An Interview with Justin (boy, age 17)


Nancy:  What have you been doing this week?

Justin:  I’ve been, sort of, preparing for finals,* finishing up work, trying to balance the things I need to do with the things I should do.   I need to do things like studying for a test now or getting in assignments that are past due and I should do things like exercising or catching up on things that will help me up ahead, on tests in the future.  I’ve been doing homework and getting assignments done and preparing for tests.  I’ve been trying to work on a big English assignment and preparing for finals.  I stayed up all night trying to finish, as well as preparing for a performance on the clarinet.

Nancy:  Tell me about the English assignment.

Justin:  You have to do it to pass the class.  You have to talk for ten minutes with just a few notes about a literary work we’ve read.  I chose Into the Wild* because to me it was the most interesting.   Doing things you don’t really want to do is a lot harder.  I’m trying to show how the author shows a main character as slightly mentally unbalanced.

Nancy:  Can you tell about the clarinet performance?

Justin:  It’s a thing called Solos and Ensembles and it’s a kind of competition.  Like a ton* of high schools in take part in it.  It’s a state-wide competition.  You, like, have this solo and you perform it in front of a judge.  If you do really well, you go to a state competition.  You can bind together and do it with others as an ensemble.  I’m doing a solo and an ensemble.

Nancy:  Have you been doing anything else?

Justin:  Well, let’s see.  I’ve been trying to get a basic draft of a book I want to write.  I feel like the essays you write in school are constricting.*  This is writing I enjoy doing.  It helps me relax and wind down.*

Nancy:  What do you want to do after high school?

Justin:  I want to go to a university and get a doctorate in some kind of science.  Right now I’m aiming for entomology, the study of insects, especially ants.  That’s my passion.  I’m really interested in the complex societies they form and how they work together.  If you want to get me talking, ask me about ants.  They have really complex and diverse societies.  They are the most complex of all animal societies.  It is ants, not elephants or primates or monkeys, that are the closest to human societies.

Nancy:  I know that when you were small, you had serious health problems.  Your parents had to take you to the hospital really fast many times.  Is that still true?

Justin:  I still have health issues.  I have allergy induced asthma.  That means that I have allergies that sometimes make it very difficult to breathe. It limits me from doing activities or going places sometimes.  It’s just part of my life.  I live with it.*

Nancy:  Is there anything that you would like to say to kids in Afghanistan?

Justin:  In the end,* we’re all human.  It’s good to have an identity and celebrate your history, but in the end, we’re all human.


Finals   The exams at the end of a school term are called finals.

Into the Wild  A true story about a young man who died while trying to live alone in the wild parts of Alaska.  It was written by John Krakauer.

A ton of An informal way to say “a lot of” or “many.”  A ton is a 2000 pound (900 kilo) weight.

Constricting  If something is constricting, it doesn't give you a lot of freedom.

Wind down  Relax

Live with it  If you can't remove a problem from your life, you “live with it.”

In the end  This means “after we have thought about everything.”



1.  Justin thinks ants are very, very interesting.  What animal do you think is interesting?  Why?

2.  Justin has a serious health problem that doctors can’t cure.  He “lives with it.”  What is a problem that you or one of your friends lives with?  What do you do to help you live with the problem?  (This could be any kind of problem, for example, an economic problem, a medical problem, a family problem, a community problem.) 



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Replies to This Discussion

Hello dear Madam Nancy Ackles!!
Desire that all is well, thanks for the nice interviews once again I would like to thank you for your hard working, yes we know about the Martin Luther King and we have attended workshops about this famous person.
Rabbit is an interesting animal I like them and like to have in our house but our house is a little bit smaller therefore I can't keep in my house, they are really nice and lovely I really like them.
I by myself don't have any serious problem but my father has in our family his blood pressure goes up and sometimes he faces with asthma and due to asthma and serious cough his blood pressure goes up, we took him to Pakistan too for treatment and by the grace of God now he is a little bit good.
Ezatullah Bismil

Hello, Ezatullah.  Asthma is a very difficult illness, and I'm sorry that your father has to deal with it.  Breathing freely is important!  I´m glad that he was able to get some medical help.  Maybe it is good that you don´t have rabbits at your house now.  I know that sometimes being near animals gives people an asthma attack.  Justin can´t have any animals at his house because his allergies to animals give him asthma.

Hello dear madam.

I hope to be fine and have a good time.

Thanks for your good and interesting interview.

I think monkey is interesting animal.

because monkey is very funnier animal then any anther animal in the world.

I have not a serious problem but unfortunately one of my classmate have serious problem.he has Tabarcolze. therefore he can not come to school I and our classmate decide to go to his house and ask from hem a bout his health.     

I am so very sorry to hear that your friend has tuberculosis, Noman.  Surely he will be very grateful for your visit.  I'm sure he needs friends who can cheer him while he fights this illness.  It's a tough disease.


Hello dear madam Nancy

I hope that all are healthy, wealthy and doing well.

According to your first question for me interesting animal is bird because bird is the mark of peace and they fly in the sky

 According to your second question I don’t have any health problem but my classmate have economic problem and I help him and give him advice how to solve their problems.


Sohail from Checknawry AYC

The dove is certainly a beautiful bird, Sohail, both as a real bird and as a symbol of peace.  We all want peace.

Surely your classmate is grateful that you are his friend.  When we face big problems, we need our friends.

Hello dear madam

I hope that you are fine and doing well with your job

Sheep is a good animal. I thing sheep is interesting animal. So Muhammad (PBUH) said that sheep is very good for sacrifice so it is very good to ram the sheep.

My friend is very sick he hasn’t money to take medicine. So I go to home and share it to my father. My father told me to I want to get medicine for your friend and my father take medicine for my friend and my friend take medicine and has a good health and I am very happy so my friend has a good health. And my father told me that I proud of you.


Hekmatullah from Checknowry AYC  

That's a wonderful story, Hekmatullah.  You cared about your friend and your father was good and kind to him.  I think you have a good father!  I'm glad too that your friend is healthy again because of your help.

Hello madam

I hope that you all are fine and doing well, healthy and wealthy.

According your first question

I like parrot which is very interesting, because they fly in the sky. When something flies like parrot I like it

According to your second question

When I walk on the road I see one beggar who don’t have  money so I decide to share it with my family to help with that beggar My father decide to help that one I feel well to I solve their problems so my father told me that I proud of you and your idea.

  Saliman (rahimi) from checknawry high school

You have a good and kind father, Saliman.  Surely he is teaching you very good ways to care about other people, and surely the beggar was grateful for the help.

Parrots have beautiful colors.  I think I like the green ones especially.

Hello dear madam Nancy

I want your good health always I am really happy to ask question with me

My favorite and interesting animal is cow because that is very necessary

To every home and we take more advantages from cow .

For example.

We take meat.


And etc

Omaid ahmad(Armani) checnawry AYC    

I understand your idea very clearly, Omaid.  Cows are really useful animals.  We can get meat and milk from them, and even their manure is good for helping vegetables grow.


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