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Interview with Tracy Blanchard

Blanchard, Tracy
Mullin, Kim
Date of Interview: 
Relationships with People and Places; Tolerance and Respect
Tracy Blanchard explains her life as a high school cheerleader and a college freshman, and why she wants to move North after graduation.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Kim Mullins interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Interview Audio: 
KM (Kim Mullins): Can I please have your name?
TB (Tracy Blanchard): Tracy Blanchard.
KM: And your age?
TB: 19.
KM: Where are you from in Charlotte?
TB: Concord.
KM: OK. And is there anything in particular you want to talk about? Are you a freshman?
TB: Yes.
KM: OK. And did you like living in Charlotte all your life?
TB: Um, yeah. It's a nice place to grow up. Um, I don't think I'll be able to settle down here though, because most of my relatives live up North. So when I graduate, more than likely I'll move to Boston, but Charlotte has definitely been a nice place to live. I've never experienced any problems with crime or anything like that, and there's always been something for me to do, like in high school or in college, there's always things to go do, so it's been a nice place to grow up.
KM: Do you think it will be strange to move up North when you've lived in Charlotte all your life? Do you think there'll be a very big culture shock?
TB: I don't know that it will be a very big culture shock, because I've grown up going to Boston all the time. So it's almost like a second home. It won't be too different, but the style of the city is a little different, so--
KM: Um-hmm. Why wouldn't you want to stay on Charlotte? Is there any particular reason?
TB: I need a change. I've lived here all of my life. So I need a change and Boston's the place I've always looked to live at, so--
KM: Um-hmm. Do you feel that Charlotte has changed a lot since you were growing up here? Do feel like it's changed a lot?
TB: It's definitely grown.
KM: Uh-huh.
TB: And a lot more things have come up since then for people to do. So, I don't know.
KM: If you want to move so bad, why did you go to school here?
TB: Uh, the reason I choose to go to school here is because my parents live around 30 minutes away, and I wanted to be away from home, yet be able to go home, if I needed to, so--
KM: Uh-huh. Are you close to your family?
TB: Yes. Very close to my family. I usually go home once or twice a month.
KM: Don't you think that will be hard if you move all the way up there, not seeing them as much? Or do you feel you're ready for the change?
TB: Um, I'll definitely be ready for the change. I've been going up as a progress in school, so I, it will be a good change for me.
KM: So you'll stay here for the four years and then move, or would you transfer schools?
TB: Um, if I was able to get educational opportunities in school, I would transfer, but I'm happy with school here, with my sorority, with the city, with, I mean I'm happy with the way things are right now, so probably when I graduate.
KM: And what is it you want to do when you graduate?
TB: I would like to look for a job in education, possibly teaching elementary school, um, hopefully up North I would rather do that up North, so--
KM: How come? For any particular reason?
TB: I mean, just mostly because my family lives up there and I enjoy being up there.
KM: It won't bother you, the cold weather and stuff? I can say that because I'm from there. That won't bother you?
TB: It would definitely be an adjustment, but I've been up there with the weather before, and, um, I'm not, it's not hard for me to adjust to things so--
KM: Do you like the weather in Charlotte? Do you enjoy--?
TB: Oh, I definitely like the weather in Charlotte, so that would be kind of a shock for me to have those winters, but I'll be able to adjust to it. Although I do enjoy spring and March here. [Laughs]
KM: How was it going to high school in Charlotte? Do you feel like, do you think it would have been different if you had gone to school in Boston or someplace else up North?
TB: I guess, actually it would, because in high school, I was on a state cheerleading championship squad, and they don't have squads like that up North as much, my cousins tell me from their high school. So I think it would definitely been different, just because of that.
KM: Do you feel like that's a southern thing or a North Carolina thing, or--
TB: Well, I actually kind of having guys on a cheerleading squad in high school is more a southern thing, because my cousins in Boston had never heard of that before me, so--
KM: Uh-huh. So you feel like it's a southern thing? Because in New York, where I'm from, they do not, cheerleading and that stuff isn't as big as it is down here.
TB: Well, that was a big part for me in high school, so, I definitely think it would have made a difference it I had lived up there for high school.
KM: So was an important part of being in high school?
TB: Oh! That was my life! It truly was my life in high school.
KM: And it was an important aspect, was there a particular crowd that hung out because of that?
TB: Oh yes. It was the little popular crowd, you know, the little "we're better than everybody else" crowd. I hate to say that, but it is true! [Laughs]
KM: What about the people that didn't do that?
TB: I mean, I wasn't a particular snobby one, but there were some that were, so--
KM: So it was the cheerleaders dated the football players?
TB: Yeah. [Laughs] It really was. It was the stereotypical high school.
KM: It was? And do you feel like it was a good thing to grow up around?
TB: No. I really don't. You should really give everybody a chance. Just because they don't have as much money as you, or they don't do the same things as you do, doesn't mean they're not a good person inside.
KM: The money aspect is that, in your high school, did that affect stuff, how a person fit in or--?
TB: It really did, because a lot of the people on my group, their friends were well off. They had awesome cars and they strutted around with their awesome clothes and the other people who didn't really didn't hang out with our group of friends.
KM: Does that make for a lot of pressure to have a lot of money?
TB: It does! Because my family is by no means rich, but we never had that much trouble, so--. You always wanted to have the update styles clothes and the updated car. You want to be down anymore than anybody else, so--
KM: Is there anything else you wanted to talk about? High school or college?
TB: I guess I want to say that it's been a real positive experience living here, because my, my mother really wants to move back up North because that's where she's from. But my father loves the South, so, I guess it would be an adjustment for him if they moved so--. Charlotte's a good city, it's expanding and it's getting better. UNCC is a good school, it's probably the right size, I wouldn't want to go to a bigger school so--. I enjoy UNC Charlotte.
KM: Well, thank you for sharing your experiences with me and your time. I appreciate it, Tracy.