is not always
good at all. I kind of shudder to think what my kids are
going to be like. It is kind of scary.
K: Is your mom glad to see that you have her talent in you?
A: I think so. She is afraid to say it sometimes because she
does not want to encourage me in the wrong direction such as
to totally become a stage kid. However, I think it is a bit
late for that. If there was nobody else in the family who
was artistic, I think she would totally go mad.
K: Well, I am very glad that we had this interview, and I wish
you all the best of luck with whatever you decide. Thank you
for your time.
A: Thank you.