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Conversational Dialogue with Jennifer Bourne

Bourne, Jennifer
Doebler, Kristen
Date of Interview: 
Childhood adventures; Relationships with people and places; Stories and story tellers; Then and now
Jennifer Bourne talks about her favorite books as a child and teen and about public versus private education.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Kristen Doebler interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Interview Audio: 
JB (Jennifer Bourne): Sit up on the couch, Betsy.
KD (Kristen Doebler): I know.
JB: What are we talking about?
KD: OK. The first question is what stories or books do you remember people reading to you when you were a kid?
JB: I remember we had subscriptions. Um, I was lucky because my mom was Early Childhood Development, um, had her Master's in that and so we had, we had subscriptions to like, the Golden Book Club and Sweet Pickles. And we'd get home and we'd get like this box of books that would come in the mail and we'd go right down to the chair and I'd set on her lap and she'd read to me, um, like Goose Goofs Off is the first book that I learned to read and then I can't remember any of the other Sweet Pickles books but I remember that was my favorite one. And I heard her read it so many times one night, um, I was lying in bed, um, looking at the pictures, looking at my favorite page, and I heard her read it so many times I looked down and I could read the words and I called her in and read her the whole book.
KD: Oh that's cool.
JB: Isn't that cool?
KD: I \\ never, I never-. \\
JB: \\ ( ) \\
KD: -Heard of the Sweet Pickles things.
JB: \\ I was four.\\ Sweet Pickles? Oh yeah. You know, [sings] "Smart moms know, how kids might grow." You never saw those commercials?
KD: Huh-uh.
JB: Oh.
KD: Maybe I did have those. I had all the Golden Books.
JB: They were hard, they were like hardcover. Yeah, the Golden Books had some Richard Scarry and we had that big, like the book, the big Richard Scarry book.
KD: They just all had the gold around on the edge of them.
JB: And then, yeah, so reading to me, it was mostly that kind of stuff. I'm sure she read like her favorite stuff like, like Curious, like, you know, like, Curious George.
KD: [Laugh]
JB: I remember like my favorite book was, like my favorite picture book was, The Grog's Family Vacation. It was like they couldn't afford to go to the beach so they made a beach in their backyard. It was kind of funny. ( )
KD: That was your favorite book?
JB: That was my favorite book \\ when I was little. \\
KD: \\ Because \\ that was my mine, too.
JB: It was? Well, there was also, um, I still remember them reading us, it was like this Noah's Ark book and the illustrations were gorgeous and I like tried to color or it or something so they took it away. [Laugh]
KD: [Laugh] Oh, no way. \\ Did you read Stone Soup? \\
JB: \\ But those were my favorite pictures. Stone Soup I read in first grade or maybe, see I read, went to first grade reading group in kindergarten, so I can't remember what was, I mean, like we had the little reading area and I sat there in kindergarten and first grade so I can't remember what was what, but I know Stone Soup was either kindergarten or first grade out of the little reading books. You know how you have those stories \\ whatever. \\
KD: \\ Yeah. \\
JB: I think that was the first time I read it. And we used to have subscriptions to like, um, Pockets magazine and Highlights with little stories in them and stuff, and like Ranger Rick, like the most like-.
KD: World \\ [laugh] \\
JB: \\ Yeah, World, \\ that kind of-, yeah.
KD: My dad came in our kindergarten class and he made the stone soup.
JB: He did?
KD: Yeah.
JB: Oh, that's totally Gary. That's awesome.
KD: And then we ate it for lunch.
JB: [Laugh] OK, Oh, here are the other ones.
KD: Do you remember anything about the books, like the shape or the smell or the place you read in all the time?
JB: I remember, like I remember, um, I remember, like those Sweet Pickles books were hardcover and they were just, they were a rectangle just like that tape recorder except maybe like a little wider. And, um, the pictures were very much like primary colors, bright. And then my favorite page in that Goose Goofs Off is like she's slipping across the kitchen and there's stuff flying everywhere. Um, I guess I liked action pictures.
KD: [Laugh]
JB: But, um, like in terms of-, I, I just remember, just the sneaking page turns because I'd always tell my parents to leave the door cracked because I was scared but really I had books under my pillow and I'd look at the pictures 'til I fell asleep. So I mostly remember just, you know, this, having this, I don't know, it was almost like a friend, like just a secretive, very, you know, physical relationships with the books.
KD: Um, did they tell, did any of your-, did your grandmother tell you stories or any of your other relatives like when you went to visit them?
JB: Um, I never really had-, I mean, my grandmother was really my only [pause]-.
