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

Stories from
Selinsgrove Center and KenCrest Services

Norma Jean

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

Image Gallery - click a thumbnail to start

LIVES LIVED APART interview with Norma Jean recorded April 11, 2015

PHOTO of Norma with her interviewer Nichole
PICTURED: Norma Jean with her interviewer, Nichole

Nichole: My name is Nichole Canuso and I'm interviewing Norma Jean at Selinsgrove on April 11th, 2015. So, Norma, I was looking at your movies here. We're in your room and I was looking at your movies and I noticed there's a lot of movies about horses. Right? And you said you love horses. Have you always loved horses? Is there a color horse you like more?

Staff: What color horse do you like?

Norma: Mm?

Staff: What color horses do you like? What color horses do you like?

Norma: Any kind of horses.

Nichole: Any kind of horses? Have you ever seen a horse live? A real one? Yeah? When? A long time ago or recently? Bloomsburg Fair? Is that close or far? How do you get there? How do you get to the Bloomsburg Fair? The Bloomsburg Fair. You remember? Do you drive or a bus?

Staff: How do you get to the fair? Do we ride a bus?

Norma: No.

Staff: Do you drive? Do we ride in a bus?

Norma: Yeah.

Nichole: Who do you go to the fair with? Does Trist go? Norma, I really like hearing about the fair and the horses. What else happens at the fair? What other movies do you have here?

Norma: I have movies.

Nichole: A lot. Do you have a favorite?

Staff: What your favorite movie?

Norma: I got Shirley Temple.

Nichole: Ah, Shirley Temple. Have you seen a lot of Shirley Temple movies? Do you want me to look? Can I look?

Norma: Becky knows.

Nichole: Becky knows?  She puts it on for you?

Staff: She goes to Becky's place.

Norma: Yeah, Becky.

Staff: That's our program. She goes everyday Monday through Friday.

Nichole: Every day you go and you get to watch movies? What time do you go to Becky's?

Norma: 1:30.

Nichole: 1:30?

Norma: Yeah.

Staff: And they watch movies, interactive movies, over there.

Nichole: So when you watch a movie what is your favorite thing about watching a movie? Is it the music or something else?


Norma: Uh-huh.

Nichole: Yeah?

Norma: Yeah.

Nichole: Yeah. Is there a favorite Shirley Temple movie? Is there a Shirley Temple movie you like the most? They're all good? Yeah. I understand that.


Nichole: Can you remember a time when you were dancing? Who do you dance? Can you remember a time when you were a dancer? Yeah? Do you want to tell me anything about it? Who was there? Is there somebody you like to dance with? Is it her? Is it Trist? Is it Trist? No? Who is it?

Norma: A girl.

Staff: Which one? The blonde?

Norma: No, a girl.

Staff: Rachel?

Norma: No.

Staff: Nikki?

Norma: I can't think of her name.

Staff: Kim?

Norma: No.

Staff: Bubble words?

Norma: Huh?

Staff: Who do you like to dance with? Who do you go dancing with?

Norma: What?

Staff: Who do you go dancing with?

Norma: Huh?

Staff: Who do you go dancing with?

Norma: I don't know.

Nichole: OK. What about these hats? Do you want to tell me more about the hats? These hats are there. Do you have one that you like the most? If I point to them will you tell me which one you like? Where did you get this one? This pink one. You like this one? Who gave it to you?

Norma: I don't know.

Nichole: You don't remember that one? What about this white one? Who gave you this white hat?

Norma: I forget her name.

Staff: Sandy?

Norma: Sandy.

Nichole: Sandy gave you the white hat?

Norma: Sandy is making me a blanket.

Staff: She's making you a blanket, yeah.

Norma: Sandy.

Nichole: Sandy?

Norma: Sandy knit it for me.

Nichole: Sandy knit you this hat?

Norma: Yeah.

Staff: Kim?

Norma: Yeah.

Nichole: That's really nice. She must really like you, knit you. That's hard work.

Norma: Blanket -

Nichole: So you say there's a blanket coming?

Norma: Mm.

Nichole: Who is Sandy?

Norma: Hm?

Nichole: Sandy who made the hat.

Norma: Sandy.

Nichole: Sandy, does she work here?

Norma: Yeah.

Nichole: She's a nurse. Does she work here a long time? You know her a long time or a little?

Norma: Long time. Yeah.

