Listen to this episode of “Last Call” online!
There are people who think they can change minds, people who know they can change minds and, through constant effort, people who actively change lives. And then, there’s Ariel Kamen.
Through her work with the Drexel Autism Support Program (DASP), her constant writing efforts and training as a nurse with a neurology specialty, I knew that any conversation with Ariel would be highly multifaceted. Thus, entering the interview with zero expectations was a foregone conclusion.
However, there was one thing I knew: Ariel was very enthusiastic about our interview after mutually discussing it for weeks on end. The reason? I had seen Ariel in her natural environment as an activist, philosopher and writer. Yet, as a writer, reporter and interviewer myself, she hadn’t seen me in mine.
From moment one, even before pressing record, she continually asked questions, wondering what I was doing and why it was essential to the production, from the microphone setup to the plan when sitting to do the interview. The inquisitiveness was more than apparent, and it was that energy that made me optimistic what would transpire during her interview would be nothing short of golden.
When the microphones started recording, even though we had entered the world I was familiar with, it was almost as if traveling down the rabbit hole. Nothing around me seemed familiar as Ariel captivated me with numerous stories, such as her short tenure at Indiana University, how she ended up arriving at Drexel in the first place and her ongoing efforts in writing “A Black Whole.”
Not even my watch beeping with news about the impeachment inquiry could tear me away. Despite the depth of the interview and how much more I knew about Ariel as a result, I was still left with more questions than answers.
After completing “A Black Whole,” what does she plan for her writing career? Will she end it or continue, potentially creating something out of “I am” statements? What will she do as a nurse and neurologist in the future, and what future insights would she let loose to brighten more lives?
Those questions I cannot answer. However, the episode reveals answers all on their own, and all amount to the person that is Ariel Kamen.