Moving on in Life | Teen Ink

Moving on in Life

February 4, 2009
By Christine Lee BRONZE, Bloomsbury, New Jersey
Christine Lee BRONZE, Bloomsbury, New Jersey
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

When I was asked to interview someone about an interesting topic, my heart dropped. I was frustrated because I didn't know who I would interview. Then a light bulb went off in my head, I got it! I remembered that Ms. Malik was writing a book that she first told me about freshmen year. I was pretty sure that no other students knew about this, so I decided to schedule an interview with her about it. Little did I know that a simple question would affect me so profoundly.

It started out fairly routine. I signed out from my hall and headed over to Ms. Malik's dorm office. When I came up to the door, she greeted me with a friendly smile and a sweet, 'Hi Christine.' Then we proceeded with the interview. The first question I asked her was simple enough, 'What is the genre of the book you are writing?' With a studious and kind look on her face, she answered back to me, 'It's a children's book and it's already been written.' She went on to say enthusiastically, 'It teaches a lesson about spreading kindness and simple things you can do to make other people happy.'
Then I went on to the next question simply, 'What compelled you to write the book?' Ms. Malik looked at me with a faraway and reflective expression and shared with me a story that I had never heard before, 'My very good friend died in a car crash in March of 2002. I graduated college in June of that year and those times were very hard. I was hit hard by her sudden death, having to go home and plan her funeral. I had lots of vivid dreams about her after her death, but one day in June I had one of the most peaceful ones. In it, she and I were sitting on a bench, and she was telling me goodbye and I will always be there. I woke up and knew I had a peaceful thought. I decided to write the book in her memory, the beginning is the same as dream, being two people sitting together and talking to each other.'
I was absolutely taken aback. My affinities coordinator who I knew had taught for seven years, five of those teaching Spanish, who had three cats and was originally from San Luis Obispo, California, would tell me something like that. I didn't know what to say, only to write down as much of what Ms. Malik was telling me. Then I paused for a moment. I didn't know how to respond or what to say to her. Then I told her about the emptiness I felt when Mr. Tamburro left suddenly near the end of last year. It was just like the movie Titanic, where Rose tells everyone in modern day that the only thing that she could say about Jack was that, 'He exists only in my memory,' because there was nothing in existence about him. She looked at me with intent and let me tell my story, never saying a thing and taking in what I was saying.

Later, I asked Ms. Malik what the name of her friend was and whether she had any pictures of her. She told me her name was Amy and we went down into her apartment where she showed me some pictures of her and her friend having fun together on New Year's Eve and on other occasions. The pictures showed so many happy times that Ms. Malik and her friend had had together that I didn't feel like Amy was really dead, but still around. I thought that Ms. Malik and I had something in common. We had both had someone leave our lives and felt the pain of them leaving us. I was inspired by the way the she chose to deal with the pain of losing her friend with writing a book and last year all I did when Mr. Tamburro left was cry and argue with my mom at home over it. Eventually, I did get over him leaving but the impacts of him haunted me and still do from time to time, especially the situation leading to him leaving.
After that conversation there was nothing else to ask. I concluded the interview with, 'What is the title of the book and what is its status?' She answered, 'It is called Sometimes a Smile is All it Takes. I am in the process of getting it published, I already have an agent, but finding a publishing company is hard.' She then went on to tell me sweetly and happily that she had just sent the book to me via email. I said that was all and kindly told her goodnight and went back to my room, feeling inspired about what she had told me and how I could deal with someone leaving my life.

The author's comments:
I conducted this interview as an assignmnent in English class to interview someone on an interesting topic. I decided to interview my Affinities(strengths) teacher because I knew that she had been in the process of writing a book but I wasn't sure any other students knew. What I found out was pretty drastic. . .

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