Staff: Has she been here for a long time?

Norma: Huh?

Staff: Has she been here for a long time?

Norma: Yeah.

Staff: Yeah.

Nichole: Yeah. Well that's nice that she made you that hat. What about this one?

Norma: Katherine Anne.

Staff: That's Katherine Anne's.

Norma: Katherine Anne.

Nichole: Katherine Anne?

Norma: Katherine Anne.

Nichole: Katherine Anne, that's a great name.

Norma: Katherine Anne.

Nichole: Katherine Anne. Is she a friend?

Norma: Katherine Anne.

Nichole: Katherine Anne.

Norma: Katherine Anne.

Staff: Ethel?

Norma: Ethel and Katherine Anne.

Nichole: Is this a gift from Katherine Anne?

Norma: That's Katherine Anne's not mine.

Nichole: Oh, you're borrowing it? You have to give it back? I'll put it back because it's Katherine Anne's but who is Katherine Anne? Does she live here?

Staff: That is your poster.

Nichole: There's a poster with letters of your name. Norma. Did you make it?

Norma: Open it.

Nichole: Open it?

Staff: Oh the cupboard.

Nichole: Do you want me to open the cupboard?

Norma: Yeah.

Nichole: The big one up here? This one?

Norma: Move the cardboard.

Staff: You've got to move the cardboard.

Nichole: You're right, that's true. Oh! Wow! Is this, this is an amazing hat. I'm holding a red hat with feathers everywhere. Is this yours?

Norma: Yeah.

Nichole: Where is this from?

Norma: More up there.

Nichole: There's more. Can you tell me about this one? Do you dance in this hat?

Norma: Look at the others.

Nichole: OK, I'm going to look at the other ones. Whoa. You have so many hats. Here's another red one. Is this from someone special? Who gave you this one? What about...


Nichole: I'm just wondering who gave you all these hats. What's the story behind these hats? More, OK.

Norma: I'm not -

Nichole: What... OK. This hat, what's this hat for? The beach?

Norma: Yeah.

Nichole: The beach? Do you like the beach? Do you get to go to the beach? Yeah? What happens when you go to the beach?

Norma: I have more (inaudible).

Nichole: I know. You have a lot of stuff. Are any of these hats, hats from a long, long time ago?

Staff: Where do you wear that hat?

Norma: Red Hatters.

Nichole: Red Hatters? What's Red Hatters?

Staff: It's for 67 and over like their age and they wear red and purple. They dress up in red and purple.

Nichole: Is that an event here?

Staff: Yeah.

Nichole: So you do like Red Hatters a lot?

Staff: What do you do at Red Hatters?

Norma: Cook.

Staff: You get stuff like cookies? What else do you do?

Norma: Color pictures.

Staff: You color pictures? And do you visit with your friends?

Nichole: Does it feel good to get dressed up for the Red Hatters?

Norma: Yeah.

Nichole: I can tell that you like hats so it must be a nice event to wear one. What about this hat? Where do you wear this one?

Norma: I don't know.

Nichole: This is just an everyday hat?  This one? This one's fuzzy. This one is fuzzy.

Norma: Oh, good.

Nichole: When did you start collecting hats? Have you always collected hats? Have you always loved hats?

Norma: Yeah.

Nichole: What?


Nichole: Oh you have two - so you put... yeah. Oh.

Norma: Yeah.

Nichole: You want me to look at the others? These are stickers. You like stickers, yeah? It's OK to take things out? It's OK?

Norma: Hm?

Nichole: You want me to take them out?

Norma: Yeah.

Nichole: Take things out? OK. There's some pictures here. These are pictures of frogs. Who are they?

Norma: I don't know.

Nichole: it's says Norma and Ang.

Staff: That's Angie. Remember Angie?

Norma: Yeah.

Nichole: Who's Angie?

Norma: Friend.

Nichole: She's a friend?

Staff: What is she to me?

Staff: Yeah my aunt. That's my aunt actually. She used to be the head of in here.

Norma: Yeah.

Nichole: So you still get to see Angie? That's good. You've known her a long time? Did you make a book with animals?

Norma: Yeah.

Nichole: This familiar? It's a bunny rabbit wearing glasses.

Norma: Oh yeah.

Nichole: And a cat wearing a hat. Did you pick out these pictures?

Staff: Where did they used to be?

Norma: I know.

Staff: Weren't they over there at one time?

