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Interview with Monique Nguyen

Nguyen, Monique
Saunders, Anne
Date of Interview: 
Relationships with People and Places; Childhood Adventures; Stories and Storytellers; Tolerance and Respect
Monique Nguyen talks about her family and school friends.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Anne Saunders interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Interview Audio: 
AS (Anne Saunders): Today is Monday, November the 23rd. It's Thanksgiving week. And Monique has some stories she's going to tell me. Here we go. OK. This is Monique. Monique, tell me, tell us, tell me how old you are.
MN (Monique Nguyen): Five.
AS: Five years old! And what grade are you in?
MN: Kindergarten.
AS: And do you know the name of the school that you go to in, for kindergarten? [Pause] No? OK. Monique is in kindergarten at North Rowan Elementary School, in Spencer. And I had to go check on some of my other students, and while she was here, she was thinking about some stories she could tell me. Monique, you showed me your watch a minute ago. OK, can you tell me a little bit about your watch? Tell me something about that watch.
MN: My brother gave it to me, 'cause it was broken and he let me have it. And he, and he showed me some tricks to it.
AS: He did? What kind of tricks did he show you that it would do? Can you show me what kind of tricks it does? [Long pause] She's trying to, she's turning the, she's winding it up, she's winding it up, and the, and the top of it turns around, doesn't it? Huh? [Pause] What's in there? Oh, that's the, the, that's the face is spinning around, isn't it?
MN: Yes.
AS: OK. Let's try again. OK Monique, you were telling me about your, your watch your brothers gave you? Can you think of anything else to tell me about the watch? That's kind of a fancy machine, isn't it? Is it kind of, is it kind of hard to, to make it work?
MN: Then nothing else about my watch.
AS: Nothing else about your watch. Tell me about your brothers.
MN: Um, sometimes he hates me and sometime he won't play with me.
AS: He won't play with you? How many brothers do you have?
MN: Three.
AS: Three brothers? Can you tell me their names? What are their names?
MN: Anthony, Franco, James.
AS: Uh-huh. OK. Do you have any sisters, other sisters?
MN: She moved out.
AS: She moved out.
MN: But I still can tell about her.
AS: You can still tell about, is she your big sister?
MN: Uh-huh.
AS: Ooh!
MN: She's older than me.
AS: She's older than you. OK. Is she a lot older than you?
MN: Yeah and she went in college a long time ago.
AS: She went to college a long time ago. Uh-huh. So she's living out all by her, she's living out, or she's on her own now?
MN: Yeah. She lived, she moved out because she was, she was old enough to move.
AS: And, OK. She's old enough to move and live by herself, right?
MN: We got seven people in our, at our house, but now we got six.
AS: Six people? //What's your-? //
MN: //Yeah.//
AS: Go ahead.
MN: And one of them moved out. That's why we have six now.
AS: Uh-huh. You know what? I can tell you're such a smart little girl, that you can tell me all this stuff! You know what? You're doing a lot better for me this time than you did the first time we tried to do this!
MN: Because I haven't think about that last time.
AS: You haven't thought about it that way, but you've thought about today, haven't you?
MN: Uh-huh.
AS: OK. Tell me a little bit more about your big sister. What's her name? Tell me your big sister's name.
MN: Vee.
AS: Vee? Uh-huh. Is she married yet?
MN: No.
AS: No. She's still, what we say, single? She's still single, right? Does she live by herself or does she have a roommate? Does she have a, does she share an apartment with somebody else?
MN: Yeah. Wh, when she moved out, she shared, she shared, she shared her friends stay there and all her friends, she, they stay there with her.
AS: Uh-huh. That's good. It sounds like your sister has lots of friends, don't they? Tell me more about those three brothers of yours. Can you tell me more about those three brothers?
MN: They take my blue pen yesterday night.
AS: They did? Did they give it back to you?
MN: And they didn't give it back to me.
AS: Ooh. That wasn't very nice of them, was it?
MN: They, they put, they could have put it in their book bag when they tooked it from me and they didn't and they lie on my bed and I took their bag. So then on the bed-.
AS: Uh-huh.
MN: And then he found it and he tooked it back to me and he maked me angry.
AS: Oh! He made you angry? Oh! That's a good word!
MN: And some, and sometime my brother, Franco, play with me or James play with me. Like the big, the big brothers in the big house and sometime he doesn't play with me, he really makes me angry!