KD: Other \\ relative? \\
JB: \\ -Other \\ relative. I mean, I really, I didn't-, my Aunt Betsy was kind of all over the place and, um-.
KD: Is that your mother's sister?
JB: That's my dad's sister and, um, they weren't close. So we didn't, it's not like she grew up, I grew up with having her around a bunch because they're good friends. Um, we don't even know where she is now, actually but, um, Granny, more than-, I, I don't really remember her telling me things as much as I remember her showing me things, like walking with me and showing me a Lady, Lady's Slipper growing in the garden or, you know, what an azalea is or, you know, having me salt the chicken for fried chicken or something you know.
KD: Did she tell you family stories or like \\ her life stories? \\
JB: \\ She does now \\ she does now.
KD: \\ But not \\ when you were a kid?
JB: \\ When I \\ was little I don't remember that. No. Huh-uh.
KD: I don't either.
JB: Like neither same with my parents they've used a lot of like, since my dad is clergy, they had this, um, Purple Puzzle Tree like record series so we'd listen to, um, Free to Be You and Me also.
KD: I \\ had that. \\
JB: \\ Those \\ stories, oh yeah. [Sings]
KD: No, no the Puzzle Tree thing-.
JB: The Purple Puzzle Tree, it had like the story of Moses \\ and-. \\
KD: \\ And it had. \\
JB: -Storybooks and the records that tell \\ the story. ( ) \\
KD: \\ Yeah. Oh \\ my God. Did it have like "The Flood" and everything?
JB: Uh-huh.
KD: And Noah?
JB: Yeah.
KD: I remember just listening. I had seven records-.
JB: \\ Yeah. \\
KD: \\ -And \\ I'd listen to those on like on Christmas.
JB: It's like a boxed set, the Purple Puzzle Tree. Like it was this purple, um, purple box covered like the Trivial Pursuit box.
KD: Yeah. I had that. I had that and it must have \\ been-. \\
JB: \\ I knew \\ a lot of us.
KD: -My sister's first, then I got it. But, God, then Noah's Ark thing. I always like, you know how excited? I remember listening to in the winter when it was real gray.
JB: Uh-huh.
KD: You know and it was just like-.
JB: Uh-huh.
KD: -The storm, they'd have all the like, storm sounds and I'd just go like, "Whoa." You know and all be freaked out about it.
JB: Sort of scary?
KD: Yeah. OK. Who was the best storyteller in your family and why?
JB: Um. [Long pause] I don't know. I don't know that there is one. We're not really a-, [pause], it seems like we were always on the go so much, you know what I mean? [Pause], I don't know that there was like, I don't know if there was anyone like, dominated in terms of storytelling.
KD: Uh-huh. For regular stories but what about reading you stories?
JB: Reading me stories? That was my mother, completely.
KD: Uh-huh.
JB: Like she and my dad joked because they had a deal when they first-, um, when she was pregnant she was like, "I'll raise the kids through elementary school and you're in charge from then on because I don't know anything about-.
KD: \\ Oh. \\
JB: \\ -Kids \\ older than," you know, "older than that."
KD: That's funny.
JB: Um, but she was very, she was mostly, she was definitely, spearheaded though, you know, the early years.
KD: Was she better in elementary school than when you got older? As far as like \\ reading and tuff? \\
JB: \\ ( ) \\ Yeah, definitely, definitely, but our relationship was problematic not because of her inability to deal with older children as much as it's, it's, you know, it was about when I turned 13. When she was 13 she lost her father and I think that she's always just kind of been a little jealous and felt like I take it for granted the fact that I have my dad. And I, you know, and when you're, when you're a pre-adolescent you treat, your parents are just a nightmare. They're most embarrassing people in the world.
KD: \\ ( ) \\
JB: \\ You \\ don't want to be around them at all and, um, I think she would kind of get frustrated with me that because she knew how lucky I was, and I wasn't appreciating it.
KD: I know. Well, I think there's also like a mother/daughter \\ component-. \\
JB: \\ [Cough] \\
KD: -When you become a teenager though, because my mom, like when I was a kid, she was also an elementary school teacher.
JB: Uh-huh.
KD: But I mean like she was so good when I was a kid but like then once you got to the teen years there was more conflict but I think part of it is.
JB: Well it's just separation.
KD: You're the same sex-.
JB: \\ Yeah. \\
KD: -And like you're sort of growing up and I think that's part of it because I think that moms are more lenient on the teenage boys in a way, too than maybe a girl. I don't know.
JB: Well I think that just it's, it's, it's just generational. I really think it's generational like, she sees, you know, I don't know, like you, you, you separate yourself. You, you make yourself as different from your mom as you \\ possibly can. \\
KD: \\ Yeah and \\ they don't like that.
