Transcript of Carpinteria High School Post-Interview 4a; Wednesday, June 4, 2003
Interviewer: Jeremy Garsha
Interviewee: JB, Junior in Casey Robertsí U.S. History class
Prepared by Jeremy Garsha, 6/8/03
This was an interview conducted with JB 5 days after she had heard Ninaís talk on May 30th.
Jeremy: Alright, I just want to jump right into the interview, since we have already covered all the background last time.
J: So you read Ninaís letter last year right?
JB: I read it this year too.
J: You read it this year as well? Okay, weíll go over that too. Letís start off with this year first. Did Mr. Robertís say anything before Nina came, just about her or her background?
JB: He told us how she is a good friend, and how he thinks we might be the last class ever to meet her, and what an honor that is.
J: Did he give any background about her story?
J: What about last year, do you remember hearing anything?
JB: Yeah, we got background last year.
J: What kind of background did he give, if you can remember?
JB: Just like, where she was from, and he used some briefs from her story, but nothing major.
J: How about last year, when you first saw her, what did you think? Just purely off of image?
JB: I was amazed she was there. Because I pictured her a little more young looking, but she is so old, I was amazed.
J: Letís talk about her story this time. She came to speak with you guys five days ago. What do you remember right off the bat? What still strikes you?
JB: Working in the post office. And when they lined her up in line and tried to shoot her but she fainted. And then staying in the peopleís house, but then she left because she didnít want them to get in trouble. And then going on the train. And about her husband coming back (to get her).
J: After Nina came, this year, did you talk to anyone about it, like with your friends or with your family?
JB: I talked about it with my friend [All of the students interviewed after Nina came talked about it with their friends, but not with their families].
J: What did you guys talk about?
JB: We were just still amazed. I thought last year would be last year she would speak to us. We were just amazed that she was even there, because it would be so hard (to talk about it). I know I wouldnít want to talk about it.
J: Had your friend heard her last year as well?
J: No. Did your friend give any thoughts about hearing Nina talk?
JB: She said it was hard to understand, and she wishes she had a copy of the story in front of her too, like I did because I was reading it. [If students were given copies, then they would most likely miss Ninaís facial expressions, which I believe are key in the deliverance of her emotions].
J: Hard to understand because of Ninaís accent, or because she talks so quietly?
JB: Because of her accent.
J: Okay. Did you ask her any questions this time, after her story was done?
JB: I asked her about how she met her husband, and if she everÖlike stopped believing in God and stuff.
J: What were her answers to those?
JB: She said she had given up on God at times. I also asked her what she thought about the Americans, and she thought they were bad because they were not doing anything. And then she said how her husband went to war and he wouldnít take her, and then he searched a year for her and found her. Stuff like that.
J: Letís talk about some overall impressions of her talk. How did you feel about having her come in?
JB: I wished she could of stayed longer, because we didnít have her on a blocked day, so she was only there for 45 minutes. [Carpinteria High School has alternating block scheduling]. So I donít think everyone got to ask all the questions they wanted to. But, I think it was really powerful andÖgood.
J: Do you think that the question and answer session was just to short?
JB: Yeah, because we only got to ask like three questions.
J: How long did it take to read the letter, do you remember?
JB: Umm.. like half an hour. And she talked a little bit in the beginning for about ten minutes.
J: So there just wasnít enough time for you guys to talk.
J: Did you think it helped shed some light, not really this year since you are in US history, but did you think that last year it helped shed light on what you were studying?
JB: Yeah, because I know that there are some people that donít believe that it ever happened. Itís hard to believe that people think that way, there is all this proof and stuff. But learning it and having a survivor come must really help that.
J: When you asked your questions, what did you think of Ninaís answers? Did she answer directly or were they a little vague?
JB: About her husband, she rambled on. With God and stuff she kind of just talked about the times, and then she would move on.
J: Let me ask you, was there any sort of connection with her story and your life, in any way?
J: Could you kind of imagine yourself as her?
JB: Yeah, I could. I donít think I would have been about to survive. Like we wrote thank you letters to her, and in my letter I told her she makes such a great role model. Because I could have never survived. I probably would have just taken my own life after losing my parents.
J: What do you think the hardest part of her story was?
JB: I think her having to leave everyone she knew. I could not imagine that. I lost a friend this year, and that was hard enough. I donít know I could lose everyone.
J: Did Mr. Robertís have you guys write letterís as an assignment?
JB: Yeah, kind of. But some kids didnít write them, the ones that donít really pay attention. And then, I know my friend and I each wrote like three pages.
J: Okay. Do you have any questions you would like to ask me? Or anything else you want to say about Nina?