Friday, June 14, 2013

Interesting Person Interview Series: Barb

Today I am delighted to share the interview with my aunt Barb.  Barb is one of my favorite people on the entire planet.  She is unbelievably thoughtful and kind, and one of the most interesting people you could ever meet.  I am thrilled that she's my aunt, and that she agreed to share her answers this week.

Barb's interview, after the break!

What is your name, and who are you?
I am Barbara Alice Martin Rank, but everyone calls me Barb. I was born in Waverly Iowa in 1953, grew up in India where my parents were missionaries for 12 years, became a special education teacher, married my faithful husband, Dan Rank in 1976 (yes, I was a bicentennial bride), had three wonderful daughters, Christine (1984)  Laura (1987) and Jenifer (1990, my cicada baby), a loving son-in-law, Joe (2011) and adorable grandson, William (2012). I also have a strange sense of humor, as I realize that I have just written my obituary.

How do you know Kate?
Kate (1984) is my sunny niece, daughter of Dan’s sister, Jen (I’ll stop with the birth dates here, I think). She has brightened my life with her laughter and enthusiasm since the day she was born.

Tell me about a typical day in your life.
I like to start my day at 5 am with a 45 minute walk, getting a coffee at the Mobil station on the way home. During the school year, I love spending the day teaching reading, math and writing to upper elementary special education students in the resource room or general ed classroom at Prospect School. After school I like to walk to town to do errands, (post office, bank, grocery store, library) and then cook curry for me or soup for Dan, watch the news, talk to my daughters on the phone, read, call my mom, watch the Daily Show and go to bed.

What’s the most challenging part of your life (could be a pet peeve, a work or family issue, whatever).
Trying to live up to my ideals.
(Note from Kate: holy smokes.  This answer absolutely bowled me over.  LOVE this, and how eloquently it's written.)

What are you likely to be doing at 8pm on a Saturday night?
Hanging out with Dan and with any luck, family or friends.

Paint me a picture of your life in five years.
No idea. I hope I’m ready for whatever life brings.

If you could be given any gift, what would it be?
Everyone would get along with everyone else.

What part of your morning routine do you consider essential?
I like breakfast.

What one deceased person would you like an hour with?
My dad. I miss his counsel, wisdom and insight.

If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go and why? 
Anywhere. I’m just happy to go somewhere.

Have you been there before?  Yes and no.

You have ten minutes to give a speech to college seniors.  What do you talk about? 
I would never be able to give a speech to anyone. I could write one. It would probably be about thinking of others, working hard and getting along.

What is your all-time favorite song?
I like It’s A Wonderful World

If you weren’t in your current occupation, what would you like to do?
I always wanted to be a missionary.

Tell me about your family.
I have the best family in the world. I love them all.

What do you “know now” that you wish you “knew then”?
I now know that I don’t know everything!

Thank you, Barb!  I still have a few weeks before the end of the series and would love to highlight a few more people.  If you're interested in participating, email kate at katespecial dot com.


  1. I agree that the comment about living up to one's ideals was brief and brilliant (quintesential Barb).

    This is another one I find very powerful...

    If you could be given any gift, what would it be?

    Everyone would get along with everyone else.

    I'm so glad to read Barb's comments...she is amazing!

  2. my fav: "I like breakfast" (quintessential Barb: clear, hard to argue with, unemotional, no judgement (hey, she didn't say YOU had to like breakfast) and all that in three words)

  3. since we're naming favorites:

    If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go and why?
    Anywhere. I’m just happy to go somewhere.

    emphatically agree


I've turned word verification on because of spam comments. Apologies! I love your comments!