Here's the thing.
I actually feel like Norbu Jinpa is my friend.
Isn't that cool? Slash great?
I was on Skype today, and I had a bit of a rough moment because I didn't know what to say to Norbu outside of discussing my research. I've been thinking a lot about what Jay said in his comment on our interview questions. He said "establishing rapport is a big part of interviewing. I think you'll want to spend a decent amount of time at the beginning of your interview on the 'tell us about yourself' question and follow-up questions." I realized that I have been really, really bad about that when talking to Norbu.
I'm the same way on the phone. I just cut to the chase. I call someone and dive right in to the reason I called. Do you ever feel like it has become meaningless to ask "how are you doing?" at the beginning of every phone conversation? They say good, how are you. You say good, thanks. And then you go on to the reason you called. Maybe I'm rude for skipping that. I would do it if I thought it meant something to someone.
But you know what, Jay is right!
Here's what just happened with Norbu on Skype. I am really glad I got to know him better.
[11/18/2010 9:38:09 PM] Kristen Nicole: Norbu, how are you?
Norbu: am good nu?
Kristen Nicole: I'm so good!
Kristen Nicole: I'm getting ready to have a few days off school and I'm so excited
Kristen Nicole: Wait, when is the Tibetan new year?
Norbu: its on 5 Mar 2011
Kristen Nicole: So what do you do on new year?
Norbu: well lots of new thigs to eat n wear
Norbu: n celebratiosn...rituals, parayers ofr long life of our beloved leaders, parents, make lots odf wsishes for upcoming year
Norbu: party hard..n enjoy the time...
Kristen Nicole: that's great!
Kristen Nicole: does the TCV do a celebration
Norbu: likeervery tibetan..we do celebrate
Norbu: n enjoy
Norbu: with children
Kristen Nicole: that sounds so fun
Kristen Nicole: are you going to put up pictures on facebook?
Kristen Nicole: cool
Kristen Nicole: what else are you excited for?
Kristen Nicole: do you have any fun plans for next summer or something?
Norbu: hmmm not yet pplan]
Kristen Nicole: do you think you'll be in McLeodganj then?
Kristen Nicole: or Dharamsala?
Kristen Nicole: because I'm planning to come and I would like to meet you in person!
Kristen Nicole: you've been so kind to me online
Norbu: 'ohh i be here \
Norbu: normally we dont go out in summer
Norbu: only in winter we go
Kristen Nicole: why?
Norbu: just like thAT...MAY BE ITS OUT HERE IN INDIA IN SYUMMER
Norbu: N WINTER MOST PLACE GET MODERATE IN WEATHER
Kristen Nicole: oh dear! caps lock!
Kristen Nicole: phew
Kristen Nicole: Norbu, is it really 1:25 your time?
Norbu: its 12 .0 noon
Kristen Nicole: Oh, then skype is lying to me
Norbu: hahah ya tech sometimes lies
Norbu: u nver rely fully on it..thats how compt n tech are
Norbu: they are man made n
Norbu: thus are not foool proff
Kristen Nicole: yep, you're right!
Kristen Nicole: I'm glad it's not ridiculously late for you
Kristen Nicole: another question--how did you become so good at English?
Norbu: haha am not that good in english
Norbu: but rather manageable
Norbu: read lots of scraps/..hmmmm
Kristen Nicole: scraps of what?
Norbu: new or sort of things hahaha
Norbu: just anything...thats contains infor
Kristen Nicole: so, do you teach yourself English?
Kristen Nicole: or did you learn it mostly in school?
Norbu: in school n college...n reading
Kristen Nicole: wow, good for you
Kristen Nicole: did you go to college in India?
Norbu: i did masters degree in social work
Kristen Nicole: wow
Kristen Nicole: I know a girl who wants to go into social work
Kristen Nicole: how did you decide to do that?
Norbu: just some kinda inner gateway..
Norbu: interest of working for the people in need
Kristen Nicole: you're a good person
Kristen Nicole: is that why you work in the TCV?
Norbu: i dont know...
Kristen Nicole: I think it is
Kristen Nicole: most likely
Norbu: tcv is like my home..
Norbu: i ahve my real home in tibet
Kristen Nicole: did you go to school in the TCV?
Norbu: n since child hopod i grew here in tcv
Kristen Nicole: oh, cool
Kristen Nicole: do you get to go back to Tibet sometimes?
Norbu: i went several times.but not lately...last many yeras
Norbu: things are harder now
Kristen Nicole: why?
Kristen Nicole: you don't have to tel lme
Kristen Nicole: tell me*
Norbu: n bexoz of chiense
Norbu: ofcourse things went worse in recent timess
Kristen Nicole: I'm sorry
Norbu: its ok
Kristen Nicole: remind me what you do in the TCV
Kristen Nicole: don't you work in the office?
Norbu: wortk in tcv
Kristen Nicole: what do you do for them?
Norbu: i work as alumni desk coordinator n aslso summer camp
Norbu: n take pictures...on time ti time
Kristen Nicole: and you keep up their facebook page
Kristen Nicole: I noticed that you update it all the time
Kristen Nicole: good for you
Norbu: many people love it n i keep on with it...hahaha
Kristen Nicole: awesome! and that's your work! you should be proud of yourself
Kristen Nicole: why are you laughing? :)
Kristen Nicole: I'm serious
Kristen Nicole: :)
Norbu: ok thanks nfor appreciation
Kristen Nicole: you're welcome!
Kristen Nicole: you deserve it
Kristen Nicole: what's the best thing about working at TCV?
Norbu: hmm satisfaction n feeling at home!1
Kristen Nicole: sounds like the perfect job for you
Kristen Nicole: hey, did you get a chance to read those questions yet?
Kristen Nicole: what do you think of them?
Norbu: its quite interseintg
Norbu: but siome of them..are strange
Kristen Nicole: yeah?
Kristen Nicole: haha
Kristen Nicole: which ones?
Norbu: i got to now
Norbu: for lunch
Norbu: catch u late
Norbu: wat u say
Kristen Nicole: oh, okay
Kristen Nicole: talk to you later!
Norbu: have a good night\
[12:09:48 AM] Kristen Nicole: thanks, have a good lunch!
Photo credit JaBB