JB: They don't like that. And they also, like, they see you right before like they, they see where you're going to trip and fall.
KD: Yeah.
JB: And you don't-, you're still always like, you know, what we were talking about you know, and you do it anyway.
KD: Uh-huh.
JB: They just kind of get sick and fed up with you and not listening, I guess. [Long pause]
KD: OK, and then, what about when you got older, like when you started reading? Because I remember like being in Young Reader's section and you know like, you'd read those books that were thick, they weren't like story books with pictures, but-.
JB: Uh-huh, \\ uh-huh. \\
KD: \\ -You know, \\ they were like kid's books. What were your favorite books then?
JB: I remember my first big book was, see I actually don't remember. I think it was The Boxcar Children because I remember I went up to my first grade teacher and my mother and I would have like reading days, you know, in the summers and-, because she was off because she had like a teacher's schedule. And, um, so it's always been like, it's always been what I've done with my free time up until, you know, I got to college-.
KD: \\ [Laugh] \\
JB: \\ -Or high \\ school, rather. Um, the earlier years were definitely more productive in that way. I remember going up to my first grade teacher and telling her, like, "I want a thick book."
KD: [Laugh]
JB: Like, "I want one of those big, grown up books," or whatever, and she gave me The Boxcar Children to read. And I read that and then I got into this series, it was like, Ready Fox Series, about these woodland animals that could talk and it talked about their problems and journeys and running away from like the Hunter Joe and stuff like that.
KD: [Laugh] Wow. I loved those.
JB: And then as I grew older, like I then started getting into like The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and into the Newberry Award books and, um I, I still I have a collection for my kids, you know. I definitely have books that are my favorite books like, The Fledgling and Anne of Green Gables and, um, I could still-, I could read them today and have a blast. And, um, Island of the Blue Dolphins and The Witch of Blackbird Pond.
KD: Did you read the, uh, like all the Nancy Drews?
JB: Yeah. I read Nancy Drew. Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden I read everything I could get my hands on, everything. And I my friend Stacy and I, would we would always, um, play, get together on Sundays because we went to the same church. We didn't go to the same school but she we were very similar and we just spent a lot of time together, um, because my school was so small and so was hers. And, um, she read or she got me into, she and I would always play act, like we'd pick short stories and act them out. And we'd play these computer games, where you have to map out your journey and stuff on her dad's computer in her attic on Sundays. And we'd always-, we were always pretending and always and, um, and she got me started, I remember one time I was at home sick and she brought me this book and it was the first in this science fiction fantasy series. So we read a lot of like, Lloyd Alexander's The Sword in the Stone, and, um, a lot of Piers Anthony, um, I just kind of got, became fascinated with that. And I remember my friend Tonya George and I would spend hours in like elementary and middle school, it was a private school, K through eighth grade, and we would always hang out. We'd be in the library doing our like, our-, we started reading these, um, Zilpha Keatley Snyder who is a Newberry Award writer. She wrote The Egypt Game and she was basically-, and also The Witch of Blackbird Pond. We just both got interested in witchcraft and the supernatural-.
KD: \\ [Laugh] \\
JB: \\ -And \\ into like, like we'd look them up in the encyclopedia and write down-, like gather all this research about witches and, um, and, um, magic and magicians and stuff. Just as-, just for fun, just to be in a different world. And I think, I mean, it's honestly, reading has always been kind of a relief even when you're reading about someone's psychological turmoil. It's just not yours.
KD: Yeah. [Laugh]
JB: Um, but that's what I, I, I mean I remember I was always a very, I was just-, I had a lot of support and encouragement in that direction, you know. I was always being given books. I had friends, I always had friends that read a lot, and I was just surrounded by it.
KD: Did you-, I, remember Choose Your Own Adventure books? \\
JB: \\ Oh, \\ yeah girl.
KD: ( ) I had a collection of those like, I tried to get every one that came out. They weren't really, in certain ways, they weren't as good though, as regular books because they weren't very long.
JB: Yeah.
KD: They were real quick like you could sit there flip through it and read it.
JB: And they're almost like, um, I don't know how to describe it.
KD: They were almost like hypertext.
JB: They're almost like video game books. Yeah, like-.
KD: They're like hypertext and they're like going to a web site. You flip, you can have different choices and you flip through.
JB: Right.
KD: Have you ever thought about writing children's books?
JB: Uh-huh.
KD: Seriously?
JB: Uh-huh. Sometimes. Oh. And I remember, oh. Ramona Quimby. Beverly Cleary and remember I wrote her and she sent me her autograph with a Ramona Forever postcard?
KD: Oh that's cool.
