Interview with Owen

Owen had to interview someone for his language arts class, and I actually liked the answers that we came up with enough to want to save it for posterity. He already knew a lot about me, but I still think he learned some things!

Owen: Name, birthday, were you named after anyone, significant
Kelly: I was born November, 18, 1974. I wasn’t named after anyone special. My parents went to Sears department store to buy a crib the day before I was born. They hadn’t chosen my name yet and they thought I was going to be a boy. They saw the name Kelly on a rack of bicycle license plates and thought it would be good for a boy or a girl.

Owen: Places lived?
Kelly: I have lived in Los Angeles, Northern California, Seattle and France. In Los Angeles, I lived in the city and in the Valley. In Northern California I lived in San Rafael and in Oakland, then I moved to Seattle. I moved to France in 2000 and lived in three different apartments in the same city, then I moved back to Seattle, with you.

Owen: Jobs worked
Kelly: My first job was as a swimming teacher and lifeguard at the YMCA. I did that for about four years, and then I worked with developmentally disabled teenagers and adults. Then I was a nanny for a while. When I went to France, I worked as a waitress and an English teacher, then I started by own job as a blogger. That helped me start working in digital marketing which is what I do now.

Owen: Passions/hobbies
Kelly: I like to read, a lot. I don’t really play solitaire anymore, because I took it off of my phone because I was spending too much time on it. I do like to play word games. I like to garden.

Owen: Family life? who do you spend time with? How did your family come to live here?
Kelly: We spend a lot of time together as a family, except it makes me sad when you spend too much time in your room. That is why I like to have dinner together with you and your brother and sister, because then I can spend time with you. We also spend time with Grandma of course. We came to Seattle because Grandma lived here and because I was sick of France. Grandma lived here because she had moved here with Uncle Paul’s father when Uncle Paul was little.

Owen: what was school like for you?
Kelly: School was easy for me, but I hated it, especially high school, which is why I dropped out of school in 11th grade. I missed having my friends with me, because my mother put me in a school that I did not want to go to. I thought the people in that school were not very smart, so I wanted to go to junior college instead. Then I dropped out of high school and took the GED and went to Valley Community College.

Owen: What were significant historical events that have shaped your life?
Kelly: Not the moon landing, because I was born in 1974. However, I do remember the Challenger exploding, when I was in elementary school. Kids all around the country were watching that when it happened. (Side note: we took a minute to watch a video of the live broadcast, and I teared up like the first time I watched it.) I remember Princess Diana dying. I remember 9/11 happening—that was right after I had moved to France and it was really frightening because I couldn’t really speak the language yet, and I wasn’t sure what was going on. I remember trying to explain the 2004 elections to my class of English students in France. I remember the 2008 elections when Obama won, and we taught Kate to say Obama!

Owen: How is the world different today than when you were younger? Did you have roads?
Kelly: Stop being snotty. There were roads when I was little too. However, we did not have phones, or computers—we had to look up directions before we drove anywhere, which is why I think I have a good sense of direction. But, we still hung out with our friends a lot and I did a lot of the same things that you do. I did a lot of swimming as a kid, and hung out with Crystal and Nancy a lot. I didn’t really spend a lot of time with my parents either.

Owen: What were you like when you were my age?
Kelly: What do you think I was like?
Owen: Kind of like Kate, but better.
Kelly: I was pretty shy, and I read a lot of books, but I was good at talking to grownups, because I spent a lot of time with them. I was really determined to do things the way that I wanted to do them, which is why I dropped out of high school, for example. I had a close group of friends that I spent a lot of time with, but I wasn’t really popular, I don’t think.

Owen: What are your values you’ve had that have changed over time?
Kelly: Nothing really. I still think it is important to do your best, and work really hard. Being smart is important to me, which is why I want you to get a good education and work your brain, because you are very smart. Being Jewish has always been important to me, but I guess that the one thing that has changed is that I didn’t used to really go to temple. Having animals is really important to me, and so is voting. So, I guess things really haven’t changed that much.

Owen: what are some of your proudest moments? Getting the new job at Microsoft and at Concur?
Kelly: Yes, getting the job at Microsoft was a very validating moment—I felt so proud to be recognized as that good in my job that someone wanted to hire me. I was also really proud to graduate college and graduate school, and I am really proud of you and your brother and your sister at so many moments. I am so proud of who you are and the person that I can see you becoming. You have worked really hard and I see how smart and funny and kind you are and I am proud of you. Now you are making me cry. Ok, now what?

Owen: How do you want people to remember you?
Kelly: I read a quote once, or a story, that said that someone wanted to have inscribed on their gravestone “They think of me and laugh” but that sounds like they are laughing at them. I want people to think of me with laughter, but I think I am too serious for that to happen. I really want you to be able to tell stories about me to your children and grandchildren. I don’t know what I want those stories to be, but I want to be remembered by the people that are important to me and the people that are important to them. I just want to make a difference in your life, and maybe be thought of as a good boss and a good friend by the people who I work with and my friends.
Owen: now you are making me cry.