#263: Interview to Eliana - 2012-11-06

No more than five minutes did Eliana spend in getting ready for the interview. All the guests became amazed by the quickness with which Eliana changed her pajamas and messy hair for a formal dress and a rather complex braid. However, Gastón didn't like the idea.

- " Eliana, I think it's not good to see you so made up. We're "El Pantano", not the regional newspaper. You don't need to be so formal with us. "

- " But I'm going to give an interview! If I'm going to make a public appearance, I want to give out a serious image, so the youth realize that being a teacher is no walk in the park! "

- " We know it's no walk in the park! " - Eduardo added - " But we're in your house, we want to know more of your personal side! "

- " I don't have much to say about my private life. I'm a rather boring person, actually. I'm just outstanding at school, and that's why I'm now doing... "

- " And because of your hair. " - Andrea added - " You shouldn't have went to such great pains in order to hide your attributes. Being shy will close many doors to you. I know it by experience... "

- " Now it comes that I'm famous because of my hair! Oh, God... I wanted to keep a low profile! "

- " Don't be so selfish, Eliana! If you knew what most of my classmates would give in order to have hair like yours! "

- " Uh... maintaining hair this long is not for everybody. You need a lot of patience, commitment and care. Most girls wouldn't be able, they would quickly become bored of bearing such weight over their heads. Also, there's the problem of lice! "

- " You have lice? "

- " No, by God! How can you think so! But that's one of my worst nightmares. I'm very finicky, I can detect almost immediately whether anyone has lice or no. "

Saying that, Eliana threw a quite scornful glare at Eduardo. For him, that was worse than being beaten down and kicked on the ground.

- " But doesn't your hair drag on the floor? Doesn't it get dirty? "

- " When I was younger I let it drag, but now I'm more careful. Anyway, it rarely gets dirty... but I hope you didn't come to interview me because of my hair. "

- " It's just that it's impossible to ignore such a head of hair! You know what? You should get rid of these braids. We want to see your hair in all its glory. Please, Eliana, everyone is asking for it. "

Gastón and Eduardo smiled and acquiesced. Eliana felt daunted.

- " Okay, that's right. I'll undo my braid. I guess that... " - Eliana quickly started to rearrange her hair - " ... you'll want a frontpage photograph for your rag. "

- " Of course! We want you to sit down and let your hair flow around you! We need, of course, to try several poses and select the best one. "

- " As you say. "

Eliana Martínez, and her 210 centimeters (nearly seven feet) of hair.

- " Perfect! " - Gastón exclaimed. Now, stand up and take your jacket off. We want a pose that highlights your slim figure. "

- " What? No! "

- " No? Why? "

- " I've read "El Pantano", and you can't really fit many photos on such a small space! You only need one! "

- " But Eliana, just one for the record... "

- " Do I like you? " - Eliana asked Gastón, rather annoyed.

- " Well... uh... no, you're too little girl for my tastes. I like them more... grown up. "

Andrea turned her head to the other side, taking it personally. Even though she's been seeing someone else since several days ago...

- " In that case, you don't need more photos... "

- " Okay. But if the photo goes wrong, we'll need to return! "

- " Whatever. Well, so? When do we start the interview? "

- " I think we should start right now! " - Andrea said. The three guests took their notebooks out in order to review their notes and the guideline. "

- " We're ready, Eliana. " - Andrea started - " In order to start, please give us a short personal introduction to yourself."

- " My name is Eliana Martínez. I'm 11 years old and I'm on class 6-A at the [...] school. "

- " Your hair is very long and beautiful! How long is it? How did you get it that long? Do you have any secret you can share with the readers of "El Pantano" in order to get beautiful hair? "

- " I knew you would ask. Actually, I'm not quite sure about how my hair grows this quickly. This is certainly not something normal, I don't think anyone else can make her hair grow like this. But I like it, and I try to take care of it as well as I can. "

  I have not many secrets other than to eat healthy and to maintain a healthy level of physical activity. I also massage my scalp from time to time with avocado and eggs. It's necessary to stimulate blood flow to the scalp, and to eat a good dose of proteins and nutrients. "

- " But you're so skinny! Do you really eat well? "

- " Of course I do. It's just that I spend a lot of energy. With what I eat every day, I could easily weigh over thirty kilograms. Maybe it's so that much of what I eat goes straight to my hair... "

- " How did you become a Math teacher? What happened to the Math teacher you had before? "

- " Until last year, we had a very good teacher, her name was Matilde Arrigorriaga. But, for some reason, she left the school, and they hired a new teacher, one Leticia Pizarro. This teacher was very young, most likely just graduated; I don't know if she taught before, but she had a lot of trouble at her work, she kept forgetting things and she made mistakes about very simple things. She stayed a month with us, after which she quit. "

