There are so many fascinating Kates out there. And every week, Kate-book.com is resolving to introduce you to a new one. This week, I would like you to meet Kathleen Neafsey, 51, of Staten Island, New York—who you already know a bit from her column Fabri-Kate, where so far, she has given you six fantastic crafting projects to try at home. Without further ado, 13 questions with Kate.
Hey Kate, what do you do?
At the moment, I’m transitioning. I had been a teacher’s assistant in a Pre-K class for nine years, then for the past four years I worked with a child with special needs. Although I was thinking of going in a completely different direction now, I interviewed at a special needs school this week and fell in love with the class that I was able to observe – so who knows!?
How did you get started in your line of work?
Quite by accident, really, but I love it.
What’s something you wish people knew or understood better about what you do?
That children are really amazing, some just require more patience than others. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with three and four-year olds, the age when they’re so innocent and honest in how they see things. They’re like little sponges and they take in everything, so it’s really important to teach them patience and kindness from an early age. Most kids want the same thing; they want to be loved and accepted for who they are.
In an ideal world, where making a living weren’t an issue, what would you be doing?
I’d be a roadie for Bruce Springsteen, but in the event that doesn’t happen … traveling! Road trips throughout the U.S. — to see all the great stuff that’s right here in our own backyard. Then there’s a short list of European countries that I’d like to visit and, in some cases, re-visit.
What’s a band, television show, book, or movie that you hope Kate-book readers will go watch, listen to, or read RIGHT NOW?
The Help, by a Kate — aka Kathryn Stockett. Even though I read it a couple of years ago, I still recommend it to everyone. It has such a powerful message, again coming back to the theme that people have the same basic wants: to be loved, appreciated, and respected. I put off seeing/watching the movie for a while because I was afraid it wouldn’t be as good as the book, but I watched it recently with my daughters and I loved it as much as the book.
What’s your favorite stop to make on a road trip?
A bathroom stop, and a coffee stop – in either order.
Who is your celebrity doppelganger?
I’m one of a kind.
What’s the first concert you ever went to?
The Eagles at Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City. The Eagles are no longer a band, and Roosevelt Stadium no longer exists. Thankfully, Jersey City is still on the map!
If you were forced to get a tattoo right at this moment, what would you get?
Dandelions blowing in the wind. I’ve seen it before and I like it, I just don’t have the nerve to do it.
What’s your favorite thing about your name?
That there are so many derivations of it — one to match each personality!
Your least favorite thing about your name?
Growing up in the ’60s, I didn’t like that there were so many in one classroom: Katherine, Catherine, Kathleen, Kathy, Cathy — I was never quite sure which one of us was being scolded by the nuns.
Who is your favorite famous Kate?
Easy — Katharine Hepburn. Aside from the fact that she’s absolutely stunning, she was her own person. She spoke her mind, wore what she wanted to wear, and lived her life the way she chose. Um, yeah, I’d say we’re kind of similar.
Tell me about a Kate out there who you wish were a household name.
Wow, I can’t think of even one at the moment!
Know a Kate, Caty, Katherine, or Catelynn who needs to be Kate of the Week? Awesome! Send me a tip at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be in touch with them soon.