Thursday, June 16, 2016
Character Interview—Kat Benson
In this week's character interview, we meet Kat Benson from Beach Blanket Murders: The Ocean Can be Deadly
As I looked at the pretty young dark-headed young woman sitting across from me I noticed she’d checked her watch twice since she'd come into the room for her interview. As Associate Dean for the Graduate School at UNC, Chapel Hill, I planned to interview her for several reasons and wondered if she was in a great hurry.
“Good morning Kat. I’m Dr. Judith Lucci. Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed for the University newspaper. As you know, we're doing student interviews as part of resume building so that when you get your graduate degree next semester, you'll already have experience with interview techniques. Does that sound okay to you?”
“Yes, yes, that sounds great I'm excited about the interview.” Her voice was young, her eye eager and I had her total attention.
“Tell me a little bit about yourself. Where are you from, where did you go to undergraduate and a little bit about your family. I watched as Kat formulated her response. I could see the wheels turning in her head. She was so pretty, tiny and petite, with her emerald green eyes and her perfect smile. Truly a lovely girl.
Kat took a breath and began. “Well, I'm sorta from everywhere. My dad is retired military, Navy actually, so I've lived all over the world. I’ve got two older brothers. It's been a great experience for me to have been so many places, all over the world, at such a young age. My dad retired my high school senior year, and we moved to the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. I went to undergraduate school at the University of New Orleans and became intrigued with the art, history and culture of the Big Easy so deciding to get a graduate degree in art history was a no-brainer.”
I nodded. “What made you pick the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for graduate school? Of course, were delighted to have you,” I added.
“Oh, it was definitely the reputation of the school and my brother went here and loved it.” She hesitated a minute and added, “I wanted to put a little distance between my boyfriend and I just so I could figure out whether it was a serious relationship, you know, the real deal,” she added with a serious smile.
I grinned at Kat and said “That's the first time I've heard that response but I appreciate your honesty.”
Kat blushed a little bit and said, “I guess that wasn't the best answer.”
“I think it was a very honest answer and its fine. I’ve noticed you've checked your watch three times in the last 10 minutes. Are you in a hurry?
Kat blushed even more, the red flush spreading from her neck to her face. "Yes, I sort of. I'm going to meet my old college friends from the University of New Orleans and my boyfriend, Liam… who lives in New York… for a long weekend at the beach. I'm so excited and I've been waiting for this for what seems like forever. Please forgive me if I'm acting rude."
I really liked this girl. "No problem, I just hope your weekend is everything you've been looking forward to.”
"Oh, I'm positive it will be. Nothing could possibly go wrong. All my best friends are coming and who knows, if I get my wish, maybe I'll get a marriage proposal!"
I smiled again at the eager young woman and hope everything went according to her plan. "Kat, I want everything you want. Now tell me, what are you planning to do with your graduate degree? Where are you planning to work?"
Kat’s smile was direct. "Well, I'm a little on the obsessive-compulsive side so I started researching where I might want to work last year."
I smiled at her. She was so young and eager. I remembered when I been young and idealistic. Anyone would be lucky to get her. "And, what's the verdict? What's your ideal job?"
"Well," she said with a huge, warm smile. "I want to work at the Smithsonian...I want to live in DeeCee..."
I smiled at her in return. "DeeCee, huh. Lots of opportunity and lots of traffic! Talk to me next spring. I’ve great contacts there who would love to have you,” I said as I stood and offered her my hand. “Have a wonderful time on the Outer Banks. I hope it all goes well with your boyfriend," I added as I smiled into her happy face.
"Oh, it will,” she assured me. "Nothing could go wrong. We're perfect for each other. I'll let you know how it goes."
"Please do," I said as she stood to leave. "Keep in touch with me during the next semester. I want to help you reach your dream of living and working in Washington."
"Promise," she said as she clasped my hand. She was gone in a flash leaving a scent of violets, a wave of energy and an exceptional impression."
That young woman is going to go places, I thought as I returned to my computer. Little did I know what the next few days had in store for her.
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