JB: And Judy Blume? Oh. I forgot about all these great, great writers. Well that's the thing it's just, just such a challenge to write to a spe-, specified age group like that, you know what I mean? And to, and to, I don't know, it's almost like, it's almost so much of my life at that age was fantasy, that I don't know if I could write. I don't know.
KD: But that's what those books \\ were about. \\
JB: \\ I know, \\ that's true. Oh and Lois Lowry Anastasia. I read all those books.
KD: In certain ways I think it would be easier to write a kid's book than an adult's book. It would be hard to write that.
JB: I don't know. I don't feel like-, it's almost like I don't-, I, I, I, it's-, if I ever, like I was writing when you, when you think about-, this like-, uh, uh, I don't know, this world that you created in your mind, it's almost impossible to put it into sentence form because it's so abstract and it's not, and you know now that it's not real. You know what I mean? Like, I just, I don't know if, maybe I have a crappy imagination or something. [Laugh]
KD: Oh no. [Laugh]
JB: Can I say that on your tape? [Laugh]
KD: Yeah. [Laugh]
JB: [Cough]
KD: Greg burped on it. [Laughter] I was like, "Greg, this is being taped."
JB: [Laugh] Um, I don't know sometimes like, I thought about writing, like not as much for the middle school like Newberry readers as much as for just, like doing illustration \\ and taking a-. \\
KD: \\ ( ) \\
JB: -Like Chris Mull.
KD: Yeah, that's what I mean. I think like no, middle school would probably be hard.
JB: Uh-huh.
KD: But maybe for small children if you're around them a lot like if you had a small child and you've gotten into their-, I mean because I'm not in their mind frame. Like when I go see my friends, Sharon's like, two and a half year old. Like she can already read some stuff. I mean like, she's very advanced. But I mean it's hard, I can get in her mind set, but it takes me like a few minutes to get into her mind frame.
JB: Uh-huh.
KD: You know what I mean?
JB: \\ Uh-huh. \\
KD: \\ And \\ like I think if I like had a kid that age it would be easier to write something for them but I'm not around them enough to know. I don't know. There's a lady that was in one of my classes that she writes children's books or she actually does the illustrations and somebody else writes them. So she's sort of more an artist but, she \\ is trying to improve her writing. \\
JB: \\ I think that \\ it would be easier to write if I, if I spent more time with children.
KD: Yeah.
JB: You know if I was like raising a child and was constantly surrounded by that, just by that, just that initial wonder everything. You know just that openness.
KD: \\ And you know that-.\\
JB: \\ That would be more \\ inspiring that trying to invoke that feeling from 20 years ago in myself.
KD: \\ Yeah. \\
JB: \\ When \\ it's 20, you know it's-.
KD: Well we lose that as adults though, like we don't we can't imagine.
JB: Umm.
KD: Because the whole world like, in certain ways, when you become adult like, you know, you're imagination isn't as great [laugh] because-.
JB: Well doesn't it, \\ it-. \\
KD: \\ -You \\ have to deal with certain things every day and like, if you don't you're not going to eat you know or \\ whatever. \\
JB: \\ Well, \\ I think, I think it's not that our imaginations are not as great but I think that we use them in different ways. Like, it's more work to use your imagination. You know like you use it now, like to put yourself into people's positions when you come into conflict with someone.
KD: Oh yeah.
JB: Or, um, when, you know, when if you have a friend that's going through something, you know, just try to, to be-, in order to sympathize. And that's why it's so important that people read-.
KD: Yeah.
JB: -And paint, and just explore those mediums, those expressive mediums as, as children, is so you can, when it comes time to really-, I mean, in order to be supportive of other people you have to be able to put yourself in their shoes and you have to be able to be supportive of other people to have successful relationships with them, whether it's friendship or anything else. I mean, that was my, that was my thesis in college, is like read, how you read, how what you read affects you. Like if I was, if I was teaching, um, if I was teaching at a high school level, I would-, all my classes would keep reading journals, you know and write responses to the readings. And I don't care if it takes a semester to get through, a book.
KD: Yeah.
JB: You know. But I want-, like I you form a relationship with that book, and the book and words and language affects you, so much and it affects us with each other. Like, you know, you can, you can turn someone's day around, you know, for the better or worse just like that [snaps fingers] with just a sentence.
KD: Uh-huh.
JB: I mean when you absorb 300 pages that's a lot of sentences.
KD: Oh yeah.
JB: To, you know, and that's a lot of \\ sentences. \\.
KD: \\ Do you feel \\ like write a regular like novel?
JB: Yeah. I've had, I feel like I've written like, a bazillion first sentences.