Norma: No.

Staff: Oh.

Nichole: They were hanging on your wall?

Norma: Game room.

Staff: Oh you got them from the game room?

Norma: Yeah, Becky.

Staff: Oh with Becky?

Norma: Becky to me.

Staff: Becky gave it to you?

Norma: You know Becky?

Staff: I know Becky.

(Background talking)

Nichole: Do you want me to hold those for you?

Staff: Some tape?

Nichole: Do you want to put that back up? Yeah.

Staff: Put it back up there?

Nichole: Oh you want to hang it up?

Staff: On the wall? We'll find tape then, OK?

Nichole: Thank you for letting me look in there. That's so exciting. I really like looking.

Staff: What do you want?

Norma: My book.

Staff: Your other book? Your picture book?

Norma:  Becky -

Staff: Oh, you want...

Norma: I go to church.

Staff: Yep, you go to church. When do you go to church?

Norma: Choir practice.

Staff: Choir practice.

Nichole: You go to choir practice?

Norma: Yeah.

Nichole: Once a week or more?

Norma: Yeah.

Nichole: Yeah. So you sing?

Norma: Huh?

Nichole: You sing?

Norma: Yeah. I buy watches.

Nichole: You buy watches?

Norma: Yeah.

Nichole: You have a collection of watches? Oh, let's see that.

Norma: That's my bracelet.

Staff: A whole drawer full of watches and a whole drawer full of bracelets.

Nichole: I noticed that a lot of the things you have are very colorful.

Norma: Bracelet.

Nichole: I really appreciate that.

Norma: My watches.

Nichole: Are these gifts from other people?

Norma: Huh?

Nichole: These are gifts?

Norma: MY bracelet watches.

Nichole: Oh bracelet watches.

Norma: Yeah.

Nichole: I'm looking at green bracelet watches.

Norma: Yeah.

Nichole: It's beautiful and there's a purple bracelet watch and there's a white bracelet watch. I'm looking at a turquoise watch.

Norma: Yeah.

Nichole: Oh my gosh and now I've being handed a whole drawer full of beaded bracelets.

Norma: I got more.

Nichole: These are great. I see that you're wearing one. Do you always wear one bracelet at a time?

Norma: When I go places.

Nichole: when you go places you wear bracelets?

Norma: Yeah.

Nichole: Yeah. How do you decide what bracelet to wear that day? How do you decide?

Norma: I pick one bracelet.

Nichole: You pick one out?

Norma: Come back and help me.

Staff: Somebody will pick it out sometimes depending on who has me is what she said.

Nichole: Oh I see but do you ever have a strong feeling and you say "today is the day for this one"?

Norma: Yeah.

Nichole: You wake up and you know? I know. I feel that way sometimes. You just know. It's good that you have so many options that way no matter what mood you're in -

Norma: More.

Nichole: There is more.

Staff: Those are pins.

Nichole: Bracelets... it's very organized. This is great. I love it. I see that you have a lot of buttons.

Norma: Yeah.

Nichole: Some of them are from places. There's a lot of buttons that are from Knoebels which is in Ellsberg PA. Do you know what Knoebels is? There's a Ferris wheel on this button.

Norma: Yeah.

Nichole: What can you tell me about Knoebels? What is it?

Norma: I don't know.

Staff: What do we do at Knoebels? What do we do at Knoebels?

Norma: Sit.

Staff: Sit?

Norma: I can sit.

Staff: Sit and talk. Ride rides.

Norma: Ride rides.

Nichole: What's your favorite ride? Which ride do you like?

Staff: Which one?

Norma: Any.

Nichole: Any? IS there a ride that's particularly fun? You like the Ferris wheel that goes around and around?

Norma: When I go on there it hurts my head.

Nichole: That hurts your head?

Norma: I go places and hit my head.

Staff: You got tons of stuff in there, huh?

Nichole: You got Chapstick. You like Christmas? There's a lot of Christmas pins.

Norma: Christmas Tree.

Nichole: Christmas tree?

Norma: Yeah.

Nichole: What do you guys do for Christmas around here?

Norma: Christmas...

Staff: That's what she got for Christmas, watches and bracelets.

Nichole: So you get gifts?

Norma: Yeah.

Nichole: You get gifts from people who work here? Do some people who live here?

Norma: Yeah.

Nichole: Yeah and because people - because people know you like bracelets you get a lot of bracelets, huh?