AS: He really makes you angry! That's rough having big brothers that pick on you all the time, isn't it? Do you know how old your brothers are? Do you remember? You don't remember? All right, is one of them in high school do you think?
MN: One, one of them over there and two of them over there.
AS: OK. So one's at the high school? And one's, two's at the middle school you think? Or have I got it backwards?
MN: This way is two and this way is one.
AS: OK, OK. All right, one and two. All right, so-.
MN: They go home first and I go home second.
AS: Uh-huh! That doesn't seem fair, does it?
MN: And sometime my dad has to pick them up or my mom has to.
MN: But my mom working hard.
AS: I bet!
MN: And my dad won't even help, help her do anything when she was sleep.
AS: When she was sweep?
MN: When, when she wake up, he was cooking for her sometime when he, when she gets home from work he [pause] like my dad gave, my dad, my dad told her to do everything but he won't do it and she won't do it because she want to go to sleep for a little while.
AS: Huh?
MN: She wanted to go to sleep for a little while.
AS: Yeah.
MN: And then-.
AS: Do your brothers help your mom sometimes?
MN: Yeah.
AS: Do they?
MN: When my dad got home.
AS: When your dad got home. What does mom, where does mom work? Did mom work somewhere-?
MN: In Cannon Mill.
AS: She works at Cannon Mills. OK. What about dad?
MN: My dad? My dad, I don't know yet.
AS: You don't know yet.
MN: Because he just start last Tuesday.
AS: He just started a new job last Tuesday? I see, I see. Well, sometimes in-.
MN: But when my dad go over in my mom comes home first, she goes to sleep and my brothers cook.
AS: Your brothers cook while your mom sleeps? That's good! That's good they can-.
MN: When my, when my dad's not home and my mom went home first to sleep and then my brothers cook.
AS: Your brothers help cook. That's good that they help your mom cook!
MN: The biggest, the biggest boy, the big Anthony, that was the strong one-.
AS: Uh-huh. He's the strong-.
MN: He know, he know how to cook.
AS: Uh-huh! Very good!
MN: My big one is strongest, my middle is a little bit strong-.
AS: Uh-huh.
MN: The middle is strong.
AS: Uh-huh. Who's the middle one? Franco or James?
MN: Franco.
AS: Franco.
MN: And the last one is a little bit strong and the last one is me.
AS: And the last one is you. But you're getting to be such a big girl! Did you know that? Aren't you? You want to stop a minute and hear what you said?
MN: All right now. Let's talk about my friends.
AS: Tell me about your friends, Monique.
MN: Before she met me she moved then up the hill and then sometime, now we're not friends anymore.
AS: What happened? Why aren't you friends with her anymore? Because she moved away?
MN: No.
AS: Ooh.
MN: Just, just because I want to sit with my friends in the morning because last night Miss Laurie at the bus, she ride, she drive the bus-.
AS: Uh-huh.
MN: And, and she said yes I can sit with Brittany and I did sit with Brittany.
AS: Oh.
MN: And that's why we're not friends anymore.
AS: Oh. I'm sorry you're not friends with her anymore. Do you think you could maybe get to be friends with her again sometime?
MN: I'm not, on November the 25th, she's moving out.
AS: She's moving? Uh-huh. Is she Vietnamese like you?
MN: Huh-uh.
AS: No. She's not Vietnamese? Hmm.
MN: But now it's too cold again sometime my brothers tell her not to play because it's too cold and that's why I didn't, I didn't want to play.
AS: Oh.
MN: And I hope today she, I could play today.
MN: Because my, my brothers always make me angry and I hate it when he makes me angry.
AS: Ooh.
MN: I find it, I can't even I can't play.
AS: Ooh. Well, I think big brothers are very, feel very protective of their, especially their little sisters. And they don't want anything to happen to them. They don't want you to go outside, maybe, and play, you know, unless they know you're going to be safe. You think, maybe?
MN: And sometimes my brothers I say, I say, "Go outside and play one-on-one with me," and I shoot somewhere it's low and my brothers shoots-.
AS: Where it's high. OK. Monique you have done a terrific job for me!
MN: And, and who else, whoever gets a thousand wins. And I win.
AS: Oh, OK. You get to win? A thousand win? OK. I'm going to stop right there.