  " In the evening of Friday, March 31st, the principal phoned me so I go to the school in order to talk with him. I went accompanied by my mother, and there he told us that he wanted me to take care of the kids during the Math hours that teacher Leticia was assigned, so they weren't on their own without a teacher. I started giving the kids exercises and helping them review the classes, and soon I began to teach as though I was a real teacher. "

  " One day, a student of Education arrived to the school, and I was tasked to "show him the way" so he knew how things were done at this school. After the second class hour of the morning, he left the school like crazy. I've been in charge of the Math classes of four groups of students during the last month. Now, another teacher resigned, one who taught during the afternoon; most likely, I will have to replace him..."

- " How did your new duties interfere with your own clases? How do you do with your homework and exams? "

- " I have some free hours, but during those hours I usually plan my classes and carry out administrative tasks. I don't have time for attending any of my year's classes, so during this month they gave me some special homework. When a new teacher becomes hired, I will have to take all the pending exams. "

Eduardo Sepúlveda, Andrea Méndez and Gastón Jiménez.

- " What did being a teacher mean for you? Do you like to teach? What do you like and dislike the most? "

- " I always knew that being a teacher would be very hard, but one must be there in order to know what it's like. It's a very demanding and complex job, because you're educating the new generations, you're inculcating moral values and helping he children grow up and become better persons. "

  " To be honest, I don't like teaching. I don't have much patience with kids, it's hard for me to be kind and tolerant, also putting myself in their level is quite complicated, it's distressing to realize how slow are kids to learn. I don't want to be conceited, but the difference between all the other kids and myself is certainly overwhelming. I have to be persistent and to drill the kids a lot so they really can learn. "

- " How has your relationship with your classmates been during this time as a teacher? Do they treat you like a classmate or like an authority? What has been the response of your class upon this new situation? "

- " My classmates were particularly terrified by the idea. They already know me, and know that I'm terrible, some even cried and begged me to be nice with them. The kids from other classes at first thought it was a bad joke, but soon I could make myself respected. "

  " Before their eyes, I'm not a girl anymore, I'm a teacher. They treat me like an adult, they stand up when I enter the classroom, and during my classes you could have heard a pin drop while I was silent. I remain calm and serious, as though this didn't affect me, but deep inside they make me feel awful about myself with this treatment, because I know that I'm still a little girl after all, I don't deserve all this deference. "

  " Also, they always say that I'm quite demanding and that my classes are exhausting, but that I still worry about the kids learning what I'm teaching, that I take this very seriusly. They even came to say that I'm better than some of the actual teachers... but no, that can't be true. "

- " How has been your relationship with the teachers? What do they say about you? Did they support you in your work? "

- " A lot. They answer all my questions, and have had a great willingness to help me, mainly at the task of planning the classes, which was the most complicated thing for me to do. I'm particularly grateful of teachers Cecilia Zubeldía and José Joaquín Otarola; they have been my greatest allies in this work. Miss Zubeldía is very humble, and claims to admire me a lot. And I used to admire her, before all this happened. "

- " You know what? I too was in that school during primary school. I was in the same class as your brother Hugo. I didn't have classes with Miss Arrigorriaga, but I had classes with these two teachers. We called Miss Zubeldía " Cecilia the witch ". She was a great teacher, but also a weird one, some times they told us rather ludicrous stories. Mr. Otarola was tall, skinny and had quite bulging eyes. He was quite scary, but was a good person. "

- " Yeah. Hugo told me so. "

- " Did he tell you about me? "

- " Uh... oh, he told me about two girls from his class, they were the most brilliant students. One of them had light brown hair, was white like snow, and always had a bright blush on her cheeks. I suppose that he was referring to you, though he never told me your name. "

- " ... Not even my name... "

- " Huh? "

- " Uh... No, nothing! As a last thing... tell us. How do you feel? Would you like to keep teaching, or you can't wait for another teacher to come and take your place, so things return to normal? Did you consider the possibility of studying Education? If not, what would you like to study at University? "

- " To be honest, I'm getting used to be a teacher. It's something I can do, and I'm getting good results with the kids. But it wouldn't be right if I kept doing this; I hope a new teacher arrives soon. Also, as I said, I don't like doing this. "

  " And no, I wouldn't like to study Education. I though of several options, but I could study Medicine, maybe Pediatrics... or maybe Engineering or some exact science like Math or Physics. Business Engineering would be another option... but I'm not sure, I still haven't made my mind. I'm still too young for these things... "