Staff: It's almost empty.

Nichole: Not very many pins in this one but some of them are very beautiful. What about this one? Can you tell me about this pin? It looks like it might be a pin you've had for a long time. Is it?

Norma: Mm-hm.

Staff: Do you remember where you got it?

Norma: when I go places.

Nichole: When you go places?

Norma: Yeah.

Nichole: Do you know who gave it to you?

Norma: I go places and -

Nichole: This is the one when you go places?

Norma: I go places.

Staff: There's Riley.

(Talking in background)

Nichole: How do you know Norma? Your relationship?

Staff: I work with her.

Nichole: OK. Bye Melissa. It was nice to meet you.

Melissa: Bye.

Riley: Hello. I'm Riley Schaeffer, also, direct staff of Norma; been with her for the past seven months since I've been here.

Nichole: Great. We're just learning about how much she loves bracelets, how much she loves pins, how much she loves hats, and I have learned that she has some amazing hats. Right? And we learned that there's a hat that she wears to the - remind me of what it's called? The Red - the Red Feather Ball?

Staff: The Red Hatters.

Nichole: The Red Hatters and that was pretty exciting but I was going through and we learned about Knoebels, the fair and these guys. So Norma, when I forget his name... that guy who was giving a -

Staff: Kevin?

Nichole: Kevin was saying there used to be orchards outside? Do you remember that? When there was an orchard outside? Were you here when there was an orchard outside?

Norma: Uh-huh.

Nichole: Do you remember? What fruits were on the orchard?

Staff: What fruits were on the trees?

Norma: Huh?

Staff: What fruits were on the orchard?

Norma: Down there.

Staff: Down there? There was nothing down there.

Norma: Down there. My movies.

Staff: I see all your movies. We're talking about the orchard.

Norma: The orchard.

Staff: What do you remember what was on the orchard? What was it?

Norma: I don't know.

Nichole: You want to talk about the movies? That's fine. Is there a movie that ... well we know you like Shirley Temple. Is there another movie? Second favorite?

Staff: What do you like watching?

Norma: Huh?

Staff: What do you like watching? What's your favorite show to watch?

Norma: I can't tell you.

Staff: You watch it every day.

Norma: Long Ranger.

Staff: Long Ranger.

Nichole: Lone Ranger?

Norma: Radio.

Staff: You do listen to the radio sometimes. Other times you watch Lone Ranger.

Nichole: That's a beautiful horse. Have you ever ridden a horse? Sat on a horse?

Norma: I -

Staff: Did you sit on a horse before?

Norma: No I sit on a bus - horse I get hurt.

Staff: She sits on a bus, not a horse so she doesn't get hurt.

Nichole: That makes sense.

Norma: Yeah.

Nichole: Is there you somebody you like to ride the bus with? A person you like to ride the bus with?

Staff: Do you like going out on trips with?

Norma: Huh?

Staff: Who goes out on trips with?

Norma: Who?

Staff: Who do you like going out on trips with?

Norma: Huh?

Staff: When we go out to supper where do we go? Who do you go with?

Norma: Donna.

Staff: Donna and where do you go?

Norma: Diner.

Staff: Diners.

Norma: Diners.

Staff: Diners with Donna.

Nichole: That sounds like a movie; Diners with Donna. Sounds pretty fun.

Staff: I can't say it right, she says.

Nichole: Sounds pretty right to me. Diners. What do you like to eat at the diner?

Norma: Fish.

Staff: Fish sometimes.

Norma: Yeah.

Staff: French fries and soda. Same thing everywhere we go.

Norma: Fries and Soda. Cut my fish so I don't choke. Yeah.

Staff: Cut my fish so I don't choke.

Nichole: Yeah at lunch you had your fish cut. You seem happy with that. That's pretty fun. Now do you -

Norma: I have movies down there.

Staff: I see you have movies down there. She's going to show you all of her stuff.

Nichole: I love it. It's great.

Norma: Yeah.

Nichole: Yeah. You have very strong desires.

Norma: I came back from vacation. I'm a hat lady.

Staff: She came back from vacation. She's a hat lady.

Norma: Yeah. My vacation, remember?

Staff: We have a nurse that knits her hats like this.

Nichole: Is it Sarah?

Staff: No.

Norma: Sandy?

Staff: Cindy.

Nichole: Cindy, OK. Cindy is the one who knit the white hat.

