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An Interview with Natnael

January 16, 2020

Student author Natnael poses for a photo in 826 Boston's EMK Writers' Room.

Who are the students that visit, study, write, and create in 826 Boston’s Writers’ Rooms? Meet Natnael from the Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers. He’s working on a novel, loves math, and remembers the exact day he moved to Boston three years ago.

Tell us about where you grew up.

I was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It’s in East Africa. I lived there for the first 13 years of my life. I came here March 8, 2016. It was a Tuesday. I came straight to Boston. I’ve been here for three years and nine months.

What are some differences between the EMK and the Ethiopian schools you attended?

Here, you can say mean things to a teacher and no one’s gonna care, but there you might get suspended. Here, it’s 90 minutes of a block. There it’s 45 minutes. Here it’s 7 classes, there it’s 10-14. 

Tell us about a teacher who has had a significant impact on you.

When I was in 7th grade, my biology teacher. I took bio, chemistry, and physics. My biology teacher inspired me in many ways. He helped me get through many of my works and helped me understand most of the class.

What is your favorite school subject, and why?

It’s math because I don’t have to do much memorization or writing, and it’s kind of fun. It’s just playing with numbers. I think precalc is easy. Nowadays, I feel that the AP classes are not actually challenging. For example, in AP Bio we get a packet for the week. For precalc, we do homework 2 or 3 times a week, but it’s not that much.

What do you usually work on when you come to the Writers’ Room?

English. Writing the novel which I still didn’t finish. I’ve got an idea for part two; I took one prompt from the box and found a part two. I’m not done with the first one and I’ve already got a part two.

Do you have any ideas for writing projects you’d like to do in the future?

Maybe research, because I’m trying to get my doctorate in rocket science if possible. In case I get it, I have to write a research paper. Then after that, I probably have to write reports.

What job would you like to end up doing?

I don’t know, honestly. I’m trying to do engineering. Something like engineering…I like invention. I’m a more hands-on student.

Do you like to read? What are your favorite books or genres?

It depends on what I’m reading. If it’s fiction and a graphic novel I’ll be interested, but if it’s nonfiction, I’m not interested. I like fake things. They’re very interesting and fascinating. They inspire me.


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