“Peace may not be so far away” from The Secret Language of Birthdays by Gary Goldschneider & Joost Elffers

Kimberly Swerdfeger by ©Emily Dozois

When I first met Mme. Swerdfeger, I was a meek, quiet, fifteen year-old-girl who hadn’t quite figured out who I wanted to be. I was lucky enough to have Mme. as a teacher for the rest of my high school career, and she helped me much more than she realizes inside and out of class. I most definitely would not be the person that I am now without her care and guidance when I most needed it. Though I have graduated now, I still enjoy paying visits to my old school and especially to some of my favourite teachers. On one of my visits, Mme. Swerdfeger and I went outside to take some photos. I picked somewhere colourful, to bring out her ocean-blue eyes and optimistic, cheerful, upbeat nature. She is one of the few people I know who are able to not only find positive things in dark places, but help others find them too. – Emily D

Image © Emily Dozois

An Interview with Kimberly

Q. What is your best memory/moment from one of your past birthdays?

A. Having birthday parties/slumber parties as a child.

Q. How about the worst? And why?

A. [no answer]

Q. What was the present you’ve received for your birthday that most surprised you?

A. [no answer]

Q. Is there one food or dish that you insist in eating during your birthday celebration?

A. Seafood, Red Lobster.

Q. What do you believe is the most important aspect of celebrating a birthday?

A. Being with family and friends.

Q. Do you/your family/culture have any traditions/rituals/ceremonies that are performed to celebrate birthdays? What is it?

A. Birthday supper with cake.