On Saturday, October 10th, I interviewed Wesley Shelley, a local school psychologist who specializes in working with youth on the autism spectrum. I asked about his career, his perspective on what defines autism, and his experience in drama-based therapy. His perspective is actually quite interesting, as well as empathetic. I really appreciated talking with him, and may possibly conduct a 2nd interview with him.
Emmett Angle 0:00
Emmett Angle 0:01
Yeah. So first so what I think this interview will work is that will I have a couple of questions? few questions. So side, but I would also like to, for it to be kind of conversational too. Yeah. So my first kind of thing is, uh, what’s your experience in working with autistic people over the years?
Wesley Shelley 0:25
Sure, um, my wife and I, we met
Wesley Shelley 0:29
at a school for boys who got kicked out of public school.
Wesley Shelley 0:34
And so they live there. They live there during the week, and on the weekend, they went home, and quite a, quite a few, my guess is maybe like, 20% or so.
Wesley Shelley 0:47
We’re probably on the spectrum.
Wesley Shelley 0:50
So yeah, that was when we, you know, right after we graduated college. So right before 2019 98 and 99. So that’s, that’s when it started. And honestly, I’ve been working with students, you know, on the, on the spectrum, since then. So, and a bunch of different capacities. So they’re, there was a school there. So it was a residential program. So I literally was living with the kids from after school until when they went to sleep. And sometimes I did the overnight.
Wesley Shelley 1:26
So just helping them navigate friendships, helping them
Wesley Shelley 1:31
you know, keep small problems small, ride mountain bikes with them, playing Pokemon, one second, or my daughter’s in her room, getting stuck, our house is small, you’re fine. And then later at that school, I was the art teacher. So I taught arch for two years, I worked in the evening program, and then I taught art.
Wesley Shelley 2:01
And then after that,
Wesley Shelley 2:04
there’s just so much my goodness, I’m old.
Wesley Shelley 2:10
I, when we moved to Charlottesville,
Wesley Shelley 2:15
I taught math at Sutherland Middle School.
Wesley Shelley 2:19
And there might have been, you know, a few students on a spectrum. But most recently, you know, I’ve been a school psychologist for a while and and since 2005 2006. I mean, all the schools I’ve worked with, worked at, I’ve supported a bunch of students and in various capacities, I’ve led social skills, social skills groups, I’ve done Lego groups as well, which is fantastic. And I’ve done some some groups that have sort of like what you’re talking about, which sort of more of like a drama focus. None of if you’re familiar with the social competence intervention program, I’ve sort of used that as a framework, that’s something that you might want to look up. That’s, I think one of the first sort of published programs that specifically is drama type programs that specifically geared towards students on the spectrum, at least that I’ve seen. That was awesome. And I still use actually a lot of those activities with with my students. And I’ve done a lot of problem solving with teachers in terms of how to support students on the spectrum, whether that’s, you know, helping them regulate their strong emotions, whether that’s being flexible. Whether that’s, you know, getting along with other people, so I’m old, it’s been about like, 20 years of experience with students, you know.
Emmett Angle 3:44
And, yeah, so when you were teaching art at that boarding school, was it in a therapeutic sense? Or is it just like teaching art? Like, what
Wesley Shelley 3:53
was teaching art? Which is, you know, in many senses so easy.
Wesley Shelley 4:00
Wesley Shelley 4:03
at the skin, you know, at the same school, you know, you’re teaching students who, like, if you think about, it’s like, if you ask most kids, right. So you go to a typical public school, like, you asked, like, What do you like about school? I like PE, right. I like lunchtime. I like recess. You know? Sure. There’s plenty of students and you know, more so the students at Renaissance are going to say, like, Oh, I love pretty much any class, but you talk to sort of your average kid or maybe your kid who’s struggling in school, you know, a lot of them are going to be like, you know, I love to eat or there’s a plenty of students, especially in elementary school, I feel like like, I love art, right? It’s just fun to just create stuff. You don’t get graded. It’s just, you know, be creative and have fun. So I think that’s, that’s totally up to me. That’s totally different than, you know, trying to help a kid love to read who’s hated reading for years, right?
Emmett Angle 5:04
So, yeah, in your experience, how would you best define the autism spectrum? In your opinion?
Wesley Shelley 5:11
What do you mean?
Emmett Angle 5:12
Like, just, if you were like, it can just, it can be anything like, if you define it just based on like, did it like kind of the what the DSM five defines it as? Or if you have any, like particular? In your experience? Like, what? What kind of traits come to mind when you think of autism spectrum?
Wesley Shelley 5:34
Yeah, I mean, I could get, I could sort of go deep in the weeds of this one. Just because, you know, what I specialize in is,
Wesley Shelley 5:45
is his evaluation.