KD: I think I've written a lot of non-fiction books in college, if you add up all the pages-.
JB: \\ [Cough] \\
KD: \\ -You write like-. \\
JB: Yeah.
KD: -Being a history and English major if I write all the-, you know what I mean? All those big papers you did? It'd be easier-.
JB: Well, I have written non-fiction books but-.
KD: But, I mean like a novel. Do you think you could write a novel? Do you ever think you want to do one?
JB: Yeah.
KD: I think I want to do one before I die.
JB: I do. I don't know. Like, I always-, like I've always-, if I, I'm more into like essay writing, you know? Like if I write anything, like mostly when I think of writing, I think of writing about like, just-, there's just so much, you know? Like I want to write about like different walks I have taken or different, um, I don't know, I just, I don't know. I think once you get started it just evolves into what it's going to be but-.
KD: If you wrote a novel what genre would be best? I mean, would it be based, like-, if you wrote a novel, if you base it on-, I mean obviously indirectly, no matter what, it's going to be based on life experience you know, from your life.
JB: Right. You write about what you know, if you're going to write well.
KD: Yeah. But I mean-, but some could be a lot more biographically based than others.
JB: Right.
KD: You know, like some could be like a story from your life that you, you were the main \\ character. \\
JB: \\ I think \\ that probably be an even mix, because that's how I go through my day. I go through as much of my day knowing and comprehending and interpreting what's really there, as I do spending time fantasizing about what isn't.
KD: Uh-huh.
JB: Or thinking about how it could be better or worse or-.
KD: Yeah.
JB: You know, like I spend as much time in the, the non-reality as in reality it seems like. So I think, you know, like a lot of it would be biographical but a lot of it-, and, and even the fantastical parts of literature, the parts that aren't directly, um, that aren't representational necessarily, still come from a pla-, biographical place, \\ you know. \\
KD: \\ Yeah \\ definitely. I mean I definitely agree with that. But if you write like, you know, a sci-fi or fantasy book versus, just you know.
JB: Uh-huh.
KD: A romance that occurred in modern day with you or something you know there, there's some are more biographical than others. [Dog barking]
JB: Shh. Honey. Who's out there? [Long pause]
KD: What about your kids that are in your, um, youth group? Do they ever like, um, ask you what books they should read or anything like that?
JB: Yeah. All the time. Like there's two-, Katie and I were just talking a couple of weeks ago, she, um, one of my sixth graders. She's the only sixth grader. The only sixth grade girl that comes. And she's my buddy. And she and I were talking about, talking about books. Shh. A couple of weeks ago she asked me to make her a list and I'm working on it. [Dog barking and whining] Um, I just didn't, Christopher and I talk about books [cough] but not many of them are into it.
KD: Yeah.
JB: You know. A lot of them are more like, like right now, that's just like they're-, like right now Gray's really into swimming and so is Grace. Well, actually reads a lot, too, but she's at a different church but she and I talk at the conferences all the time and she's in seventh grade. And then, um, you know, they're boy crazy or whatever. I don't know.
KD: They are not big readers.
JB: Not a lot of them. [Dog barking] But they, but I don't spend enough time with them to know everything-.
KD: \\ Yeah. \\
JB: \\ -You know \\ what I mean? I just see little snapshots of them. No. No.
KD: [To dog] Why don't you eat your dinner?
JB: I know. Well, I read in school but to be honest, in elementary I did read but not as much as you did. I mean, and one of my friends, Kendra, I mean, you may have met her at ( ) before, but, um, she was like two years younger than me actually, but, I mean, our parents were friends there and she was just sort of one of the first people I knew when I was a kid that was with this group. And she read like crazy over the summer. Like, she would just read this huge book list and I just wasn't as into it. I mean, I got into reading later and I mean, I really like it now and I've read tons of stuff. But, I mean I did read a lot as a kid but-, during the summer? I was never a big summer time reader. During the summer I just wanted to hang out by the pool play with the other kids on my street and like have fun. But there was never a big-, I just didn't read that much during the summer. Maybe like one or two books, but I was always like outside playing with the kids on the street and you know. \\ ( ) \\
JB: \\ Well I was too. Like I wasn't \\ allowed to watch television and I wasn't allowed to like, like Saturday mornings I had to go out, I was out roller-skating. Everyone was watching cartoons and-, I was always-, I mean I've always been a tomboy, definitely. But, uh, I don't know-, there's just a-, it's, it's just to me, you know, it's a relief.
KD: Oh yeah. No. And I mean, I definitely read a lot when I was older, but I mean, it took me a while, like when I was a kid, I just didn't-, I wasn't a big reader. I read some and I probably read more than other kids, but not as much as you, as you did. And maybe part of it was you had a friend that read all the time and see my, my best friend as a kid, we just didn't do that. I don't know. So, you know, if you have someone to do it with, then you, you do it.
