Hannah Calkins

As Interviewed by Bella Cheng, March 17, 2013
"When the school started, everybody was really hopeful about the state of the school and about the kind of opportunities that it would offer them."
Hannah Calkins

Introductory Profile: About Hannah Calkins

My interviewee, Hannah Rachel Calkins, has helped a school in Somalia create a working and successful library. As the country is coming out of a civil war they have been rebuilding the country; in one way by creating better schools. The school Calkins worked with is called Abaarso Tech and I was interested in knowing how the school and the library help the students with their academic success. Abaarso Tech is a great example of how Somalia is taking action in improving the education of the kids and teens who live there.

Calkins is 26 years old with light brown hair and blue eyes. She attends the University of Texas as a masters student and works at the Perry-Castaneda Library. She was born in Wiesbaden, Germany but lived in Wisconsin. Calkins enjoys playing cards and reading and plays ultimate frisbee on the University of Texas Womens Team - Texas Melee. She is very kind, friendly and generous with her time.

The interview had a very calm mood. We sat outside underneath a shady tree where it was breezy and there were plenty of birds chirping to add lovely background music to the recording. I was nervous as I had never interviewed someone before, and also because I had never even met my interviewee before. Although I struggled at the very beginning of the interview, Calkinsí easy going attitude helped me to relax. She was very comfortable with sharing her actions with me and spoke nice and clear.

Overall, I came into the interview not knowing much about what my interview had done but after asking a few general questions, the rest flowed naturally as most conversations do. Although Somalia has had a rough history, the school and library stand as a symbol of starting new and rebuilding what was lost. Even though a country may be torn with war, Calkins has showed me how even people from a different continent can take their time to contribute to a countryís recovery. I feel as though I have seen Somalia from a different angle and that really helps me to understand the countryís background and itís future.