Staff: The white hat, the green hat up there, the yellow hat up there, that hat that she's wearing now. It doesn't matter what hat she's wearing, she has to have a pin on it.

Nichole: I saw that. You have an Easter pin on it today and I asked if she picks the pin out and the bracelet out and she said sometimes she picks them out and sometimes you guys pick it out.

Staff: She's very particular.

Nichole: That's what I thought.

Staff: If she doesn't like something she'll let you know.

Nichole: I had that feeling because you look pretty great but it looks like you decided. I can tell you decided. It matches your personality.

Norma: I shred papers so I get a paycheck.

Staff: Yep you shredded papers today so you get a paycheck, over at Becky's place.

Nichole: So you shred paper at Becky's place?

Norma: Papers.

Nichole: That's your job?

Norma: A big paycheck.

Staff: You get a big paycheck.

Norma: Yeah, paycheck.

Nichole: And do you save your money or do you like to spend it?

Norma: I get a paycheck.

Nichole: You get a paycheck. Feels good doesn't it?

Norma: Paycheck.

Nichole: How does it feel to get a paycheck?

Norma: Buy stuff.

Staff: To buy stuff.

Nichole: you buy stuff?

Norma: to go places.

Staff: To go places.

Norma: Yeah.

Nichole: Do you spend it right away or do you save up?

Norma: Hm?

Nichole: Do you like to save your money?

Norma: Go places -

Staff: We go out maybe once a month. That's when she gets free range.

Nichole: Once a month? Do you always go to different places? Where do you go?

Norma: We go places -

Staff: Where do we go when we go out?

Norma: What?

Staff: Where do we go when we go on trips? Where did you go before?

Norma: I went - I don't know.

Staff: I don't know. You don't tell me.

Nichole: You don't know where you are?

Staff: We go out to eat and sometimes we go to Knoebels.

Norma: Yeah.

Staff: They take you shopping all the time, go to the mall.

Norma: Mall.

Nichole: Mall?

Staff: She's loving the attention.

Nichole: Do you choose where you go? Do they say "Hey, Norma, where do you want to go this month?"

Norma: Nah.

Nichole: No, you don't get to choose? OK but you feel excited about where you do go?

Norma: Yeah.

Staff: She's always excited to go out into the community and -

Norma: I feel good.

Nichole: Yeah.

Staff: And familiar staff we have a good understanding of where she likes going and -

Norma: (inaudible)

Staff: OK.

Norma: Yeah.

Staff: I get in a bus so I don't hurt myself.

Nichole: That's good. It's better than a horse, huh?

Staff: You got more necklaces up there?

Nichole: You do. I see. There's green, there's red. What do you think you'll wear tomorrow, which one?

Staff: Which necklace are you going to wear tomorrow? Which one do you want to wear tomorrow?

Norma: Huh?

Staff: Pick one.

Norma: On a school bus.

Staff: On a school bus? You haven't ridden a school in years. This is your school bus.

Nichole: Ah, this is the school bus.

Norma: School bus.

Nichole: This is nice. Did you ride a school bus when you were a little girl?

Norma: Nuh-huh.

Nichole: You never rid a school bus?

Norma: Nuh-huh.

Staff: How did you get to school? You tell me about school all the time.

Norma: I don't know.

Staff: How did you go to school when you were little before you came here, how did you go to school?

Nichole: What was - did you like school when you were little? You liked it? What do you remember about it? What do you remember about school?

Staff: What did you learn in school?

Norma: Write numbers.

Staff: Write numbers.


Staff: One, two, three. One, two, three.

Norma: Three.

Staff: One, two, three.

Norma: Yeah.

Nichole: Is there's songs that go with it?

Staff: Sing your ABC's. You learned them in school too. ABCs?

Norma: Yeah.

Staff: Sing them.

Norma: ABCs.

Staff: She sings them to me all the time.

Nichole: You like to sing?

Staff: You like to sing? Say I'm in the choir. You're in the church choir.

Norma: Yeah.

Nichole: What songs do you guys sing in the church choir?

Staff: What do you sing in the choir?

Norma: I don't know.

Staff: You do so.

Norma: I do not.

Staff: What do you sing in the choir? Every Sunday and Thursday at choir practice?

Norma: Golden book.

Staff: Golden book, it's like her book of hymns and stuff.

Nichole: is it with the bible?