JB: Right.
KD: Or if you somehow come to that, you do it together. What school-, I didn't know you went, did you go to Catholic school?
JB: No. I went to a private because my mom taught there so my brother and I got to go for free.
KD: Oh that's cool. Which school did you go to?
JB: ( ) Day School.
KD: I didn't know that they had that.
JB: Yeah. It's like-, yeah, but it's, well, it was founded with Episcopal roots, which I didn't know like until a couple of years ago, um, but-.
KD: Then did you go to boarding school right in ninth grade?
JB: Uh-huh.
KD: So you went the whole entire time.
JB: Uh-huh. And that was a reading fast, too. [To dog] Honey, huh-uh. Like, I remember my senior year I had-, the guy I was dating in high, the guy I was dating in high school was a year ahead of me so he graduated, so my senior year I read all the time. That's when I read all like, all the Toni Morrison.
KD: Oh yeah.
JB: And then I reread it in college when I studied it. But in high school I read a ton of it and that whole summer before I read, um, gosh, what did I read? I read Roots in like, seventh grade-.
KD: \\ Oh, my God. \\
JB: \\ -Or eighth grade. \\
KD: I know Kendra was like that. She read so much like-, and actually I read a little \\ bit more.\\
JB: \\ We read Wuthering Heights in my eighth grade English class.
KD: We read, \\ I mean-. \\
JB: \\ And Scarlet Pimpernel.
KD: We did-, we read books like that but the thing is though, I went to public school until sixth grade and I think the private school thing makes a big difference, because I started going to private school in the seventh grade.
JB: 'Cause you sit around a table sometime \\ but you have discussion. \\
KD: \\ But it's totally different. \\
JB: You have discussions.
KD: Yeah.
JB: I don't know, it's much-.
KD: I mean I went to public school until sixth grade it was in like, a nice suburb but my school was nice and it wasn't-, I mean like, it wasn't bad and we did do like reading and stuff. And I mean, and we did read like the books you're talking about but there is a different kind of culture in public school. Even in elementary school it's not as, um, you know, it's just more nerdy \\ to be smart. \\
JB: \\ It's more social. \\ It's more social-.
KD: \\ Yeah, it's more social. \\
JB: \\ -Because it's more kids. \\
KD: Yeah. And like went I went to ( ) like everybody had French since they were in kindergarten and it was an old military school.
JB: That's how mine was. We had French.
KD: I mean like we had this guy, Major ( ) and we had to take oratory class like, everybody took it. And like you had to do public speaking \\ like everyone took that class. \\
JB: \\ We had that in tenth grade. \\
KD: Like seventh and eighth grade, though? Even fifth and sixth graders? They're standing like in front of people doing oratory? Like, everybody had French and an instrument since they were like, in kindergarten. I mean, it's just different. I mean, I definitely want my kids to go to private school. And I mean high school was the same way. I mean, because I went to private school from seventh grade through high school, whatever-, half of college. And like even college, I went to a public school for two years of it and it's not as good.
JB: Right.
KD: I mean, no offense to anybody from UNC Charlotte [laugh] reading this, but or listening to this, but you can tell the difference. Because there's a different culture about learning like, when you're in private high school it's not nerdy to be smart.
JB: Well.
KD: It's sort of is, \\ I mean. \\
JB: \\ It's, \\ it's nerdy to spend too much time on your home, like, you have to blow off study hall let's put it that way, you got to-.
KD: \\ Yeah. \\
JB: \\ -Blow \\ off study hall a couple of times a week to really be cool. \\ [Laugh] \\
KD: \\ Well, yeah. \\ I-, you know, I mean like, but it wasn't like, public school. I mean like, you're supposed to be-.
JB: \\ [Cough] \\
KD: \\ -Failing and then you know, \\ you're not-.
JB: \\ [Cough] \\
KD: \\ You're \\ just not supposed to be doing that well. In private school I remember kids that like, like maybe you didn't want to be like-, and there were definitely people that were complete nerds, but you didn't want to be doing like-, you didn't want to be getting C's though. You definitely wanted to be getting A's or B's.
JB: \\ Oh yeah. \\
KD: \\ And like-. \\
JB: Oh yeah, oh yeah.
KD: I mean, because people wanted to go to good colleges and, I don't know, it's just different. I mean, my public school was OK, it wasn't bad. 'Cause it was like we lived in suburbia and it was like-.
JB: \\ High property taxes.\\
KD: \\ It was pretty good, \\ but yeah, basically, you know.