Emmett Angle 5:48
Emmett Angle 5:51
you know, and you can talk about the DSM. And
Wesley Shelley 5:54
I think what this is, what’s hard, because I work with plenty of families.
Wesley Shelley 6:00
And actually, let me give you an example. Yeah, so
Wesley Shelley 6:05
I did an independent evaluation for a student.
Wesley Shelley 6:09
And not in this area, but like an hour and a half or so. It was, it’s a second opinion evaluation. So I’m often called on if the school district completes testing for students, and the parents like, Hey, I don’t agree with this, or I want a second opinion. I do a lot of those evaluations. And actually, this is maybe like the third or fourth evaluation for the student. And the question was, Hey, does the student have autism? Or not? That’s one of many questions. Actually, the other question was, how much is anxiety? And back in the student? Does the student have dyslexia? Like, what are the other learning struggles that are going on? It was pretty, pretty complicated case. Um,
Wesley Shelley 6:56
Wesley Shelley 6:59
here’s what’s hard to this kid’s been evaluated many times. No labels gonna change who this kid is? Let’s be honest, right? Like, no label doesn’t maybe help us understand the student? I guess it could. But that’s sort of understanding Autism is very like this. Like, here’s autism. Right. And, and we know, that’s just not the case. Because what do I know, I know that in my observation of the students, like he was engaged, like he was engaged in pretty interactive with his, you know, with his, his classmates, plenty of nonverbal communication, decent inside about relationships. Does that mean that because this is what we also know, and this has been my experience, there might be students who don’t, quote unquote, meet criteria for autism spectrum now. But when social demands increase in middle school or high school or college, you’re like, Ooh, yeah, like I can, maybe, maybe they are on the spectrum. And that happens, sometimes. I think we live in a culture in society that puts a lot of emphasis on on labels. And I think there’s some benefits to that. And I think that helps people understand, but I think it can also be reductive. And it can pigeonhole people. And, you know, there’s been times to where I’ve completed evaluations, I’m like, No, you know, your, your student is not on the spectrum. I know, you think he is, and I know you’ve read a lot. And you expected me to say, Yes, he’s on a spectrum. But here are the other things that are going on that are that are pretty big. That doesn’t mean that he’s never going to maybe qualify any criteria. But that means there’s, there’s some bigger things going on. And they might go and get us, you know, another opinion evaluation, which is fine. But I think, I think that’s what’s hard about again, it’s sort of like ADHD, right? You know, and, and that you probably don’t, I think as an adult, there’s plenty of adults who say, you know, I have ADHD, right, ADHD, and it’s in
Wesley Shelley 9:19
it sort of cheapens it if you will.
Wesley Shelley 9:23
As opposed to,
Wesley Sheley 9:25
I don’t care. Like
Wesley Shelley 9:30
I don’t care what diagnosis they might be, or might not be, like we’re all humans, and ensure can help us understand each other. But no matter what, you’re human, and we need to navigate this world together. So anyway, I went on a total tangent. I mean, here’s what’s hard to it’s like, well, magically Asperger’s is gone. Like that’s sort of wonky. You know, DSM five comes out, Asperger’s no longer exists. That’s weird. Especially if you about, you know, like the PDD nos category, I don’t know if you’re familiar with that. So like there’s, you know, basically, it’s sort of like a I’ll stop after this, I could go on and on. The DSM is political, right? Because if you if you think about it, before the DSM five came out in the DSM five says there is no more Asperger’s, it’s just all autism spectrum. Before that came out, there is a subset of students that that met criteria for pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified PDD nos. And actually, probably most students will probably fall under that category. Those students probably wouldn’t qualify under the new criteria for autism spectrum disorder. But they, but they do because they sort of conveniently put, hey, if you met criteria for PTSD, and I was before, you automatically mean criteria now, even though you don’t if you go through the criteria, you don’t, you probably wouldn’t qualify, if that makes sense.
Emmett Angle 11:03
Yeah, and I think it’s a it’s a really good point you made about the new Botha like DSM five and stuff like actually kind of pigeon holing and only looking at the problems like, from like, one angle, and not necessarily from like, every angle like like, maybe someone is not maybe someone doesn’t have like poor interactions with peers for like other reasons. Like maybe they’re bullied or something, it isn’t just like, think pigeonholing into like labels is just sometimes reductive and even, like, maybe not necessarily the wisest thing to do.
Wesley Shelley 11:39
Yeah. Yeah. And I mean, we know it’s just like ADHD, there’s plenty of reasons for a student to struggle paying attention. And there’s plenty of students, plenty of reasons for students to struggle socially. I mean, I work with plenty of students with anxiety disorders, or with social anxiety disorder, or, you know, who are depressed or like, I don’t care about what talking with other people, because I’m just life is crappy right now. Yeah. So, or, I don’t care about talking with people, because I’m just comfortable sitting here at home by myself. And I don’t want to be around anyone else. And but they’re interact with me just fine. And with strangers is fine. But they’re not going to stretch themselves and go out to, you know, something with peers.