Staff: I don't think so. It's just a bible for kids. What do you sing in church? Hm? Remember what you sing in church? You sing it to me all the time. Jesus loves me.

Norma: (inaudible).

Staff: I know.

Norma: Yes, Jesus loves me. The bible tells me so.

Nichole: That sounds nice.

Norma: Yeah.

Nichole: Do you sing the same song every time or different songs?

Norma: (inaudible)

Staff: What else do you sing in church other than Jesus loves me?

Norma: Jesus loves me because the bible tells me so.

Nichole: You know, you have a really great laugh. It makes other people laugh.

Staff: Norma, what happens when you drink coffee? Do it right. What happens when you drink coffee? She goes "wooo!"

Nichole: That's what happens to me. It feels like you're flying around. So what do you do with all that energy? What do you do when you feel too much energy?

Staff: Take a nap.

Nichole: Really? You take a nap when you have too much energy?

Norma: Huh?

Nichole: When you feel a lot of energy and you say "woo" what do you like to do? Do you like to talk to other people or dance?

Staff: You go to the dances all the time.

Norma: Yeah.

Nichole: How often do you have dances?

Norma: Huh?

Staff: Every Tuesday and Friday.

Nichole: Do you go to every dance?

Norma: Not all the time.

Staff: Not all the time.

Nichole: Sometimes you skip it? Yeah. You're not always in the mood, right? So what's today? Today is Saturday so the next dance is on Tuesday? Do you think you'll go to the dance this Tuesday?

Norma: Broke. I need battery.

Staff: I'll get you a battery.

Nichole: Oh your watch broke?

Staff: Are we going to go dancing on Tuesday? Are we going to go dancing on Tuesday?

Norma: Somebody sit by me I might fall down.

Staff: Somebody has to sit down by me. I might fall down.

Nichole: So when it's time for the dance do you pick out a special hat for the dance?

Norma: My hat and my bible book.

Staff: I have to have my hat and my bible book everywhere I go.

Nichole: Any my pin.

Staff: Of course.

Nichole: So you bring your bible book to the dance?

Norma: No.

Nichole: Is there a song at the dance that you like a lot? Do you have requests?

Staff: She gets so excited when they play it. What's your favorite song to at the dance? The one that you dance like this to? What's your favorite song at the dance? Do you remember the name of it? What is it?

Norma: I don't know. Tell me.

Staff: You know what it is.

Norma: Hm. I can't say.

Staff: The song is old time rock and roll or something like that.

Nichole: I like that old time rock and roll, that kind of music just soothes the soul. I reminisce about the days of old...

Staff: She'll take her hat off and throw it in the air. She just gets so excited.

Nichole: I understand.

Staff: That's her favorite.

Norma: (inaudible)

Staff: Did you?

Norma: Uh-huh.

Staff: Mm-hm.

Norma: Last week.

Staff: Last week.

Nichole: Last week?

Staff: It'll stay there.

Nichole: What are you worried about?

Staff: She gets very paranoid about her things.

Nichole: Those are very nice things.

Staff: If she's away for a long period of time she'll say someone is taking her stuff.

Norma: Yeah.

Staff: And if at the end of the night if you don't put her pocketbook in her hat... the pocketbook has to go inside the hat in a certain spot.

Nichole: You don't want anything to get stolen? Is that what you said?

Norma: Yeah.

Nichole: I understand. I don't want anything to get stolen either. You have nice stuff, right? Have you ever seen live music?

Norma: Hm?

Nichole: Like someone playing the music loud like guitar or piano?

Staff: You have to, remember? You have hens sing every Thursday. We have special dances where they get live bands; St. Patrick's Day dance, Valentine's Day dance. Do you remember? There's people playing their guitars and singing.

Norma: Yeah. Yeah.

Nichole: Yeah. Is there anything else you remember that you like a lot?

Norma: Yeah, all the time.

Staff: (inaudible) all the time.

Nichole: is there something you can remember about doing a long time ago? Any kind of real long time ago memory?

Staff: What do you remember from a long time ago?

Norma: I don't know. You'll tell me.

Staff: I'm not supposed to tell you. You're supposed to tell me.

Norma: You tell me.

Staff: What do you remember from a long time ago before you came here? What did you do?

Norma: I go out. I get paychecks from Becky's place, remember?

Nichole: Where did you live before you lived here?

Norma: You tell me.