JB: Uh-huh.
KD: But it wasn't even like, I mean it was a small town. Like my grandmother grew up in there like when it was just a town it's like Pineville or something.
JB: Right.
KD: Where it turned into like the suburbs but I mean like, my parents said, it was like a little microcosm. But then when-, I don't think-, like-, where I lived was starting to get, I don't think it's as good now definitely. I don't know and I think my parents-, my sister went away to college and she went to private college. And she was like-, she went to Saint Lawrence and she was like, everybody went to boarding school, everybody went to day school, like Kristen has to go \\ to private school you know like someone. \\.
JB: \\ You know, um, Liz? \\ Uh, what's her name, Liz?
KD: Yeah.
JB: That lives here. Um, Cousin Peter went to Saint Lawrence. I think I told you that before.
KD: Yeah. There's that, that Tim McMann went there and he knew my sister actually, they went there at the same time. He used to always be real close. [Long pause] I don't know, to me, it's weird. I mean it'd be great if public school was real good but it's just not.
JB: Well, it's because the classes are too big.
KD: The classes are big.
JB: And there big because the facilities are, um, are inferior and the, they're understaffed because they're underpaid.
KD: Yeah and I mean but also it's the administration-, there is a lot of bureaucracy \\ in the public school. \\
JB: \\ Right there's a lot of bureaucracy, \\ that's right.
KD: Because I've talked to teachers who wanted to help some kid who was way behind doing the worst in the class and they told them, "Don't help that kid. Go help the people get better scores on standardized tests that are right on the borderline-."
JB: \\ Uh-huh. \\
KD: \\ -You know, \\ 'cause of the testing and stuff so.
JB: Standardized tests, piss me off.
KD: Oh yeah. And so they have to concentrate on that instead of really just teaching the kids and they won't fail kids if they can't, I mean kids should just be failed. Like, if you can't meet the requirements, you don't get out of class in college.
JB: Right.
KD: But I don't know and then teachers get apathetic because they're just like-, um, you know. Because I mean, I don't know, I've talked to people that you know you can tell, that they just gave up and they just do whatever they want. Which everybody does though in their job, eventually or whatever and I don't know, weird. But like private schools, I mean they pay even less and it seems like the teachers are even better and more educated.
JB: Because they want to teach. That's why they teach at private schools.
KD: Yeah.
JB: Because they don't want to deal with all that bureaucracy and they don't want to try teach 25 kids at one time because-.
KD: Oh yeah it's hard.
JB: -It's not possible. It is not possible. [Break in tape]
KD: They had wealthy husbands and they didn't have to worry about how much money they made.
JB: Uh-huh.
KD: Not all of them. There were definitely some that, you know, whatever, they both worked and they just wanted to teach at that school. And there were some people that went to high school there or went to like elementary there and like they taught. But there were some people like their husband is a doctor and whatever, but they still wanted to be teachers because probably they didn't have to work anyways [pause] you know, they could have just stayed at-, they could have just not worked. They are into it though. I think if I taught I would want to teach at a boarding school.
JB: Yeah. Well I mean-.
KD: You get to pick more of what your curriculum is I think.
JB: They have more-, you have, you have more, uh, independence definitely but I think also like, they weren't-, I don't feel like the teachers at my, at in my high school were all, you know, like super wealthy they just, you know, it's a sweet deal.
KD: Yeah.
JB: You get room and board paid for, paid.
KD: Yeah. You went to boarding school, didn't you?
JB: Uh-huh, yeah. Like if I taught, I would have to do a boarding school because I don't have a doctor for a husband.
KD: Yeah well, not, I mean there are people that just-, well your mom taught at private school I mean. But I mean-.
JB: Because she taught, but she started out teaching and, um, in Atlanta, in the slums of Atlanta and-.
KD: I'm sure the teachers of mine didn't always teach at like, that school either.
JB: I think that she saw how bad-, she saw the worst.
KD: Oh yeah.
JB: And she's like, "This is, this is terrible." But that's what inspired her to go back and get her Master's.
KD: No, I mean, but I went to day school so it's different from boarding school because you know, you don't live there. You know, like the teachers don't live there and they don't have any place for them to live [pause] and I mean some of the teachers that lived there, I mean their kids went there. That's how I know what their husbands did, you know, because their kids went there free or whatever. But some of them they definitely were poor and they just taught there because they wanted to \\ teach in private school. \\
JB: \\ [Cough] \\
KD: Or there were even kids that went there or teachers that went there, and like, you know, they didn't have tons of money or whatever. But I mean it's hard. It's like, teaching at a private school, it's harder to be a teacher at one because they don't pay anything [pause] and you almost have to have [pause] I mean like, some people have Ph. D's, you know what I mean? They were like they all had Master's degrees. [Long pause]
JB: What else do we have to talk about?
