Conversations With My New Friend Oneg
An Interview of Sorts
Social media is great, isn't it? Especially for Vocal creators. Facebook has many groups dedicated to Vocal creators. In the group Vocal Writers Sharing Community, there are many games and contests that help feature creators and increase reads for those who participate. (If you haven't already joined this group, you can find it here). One of the challenges posed in this particular group is called "Not My Shoes Interviews". We were randomly assigned partners to interview. One problem-I have never done an interview. So I approached it a little differently. My interview partner and I didn't have a laundry list of questions for each other; we just had conversations. That is how I get to know people. And I love getting to know people.
Let me introduce my interview partner for this challenge, Oneg. On Vocal, they go by Oneg In The Arctic, and their profile can be found here.
Oneg lives on a First Nation reservation. It's a small Ojibway community in the middle of the the Bush (forests) in Canada. They are a teacher, which I believe is one of the noblest professions, and in their fourth year teaching. This year they are teaching grade 6/7. They write about this in their piece titled "5 Things I Learned While Teaching Up North".
We talked about music, which is a huge part of my life, so we have that in common. Their taste is what I would call eclectic, and they listen to everything except country and gospel. They listen to indie alternative, classical, world music, reggaeton, and EDM. They also introduced me to a band called Apocalyptica. (I still have to check them out).
Oneg loves cooking, especially cuisine from all over the world. They took part in a collaborative project through one of the great vocal groups on Facebook. In their piece for the Vocal Cooks Collaborative, "A Northern Cooking Experience", they share their favorite recipes from all types of cuisine and how challenging it can be to find the ingredients they need up north. In my favorite part of that piece, they talk about how food and hunting for food is a community affair and linked to the culture of the native people. An interesting little side note, while they do not have a green thumb, they have cilantro growing in a bean can in the window.
In their spare time, Oneg reads, writes, and watches Netflix. There isn't much else to do where they live, but that is ok; they like the calmness and peacefulness that comes with living a simple life. They enjoy reading young adult fiction and historical events. Their writing is diverse-poetry, narratives, and short story fiction. Their favorite pieces they wrote are "Nuna", "Wake Up", and "5 Things I've Learned From Teaching in the North". In their poetry and stories, they obviously have an appreciation, almost a reverence for nature and the earth.
My favorite piece by them is "When You Don't Care About Christmas". It is good to see different perspectives on a holiday that has become commercialized and not celebrated by everyone. The last paragraph sums it all up nicely. "I guess, for all those that are celebrating any holiday with family and/or friends, I hope you have a marvelous time. And for anyone who's kickin' it solo like me and kind of wants to just hide in a cave, we'll get through it. Somewhat together.”
In our conversations, I learned that Oneg is getting married in January! We talked about our life partners, and one of the things they said to me was, "You ever just look at your partner and be like (insert heart eyes and star eyes emoji)". I could totally relate. We talked about wedding nerves, love, and how our partners are the best for us.
They also have a doggo, Zack. No matter the day they have, he is always excited to see them when they arrive home.
I hope you enjoyed learning about Oneg, and I hope you took the time to read the stories linked in this piece. Even though we are a whole continent apart, I appreciate getting to know them and look forward to many more conversations to come. As I said at the beginning of this piece, social media is great, isn't it?