This oral history interview is an intimate conversation between two people, both of whom have generously agreed to share this recording with Oral History Summer School, and with you. Please listen in the spirit with which this was shared.
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Erica O’Neil collected Melina Jeune’s oral history on Thursday, June 22, 2018, in the Community Room of the Hudson Public Library in Hudson, NY. Melina is fourteen years old with three years left in high school. Her mother, Dr. Tanya Mays-Jeune, was previously interviewed by the Hudson Oral History Project. Melina describes her daily routine as a teenager in Hudson, taking the listener on a walk through a day in her life. Melina describes her relationships and responsibilities to her friends, family, teachers, and pets. She also describes her relationship to the natural world in Hudson, including how she cares for and raises tadpoles and fish she catches in the creek behind her house. She discusses the challenges and benefits of transferring from a private school to a public high school, among them greater access to organized sports and advanced placement courses, at the cost of leaving a close friend group. She discusses the preconceived notions that some of her private school peers had about the public high school in Hudson as being dangerous, accusations she has found to be overexaggerated if not fabricated. She is active in numerous sports, including tennis, swimming, and track and field, among others. She is also academically high achieving and discusses her successes in school and her aspirations to go to college and attend dentistry school.
Erica O’Neil earned her PhD in biology with a concentration in history and philosophy of science from Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. Prior to that, she worked as a physical anthropologist in Phoenix, Arizona, for almost a decade, working in cultural resource management. She is the Project Director for Reproductive Health Arizona, an historical project that records Arizona’s history of reproductive health in a sustainable, online format that promotes reflection on the past, present, and future meaning of reproductive health in the state.
This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please click here to inquire about permissions.
Oral history is an iterative process. In keeping with oral history values of anti-fixity, interviewees will have an opportunity to add, annotate and reflect upon their lives and interviews in perpetuity. Talking back to the archive is a form of “shared authority.”