KD: I don't have any more questions. I was just sort of, trying to take it off on a tangent [laugh] whatever. We're supposed to have 20 good minutes. You know, like 15 or 20 which we probably do, but those questions probably just aren't probably not enough to take it up. Greg and I got through it really quick [laugh] and I then I just started asking questions about. ( ) Um, do your parents go there? Does your dad go there a lot on weekends? Like does your mom go there?
JB: My mom goes for like a week every year.
KD: \\ So-. \\
JB: \\ They \\ go for like a week together on vacation.
KD: \\ She doesn't go with? ( ) \\
JB: \\ She goes with her friend \\ Barb.
KD: Does she stay at? ( ) But your dad doesn't go the same week?
JB: He doesn't go for a week.
KD: He just goes-, he goes up on weekends sometimes doesn't he?
JB: He'll come, like, you know, he'll come up on like Sundays.
KD: Does he, does he do the service?
JB: No, no. He's not like chaplain of the weekend. ( ) He's on the board. ( )
KD: So what does that mean?
JB: What? Being on the board?
KD: ( ) Yeah.
JB: Just like if they just wanted to screen in the porch they have to get an approval, you know.
KD: Oh.
JB: And the board does the budget and just like a church.
KD: But he doesn't really like come, you know, do the \\ church services or anything? \\
JB: \\ Like he goes-. No, no, \\ no, he does more like paints pre-season, and cleans up post-season and stuff like that. And just helps a little bit the, ( ) which is his good friends, the Seales.
KD: Do they host for the whole summer?
JB: Yeah and that, they actually. \\ ( ) \\
KD: \\ So they \\ sort of have a good deal free place.
JB: Jim Seale who does that, he ordained my father. They live in Florida and they lived in Asheville.
KD: So where do they stay there?
JB: I don't know they just have one of the rooms, I think. They might be-.
KD: That's a good deal though, it's like a sports club. They live right above sports club right on the lake and they don't pay any rent at all.
JB: That's a good deal.
KD: Who does it for the ministry there?
JB: It was Elaine for all the years I was there, and my last year was her last year.
KD: Can anybody start school there?
JB: Well you have to be a minister unless you're a college kid. I don't think necessarily-, I just think it's affordable housing.
KD: Really? Because I thought you had to be like, a minister or part of their family.
JB: I don't think you do, to live downstairs.
KD: Do they have time limit though?
JB: I'm not sure. I think they do have a time limit because, I know Sally could only stay part of the summer then she got to move to the house behind, the rest of the summer.
KD: What house was that?
JB: I don't, I don't, can't remember.
KD: Is it like Weir or something?
JB: It starts with a W.
KD: Oh was it?
JB: Yeah something like that [cough] but her husband was a minister. Her other son was like, clergyman.
KD: Really?
JB: Most of them are clergy not. ( )
KD: Maybe you have to have some relation even your grandparents can be. ( )
JB: I think maybe you have to have a reference.
KD: Yeah you have to have that, \\ really. \\.
JB: \\ I know \\ because I had to have that to live there.
KD: They needed more housing then, I mean, it's all gone, they used to have plenty of affordable stuff. ( ) Oh, so tell me about what you're going to do tonight Jenn.
JB: Well I don't know anything, I just know we're going to Picasso's probably to watch the Chapel Hill game, and eat, and drink beer. I asked him, I was like, "Do you drink beer?" And he laughed and he's like, "Yes." And I go, "OK."
KD: Um, what are you going to go to eat?
JB: I don't know. I don't know. ( ) So it's all like pizza and \\ wings? \\
KD: \\ Pizza and calzones and stuff. \\
JB: You know I don't want to eat too much. I've been eating for free all day.
KD: Why?
KD: Because I had lunch with the mortgage guy and Janet and Jeff paid for lunch.
KD: Who's Jeff?
JB: The mortgage guy.
KD: Who's Janet?
JB: My buying agent.
KD: Oh. What did they say about? ( )
JB: What? Do you want to buy a house?
KD: No.
JB: PB or PD is like the insurance you get because you're not ( ) yet. ( )
KD: Ask him what the deal is. Ask if you can get rid of it. See, I don't know if we can get rid of it once we, we refinance or something, I don't know. [Long pause] Um, well, I don't know, I think even though we're a 15 minutes drive and not 40 minutes, it's good. I mean, like the first 20 minutes is good, \\ whatever. \\
JB: \\ Yeah. \\
KD: Even after that is fine.