Staff: I'm not supposed to tell you. You're supposed to tell me.

Nichole: Do you remember where you lived before you lived here?

Norma: No.

Nichole: No?

Norma: You tell me.

Staff: I'm not supposed to tell you. You're supposed to tell me.

Norma: I can't remember. Hm. Ask Chris.

Staff: Ask Chris.

Nichole: Chris knows a lot, right? Is Chris somebody you like to see?

Staff: You like Chris?

Norma: I like everybody.

Staff: I like everybody.

Nichole: Do you? Very nice. You have two pictures of Chris in your bag.

Staff: Chris knows.

Nichole: Chris knows things about you?

Staff: I think Chris was her advocate for a long time and then she moved to... she's still here but she's just like a social worker or something like that now. Her office is right down the hall and if Norma ever runs away there's where she's at.

Nichole: Do you go to visit Chris?

Staff: Do you visit Chris a lot? Visit Chris in the hallway? Do you visit Chris in the hallway?

Norma: Where?

Staff: Down the hallway.

Norma: Where?

Staff: Chris' office.

Norma: Yeah.

Staff: Yeah.

Nichole: Is that your sticker book? Do you want me to get it?

Norma: My book.

Staff: She has it right there.

Nichole: The sticker book? Is that a new one?

Norma: No. Other book.

Staff: She's got other coloring books.

Nichole: Oh you have a lot? Yeah.

Staff: Last time she had about three and now with all the holidays passed like Christmas and Easter and all that stuff she gets more and more.

Nichole: Who brings you these books?

Staff: Who gets you them coloring books?

Nichole: Who gives you these?

Norma: Angie the hat lady.

Staff: Angie the hat lady.

Nichole: Do you pick them out?

Norma: No.

Nichole: What? Do you tell Angie what kind of books you like?

Norma: No.

Nichole: How does she know what to pick?

Norma: Huh?

Nichole: How does Angie know what to get you?

Norma: I don't know. Tell me.

Nichole: Do you say anything to Angie? Do you say "Angie, I like stickers" or "Angie, I like puppies" or "Angie, I like..." What do you say?

Norma: I like sticker books.

Nichole: You like sticker books?

Norma: Stickers.

Nichole: All of them?

Norma: I like stickers.

Staff: You like stickers.

Nichole: Yeah. These stickers are great.

Norma: My sticker book.

Nichole: Yeah, you want to hold one?

Norma: My sticker book.

Nichole: Yeah, these are great. You've got so many. You've got glamour pets. You've got princesses.

Norma: MY sticker book.

Nichole: Really?

Staff: Yeah sticker books.

Nichole: Really, they're nice sticker books. Yeah.

Norma: My stickers are mine. Paper books.

Staff: Nobody is going to take them.

Nichole: What about this? Where did this come from?

Norma: ... put away.

Staff: Oh yeah? She said I met somebody with them.

Nichole: You met somebody who had bells?

Staff: Around Christmas time we get people from churches that come in and sing to us and stuff and they give all the ladies bells to hold and shake them along. That's probably what she's talking about.

Nichole: And they let you keep it? Are you going to show me the picture? You left it in your bag? What about... you've got a certificate of achievement award. It says Norma Jean Nicholas for attending and contributing to your individual support plan process. Do you remember that?

Staff: Remember when you got that award?

Norma: Hm.

Nichole: You helped create a plan. Do you remember helping to create a plan and getting an award? What was that like? What kind of things did you do?

Staff: What did you do for the award, Norma? What did you do to get that award? The certificate. What did you do to get it? See that paper?

Norma: Yeah.

Staff: What did you do for that? You don't know?

Nichole: Who's Syrissa? There's a little baby in a gold costume named Syrissa.

Staff: Who's that baby?

Norma: I don't know.

Nichole: You don't know? You must know.

Norma: No. I don't know who it is.

Staff: I don't know who is it.

Nichole: What about this clown? Who's this guy? Is this you dressed up? Who is that?

Norma: I don't know.

Staff: You know who that is. Who is it?

Norma: Me.

Nichole: It's you?

Norma: Yeah.

Nichole: That's an amazing costume! Did you like getting dressed up?

Norma: Huh?

Nichole: Did you like getting dressed up like that? Was it for Halloween? You look happy. You're smiling in the picture. What do you do on Halloween?

Norma: Huh?

Nichole: What else do you do on Halloween?

