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Interview with Tara Boyce

Boyce, Tara
Carlson, Jennifer
Date of Interview: 
Tara Boyce tells stories from her childhood and recounts how she met her husband.
childhood adventures; stories and storytellers; then and now; relationships with people and places
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Jennifer Carlson interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Interview Audio: 
TB (Tara Boyce): A funny story from your childhood. Wait, I remember a story from third grade I don't know how funny it is. Borderline funny and to me it was very traumatic. In third grade, in all my grades I was a very quiet and shy student. OK, um, in third grade I was very quiet and I was very shy. This one particular day I was late for school and I don't remember why but I usually rode the school bus. This day instead of drive, riding the school, my mom brought me to school, so I was few minutes late. Well, to start the day, every day in third grade we did the Pledge of Allegiance and our teacher had a moment of silence. The Pledge of Allegiance was done, if I remember correctly, by the whole school but the moment of silence was just something that our teacher did. And looking back, I know that our teacher was religious and she would take this few minutes to pray, which was fine, and maybe other students did that, too. Well, I came in late this day and all I remember was that the room was quiet and the teacher said, "Let's wait a second for Tara to get unpacked," or something like that. So, for some reason in my mind I thought she meant let's wait and do the Pledge of Allegiance once Tara gets unpacked. And I was really shy and was nervous about doing the Pledge. I don't think I'd ever done it before. So I started unpacking in a hurry, put my things in the closet and I ran to my desk and immediately the room was silent I stand up throw my hand on my heart and I'm like, "I pledge allegiance to the flag-." What I didn't know, it was, it was the moment of silence and that's not what she had asked me to do and the teacher was furious with me and she put my name on the board. I had never had my name put on the board before and I was hysterical. I remember crying, but not just crying but, uh, uh, just sobbing. I was sobbing. I was so embarrassed. I was mortified. And the teacher, finally she took me outside, I believe we were leaving for specials or something and the class went on and the teacher pulled me out in the hallway and I explained that I didn't know what was going on, and, as a teacher I don't think I'd ever forget this, she just kept my name on the board and I could never understand why, what was I being punished for. I just didn't understand the directions.
JC (Jennifer Carlson): That's very interesting. Tell me a story about a time you were embarrassed.
TB: Embarrassed? OK. Well, this is kind of, this is sort of embarrassing, kind of like my other story. This is the time I got in trouble. I think I got in trouble when I never got in trouble in school, but it was in this same class, third grade. We were, my third grade class was doing a unit on Johnny Appleseed. Our teacher assigned us group work and we were to break up into groups of maybe four or five students. And you know how group work always works, you have someone who's the artist someone and someone who's the recorder, and I really wanted to be the artist. So she sent us away in our group and I remember this little girl, Bianca, who was in my group and she wanted to be the artist. And I really wanted to be the artist and I thought in third grade that I drew really good trees, so I just desperately wanted to draw this tree. And like I said earlier, especially in third grade, I was a really quiet, shy student, not very outspoken at all and I just remember thinking, "Oh, this is my chance to shine. I can draw great trees." I knew how to put leaves on and my mother used to keep a notebook of pictures that she drew. She would just doodle in the notebook and I remember copying this tree that she drew and I was so excited to draw the tree. So my group gets over in the corner and we're delegating our authority, deciding who's going to be doing what and this girl was, was more dominant than I was and she said she, she was going to be the artist and I'm like, "No, no. I draw really good trees. You don't understand I should draw the trees." And I guess everyone in the group kind of like, "All right, Bianca can do it." And I said, "You bitch!" [Laugh] That's what I said, I called her that! I said the 'B' word in third grade and [laugh] my teacher took me out in the hallway and she said, "Bianca says that you called her this name is that true?" And just sobbing again, and like, "Yeah, I said that." [Laugh] And she said she was going to call my mother. And, um, so I went home and I told my mother and she never actually called and I don't think I got to draw the tree.
JC: OK. My next question is how you and your husband met. I know you guys started dating in like kindergarten [laugh] but-.
TB: Not quite that far back. Stephen and I met when I was in fifth grade. I wouldn't say that we became friends at all until middle school but I remember him in fifth grade vaguely. I tease him about it now. He, um, had this trick that he could do in fifth grade. He would hold his breath and [laugh] he turned red and passed out [laugh] and, um, so he got in trouble a few times with the teacher for doing that. I, I, I don't know what his, uh, motivation was but the kids used to ask him, play with him, "Stephen, Stephen hold your breath," [laugh] and he would. I just have images of him holding his breath until his whole body and face turned red and he fell out of his chair. I never would have thought I'm going to marry that man someday but, um, I guess we befriended each other and about in the ninth grade we became friends. Um, actually I had another little boyfriend in ninth grade and he dumped me and I was devastated and Stephen was friends with this with this guy and so I kind of started talking to Stephen thinking I was going to make this other guy jealous and he would want me back, but, um, it didn't work and Stephen and I ended up getting married [laugh]. Not soon thereafter but [laugh] about 10 years later.