Cindy Weston: The Interview
Here's an interview I did with Cindy Weston on school, the recent US election, and of course, the Cult.
[i]Mungkay: Tell me about yourself.
Cindy Weston: I am a very Non-Traditional student at a small Tech college getting ready to transfer to Purdue University in the spring. I have been married 18 years; have 4 kids, 5 cats, and tons of junk I've collected through the years, mainly in the style of the kid's friends.
M: What are you taking in school?
CW: I am a liberal Arts/English major minoring in Sociology.
At Purdue I will be in their Creative Writing Dept.
M: Is this your first time in post secondary?
CW: Actually...I have gone for 1 year in Business management (1988), one year Advertising (1990), and I used to be a hair stylist.
M: Advertising? What do they teach you there?
CW: Mainly the history of, and how to find a catch phrase. Being a poet I thought that that would get me money, but I had a college curse.
M: What was that?
CW: Every time I went back to school I got pregnant. I swear it's in the water!
M: Why did you decide to go back to school?
CW: The kids were all older and I got into an argument with my boss. Told him I was smarter than him and went about proving it. I'm a good student.
I've done 6 semesters in 2 years and never dropped out of the Dean's List.
M: Very nice. When I was in school the dean put me on the list of people he wished would drop out.
CW: Now that's not the way to keep attendance up
M: Neither is raising tuition on a yearly basis.
CW: That's for sure. That's why Purdue is my second choice; I would much rather go the Butler University in Indianapolis, but it's over $28,000 a year now.
M: Besides tuition, have you noticed any differences from when you last attended school to now?
CW: As far as the tech school goes...the teaching is now done almost entirely by the university professors (some of which are good friends now), so I feel that for a fraction of the cost I am getting the same education.
Unfortunately I must go on to a 4 year university to get my degree. Not much in the way of a 2 year Liberal arts degree besides subbing
M: What are you planning to do with your degree once you've earned it?
CW: I want to teach at the 2 year level. Not High school no way.
4 year is too political. I want to be an inspiration to others like me, like the professors that I had. I want to be able to inspire someone to pull the best of them out and scratch it onto paper. I want to see the world write.
M: Very cool.
CW: I want to be that too
M: So speaking of the world, it seemed that the entire planet was paying attention to the recent U.S. elections. Now that it's over, what are your thoughts on what transpired?
CW: I am one of those that helped make it history; I voted for the first time ever this year. Although I didn't get who I voted for, I believe that enough of the country voted to make this a fair election. The country got who they wanted. No arguments on this end.
M: Why did you feel a need to vote this year?
CW: I was doing a research paper on 'why people don't vote' and I didn't want to be a hypocrite. I had to research the registration process so I registered while doing so. Then I went to the mall and did a random survey of 100 people of whether they did or did not vote. It was fun, I learned a lot
and I got people to vote who also had never done so just because they didn't know how...including my 49 year old professor.
M: Why didn't people know how to vote?
CW: They didn't know the process, it was that simple. Didn't know where to go to register, didn't know that they didn't have to register every year if they hadn't moved, just never tried to. Laziness I think.
M: Were you surprised at the results of the election?
CW: Very. I expected to see some raise in the turnout, but nothing like it turned out. I think that MTV's Rock The Vote made a big impact on this year's election. The lines at the closing of the polls at 6pm were 3 hours long.
That's the biggest turnout ever in Purdue's history. My precinct had more than 20 highschoolers before school started on Tuesday.
M: What did you think of Bush winning a second term?
CW: I'm not happy, but maybe he can fix this shitty mess he got us into. I agree with a woman in a class of mine who said that you can't fix the world in one term. Perhaps she's right, but I don't think that Kerry was the right one in the presidential candidate’s spot. I would rather have had john Edwards there. I was disappointed when he lost in the primaries.
M: What are your thoughts on 11 states banning gay marriage?
CW: I think it's shit! They won't give them the same rights that I and my husband have because their of the same sex? Is their love any different than mine? Do they spend time differently that I do id with my husband? Why can't they have death benefits, health insurance, adoption? I don't understand it. One man one woman...there's a "man" in every woman' right? Oh that was lame. I think that they should have the right. I'm not gay. I know no gays, but that is only because I haven't met any yet. I don't think that I will become gay if I meet them nor will they change my children for the worse. Give them what everyone else has.
CW: Oh, shit, I'm ranting
M: Feel free.
CW: This is a free country, right? Free for those that agree with the government! But those who deviate left of center have fewer rights than those who follow the beaten path. The Government walks around like nuns in a catholic school carrying yard sticks and if you don't measure up, then "whack!' on the knuckles! It's bullshit! Gays work just as hard as heteros and I enjoy the perks of marriage. Why shouldn't they?
M: So where do you think the country will be 4 years from now?
CW: I don't know. I really don't. I want to see it in a positive light and have some good come out of this "middle East" thing, but I just can't say. 4 years ago, I never would have expected what we have now. I don't want to assume what is yet to come, because you know what 'assume' does. It's sure to happen again if we do.
M: So on a lighter topic, what brought you to the Cult?
CW: I was in a third class with someone and we decided to say "hi". We are in the same major, both love and write poetry and literature in general. He asked if I knew who Check Palahniuk was and I said "huh?' Then he said "Fight Club" Well, I knew the movie. He gave me the site address, said I'd love it. And he was right. The bad thing is he dropped class, and is so rarely on here that I can't thank him.
M: So what do you think of the Cult?
CW: I love it. I get the best feed back here and I feel as though I am among peers. In class there isn't much case to study your own work. We study other's who wrote before us. You know, English Lit, American Lit, etc...
Here I have peers. People just like me. Just wanting to know how to get better. I also get the opportunity to hand out some advice. I get to be both student and teacher. It's great.
M: Who do you think gives the best critiques, and who has really impressed you with their submissions to the workshop?
CW: So many have done this. As far as impressions... Mocky Mockins (Andrew) is only 17 (I think) and he blows me away. Father Luke puts a whole new spin on both writing and reviewing. Oh, and replying. Happy B-Day Father Luke. CleverDevil has quite the sense for small detail also. JKabol, can do some really good critiquing too. There are so many that it's hard to nail down one or two. If I had to though, then I guess Father Luke hits them all very well.
M: Cool. Well that's all the questions I have for today. Is there anything that you would like to add?
CW: I just would like to say that this is the best place for submissions that I have tried. I don't regret a moment. Not even the moment that I realized that I had become addicted to it. You are all so welcoming, and I hope to continue to learn and to pass on info from and to you all.
CW: Thanks for having me
M: Thank you for your time.[/i]