Norma: I don't know.

Nichole: You don't know? Yes, you do. Did you pick this costume?

Norma: What?

Nichole: Did you decide that you wanted to be a clown?

Norma: No.

Nichole: No? Did you get to see yourself in the mirror?

Norma: Hm?

Nichole: Did you get to see yourself in the mirror dressed up like that?

Norma: Yeah.

Nichole: And when you saw yourself in the mirror what did you think? Do you remember what other people dressed up like?

Norma: Nuh-uh.

Staff: You do so.

Nichole: Can you think of a costume that somebody else wore that you liked?

Norma: I like her.

Staff: I like her.

Norma: I like her.

Nichole: You like her?

Norma: I like my hat.

Nichole: And you like your hat? I see that.

Norma: And Angie.

Nichole: Angie?

Norma: To my room.

Nichole: That's great that you like so many things. It's good. Is there anything else you want to talk about?

Norma: Hm?

Nichole: Anything else you want to talk about?

Norma: I'm getting (Inaudible) on my hand.

Nichole: You hurt your hands?

Norma: Yeah.

Nichole: How did you hurt your hands?

Staff: How did you hurt your hands? You got horseradish, right? She says horseradish.

Norma: ... a lot and feels better.

Nichole: What makes them feel better? Is there anything that makes them feel better? It's really nice to talk to you Norma. I really love your room and your hats. Pretty great. Thank you for letting me look around. I think you might have more hats than anybody I know which is pretty cool.

Staff: Sometimes she'll come out of her room ...

Norma: My stuff. Anybody... yeah.

Nichole: Did you wear hats before you came here at school when you were a little girl, did you wear hats?

Staff: Did you wear hats when you went to school?

Norma: Yeah.

Nichole: Who took care of you when you were a little girl? Do you remember anyone that you liked a lot when you were a little girl?

Norma: Huh?

Nichole: Do you remember somebody that you liked to see a lot when you were a little girl?

Norma: Uh-huh.

Nichole: You did?

Norma: Nobody. People. Battery.

Staff: I know. When we take you out shopping we'll get you one.

Nichole: What are you going to do next today? What else are you going to do today?

Norma: I'll be here for a while.

Staff: Going to sit in the recliner and listen to the radio for a while before supper.

Nichole; Are you going to listen to people talk or music?

Norma: Talk... on vacation.

Staff: She's on vacation.

Norma: Right?

Staff: What do you listen to the radio? What do you listen to on the radio?

Norma: Any kind of music.

Staff: Any kind of music.

Norma: Any kind of music.

Staff: Do you remember when you used to play the piano? Yeah?

Nichole: You played the piano?

Norma: Paper.

Staff: Paper. Yep.

Norma: I'm going to write on it.

Staff: OK.

Norma: Show me.

Nichole: That's the paper we took down. It's Angie. We were going to hang it up.

Norma: That's me.

Nichole: Yeah it's you and Angie.


Staff: Oh yeah?

Norma: Yeah.

Staff: I see it.

Norma: Yeah.

Staff: Do you remember playing the piano? Yeah? Did you play it in church?

Nichole: Do you remember your first day here? When you first came here? Do you remember what it was like?

Norma: Hats.

Staff: You can never have too many hats. Do you remember when you first came here? Do you remember when you first came here?

Norma: You tell me.

Staff: I'm not supposed to tell you. Do you like it here?

Norma: I like it here.

Nichole: You like it here? It's nice.

Norma: It's good.

Nichole: I believe you.

Norma: I like it here.

Staff: You like it here.

Norma: Yeah. Go down the hallway.

Staff: Yeah, go down the hallway.

Norma: My stuff... that's where. My stuff. Remember?

Staff: Not quite sure what she said. She doesn't usually speak this quietly.

Nichole: It's nice to hear your stories. Thank you for talking with me, Norma. It was really great to meet you. Is there anything else you want to say before we end?

Norma: Huh?

Nichole: Anything else you want to say before we end?

Norma: Huh?

Staff: Do you want to talk about anything else?

Norma: I don't know.

Nichole: Well if you think of anything, you just let me know some other time, OK?

Staff: Before you hit stop...

Nichole: OK.

Staff: Just so... this is Nikki. I'm on the Temple project team and I was also here for the interview. I didn't introduce myself at the beginning.

Nichole: That it? OK. That's all.


Photos by JJ Tiziou

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