A Fierce Kind of Love, a project of Visionary Voices
Institute on Disabilities at Temple University

Stories from
Selinsgrove Center and KenCrest Services


recorded at Selinsgrove Center April 2015
PHOTO of Shantell
photo by JJ Tiziou

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LIVES LIVED APART interview with Shantell recorded April 11, 2015

PHOTO of Shantell with her interviewer Kathy

Kathy: Hi, my name is Kathy and I'm here today with Shantell. We're here at Selinsgrove Center for the Lives Lived Apart project on April 11th, 2015. So, Shantell, we're just here to talk a little bit about you, about how lives been here for you at Selinsgrove and just asking you a few questions today. OK? Alright, so let's get started. Shantell, can you tell me a little bit about where you're from?

Shantell: Strasburg.

Kathy: Strasburg? Strasburg, Pennsylvania? Is that where you're from?

Shantell: Mm-hm.

Kathy: And before Strasburg where is... where else were you from? Did you come to Selinsgrove recently?


Kathy: OK. Let's see.

Shantell:  Borther. [I] had troubles on my brother.

Kathy: So that was before you came here?

Shantell: Mm-hm.

Kathy: And do you like it here?

Shantell: It's a change but I want to leave.

Kathy: OK. Why's that?

Shantell: College.

Kathy: Yeah, college that sounds like a good plan. Where are you thinking for college?

Shantell: East Strausburg.

Kathy: Yeah. What would you like to study if you went to college?


Kathy: Mm-hm. So you had shown me a book before, remember, when we had first met in the multi-purpose room with your jello, your jello and your baking. Is that stuff that you like to make? Oh thanks, no thank you.

Staff: (talking)

Kathy: Do you know where Tasty Cakes are from? That brand? Philadelphia. Yeah, that's where they started. When I moved there I didn't know that and then the very first thing someone gave me was a Tasty Cake and I had it and now I'm addicted. They're pretty good, aren't they? You had said earlier, at lunch, that you also wanted to travel one day, right? Do you remember where you told me you wanted to travel to?

Shantell: Honk-Kong and China

Kathy: Yeah. Yeah, those are all really cool places to go and you had said that you wanted to learn about the culture, right?

Shantell: Hong-Kong...

Kathy: Yeah. When did you know that you were interested in Chinese culture and Japanese culture?


Shantell: I don't know...  When my real mom died I moved form place to place to find a home and I lived in Chinatown.

Kathy: You lived in Chinatown? In which city?

Shantell: New York

Kathy: And how long were you there for?


Kathy: What do you remember the most about living in Chinatown?


Kathy: Anything else?

Shantell: brother and sister.

Kathy: Can you tell me a little bit about your brothers and sisters?

Shantell: I don't know. They're cool.

Kathy: Why is that?

Shantell: Because they're far away.

Kathy: They're pretty far away? What sorts of things did you used to do with your brothers and sisters?


Kathy: Your brothers and sisters did? Who did you... who took care of you when that was happening? Was it a foster mom?

Shantell: Yeah.

Kathy: Did you like her?

Shantell: Mm-hm.

Kathy: So after you lived in Chinatown where did you live?

Shantell: With my aunt.

Kathy: With your aunt? OK. And how long was that for? Tell me a little bit more about what you do here at Selinsgrove.

Shantell: I like to dance.

Kathy: You like to dance? I saw your picture outside at the party. Did you ever dance here at Selinsgrove?

Shantell: Uh-huh.

Kathy: What was the theme? You got all dressed up.

Shantell: Spring Fling.

Kathy: Spring Fling. OK and what's your favorite type of music? Do you have a favorite song?

Shantell: Hip-hop.

Kathy: Hip-hop. Remember we were posing like Beyoncé with JJ? That was pretty fun, wasn't it? Did you feel fierce?

Shantell: What does that mean?

Kathy: It means did you feel strong? Did you feel like Beyoncé?

Shantell: Hm.

Kathy: Did you dance a lot at that party?

Shantell: Mm-hm.

Kathy: Do you dance with some people here? Shantelle, do you want to take a break for a little bit? At lunch earlier you had also mentioned that you do some painting and art and ceramics. Can you tell me a little bit about that?

Shantell: I like to draw.

Kathy: What do you like to draw?

Shantell: Pictures and cats.

Kathy: You really do like cats because we did our angry cats sound, right? What was that one? When did you find you like cats?

Shantell: Mm.

Kathy: You said you like to draw cats. Did you ever have a cat growing up?

Shantell: Mm-hm.

Kathy: You did?

Shantell: I had like 40 when I was living... (inaudible)

Kathy: Have you ever seen that movie Aristocats? It's a movie that's all cats and then they run into some trouble with some dogs. What else about the dance party did you like? You dressed up. Anything else? Can you tell me a little bit about some of the people that you've met here and who you sit next to and talk to everyday?

Shantell: Justine.

Kathy: Who's Justine? Who else do you... like Samantha right? How long have you known Samantha for?


Kathy: She was with us at lunch today, right? What does she help you with? Shantelle, are you OK?

Staff: Does she need a break?

Kathy: Should we take a little break, Shantelle?

Staff: Do you want to take a break? Hm?

Staff: She needs a break or nap.

Staff: Head up for a minute.  Do you need to take a break for a little bit?

Kathy: Which one is Tom and which one is Jerry again?

Shantell: The cat is Tom, the mouse is Jerry.

Kathy: You drew that? It's beautiful. Wow. I can't wait to see what else is in your room that you drew. This picture is lovely.

(Staff talking)

Kathy: Wow.

Staff: That owl she made.

Kathy: So Shantelle, the owl's name is...

Staff: That's actually... she made that for Justine.

Kathy: Can you remind me who Justine is, Shantelle?

Staff: Hey, where are you going? Are you going to do your interview from bed?

Kathy: She's so...

Staff: Are you? Are you going to do your interview from bed or are you going to bed?

Kathy: Is it OK if I sit here, Shantelle?

Staff: Really?

Kathy: Have you seen any of the Kung-Fu movies, the Chinese Kung-FU movies?

Staff: Tell her what your favorite kind of movies are.

Shantell: Jackie Chan.

Kathy: Jackie Chan! I love Jackie Chan.

Staff: And which ones do you like to make me watch?

Kathy: Did you see Rush Hour, Shantelle?


Staff: No, Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker I think.

Kathy: Chris Tucker I think. You're going to bed aren't you?

Shantell: I'm going under my covers.

Staff: You're going under your covers? Are you still going to talk to her or not?

Shantell: Yeah.

Staff: OK.

Kathy: OK.

Staff: We're going to make sure they can hear you.

Kathy: No, we're OK. Shantelle, can I put this right here? So, this is your room huh? So you've got your weekly activities and today is Saturday, right? What is Saturday?

Staff: Free day.

Kathy: Free day! So what do you typically do on a Saturday besides talking to me? Sleep? What about when you're all done and slept through and rested. Do you eat? You look really tired. You seem really tired. You had a big day today, huh? What were we talking about before? We were talking about Jackie Chan and the Kung-FU movies. Did you see the latest one, Rush Hour? Yes. Are you going to come with us to get some ice cream? She's like I can't let you forget that.

Staff: You'd have to get up and go to get ice cream then. That's a little after three I think.

Kathy: Mm-hm. Yeah.


Photos by JJ Tiziou

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