Emmett Angle 12:22
Emmett Angle 12:24
Yeah, so I think another thing I wanted to mention was autism spectrum. And like, or mean, not like people who are diagnosed on the spectrum, I should say, tend to have a like, special interest. Like, for example, it’s usually something that’s a little more idiosyncratic, are not quite, like not quite normal, per se, like, maybe, for example, like a fan or something. And I’ve, I’ve also noticed that they tend to be a lot more, like, since they tend to be a lot more like real interests, like kind of objects are things like using the five senses. Would you agree with that?
Wesley Shelley 13:06
Sure. Yeah. Yeah, I mean, I’m working with a student now who’s obsessed with
Wesley Shelley 13:12
is obsessed with
Wesley Shelley 13:16
pretty much weapons of mass destruction.
Wesley Shelley 13:20
And he’s a 13 year old. So. Yeah, sort of interesting. That’s that that’s not really typical. Right? I mean, if we’re honest.
Emmett Angle 13:28
Yeah, that’s, that’s a good one.
Wesley Shelley 13:33
Yeah, so what are in your experience? Wash? What? What comment? What therapy methods have you used that have been like the most effective with people on the autism spectrum?
Wesley Shelley 13:51
So I mean,
Wesley Shelley 13:55
I’ve called I mean, I’ve done a lot of consulting and collaborating with teachers, in terms of helping them understand students, and putting in structures and routines
Wesley Shelley 14:09
Unknown Speaker 14:12
and plans to help students so I mean, what I’ve seen work really well. And I’ve worked with a lot of, you know, quote, unquote, autism specialists to either there. There’s a difference there as well. I mean, you have some who are much more behavior oriented, like board certified behavior analysts. You all have other folks who are more teachers trained. I don’t know if you’re familiar with that. But it’s basically it’s a training through that’s affiliated with with UNC I think. But in the end, it’s sort of revolves around like, how do we help?
Wesley Shelley 14:50
How do we help support them in terms of
Wesley Shelley 14:54
just being a student, right? I mean, let’s be honest, in terms of getting the work done in terms of shifting from one thing to the next, in terms of being motivated to do something that might be non preferred, when all they really want to do is something that’s, you know, that’s preferred. And they could do that for hours and hours. You know, what I’ve done some, some individual work with, with students on the spectrum, but what I found to be really most helpful is are those groups or those group activities, because let’s face it in a classroom environment, in a classroom setting, students on the spectrum are really any student with social skills deficits, they’re not getting the the direct, and the explicit feedback that they need socially, to make gains. And oftentimes, those classroom settings are so big, and there’s so much going on, that it’s sort of a setup for failure, and, or a setup for isolation. And so I love to, like I love groups for that, for that reason is that, hey, like kids can be successful in a small group with an adult there. And I can help them navigate and problem solve, when when disagreements come up, I can help them recognize nonverbal cues, I can help them so to work through these things. And really, my goal in these groups is for this to be a safe place, and for this to be a successful social experience. Because that’s hard to come by for these kids. I mean, let’s be honest, in the public school, these are the kids who
Wesley Shelley 16:25
they’re sitting by themselves in the lunchroom.
Wesley Shelley 16:28
And, or if they’re not sitting by themselves, maybe there’s like one, one or two other people and. And they’re, they’re ostracized. And that’s, that’s sad. And, and I don’t know, your experience, but in my experience, middle school tends to be the time that these students really start to struggle with feeling isolated, and depressed. And sad, because they look around and they’re like, a lot of other people are connected, I’m not. And I’m on the outside, and, and my big, you know, I work at one Middle School, and my big hope is for us as professionals in the entire school, they’re like, hey, how can we help this student? belong, right? And have a and have a group of friends that maybe it’s not a giant group, but even if there’s just one other kid, or one other adult that they can, that they have a relationship with? Like, that’s the big deal. They’re really big deal.
Emmett Angle 17:37
I think it makes so much like having even just one friend is I think something a lot of people just take for granted, but set someone on the spectrum, like, especially Middle School, because that’s like, it’s that’s when like, things like cliques start to form and gossip. And people are a little less people I think tend to care more about kind of social things. And then a lot people on the spectrum tend to not care as much about it, and then they’re depressed. And yeah, it’s, it can be really sad sometimes. And then. And I’m so actually thankful for the community that, like a school like Renaissance, I think is actually even though it is maybe not necessarily for people with learning disabilities. I mean, we have actually some students on the spectrum who go here, and I’ve noticed that Renaissance is because of a small community and just very supportive nature has really helped these students grow as people just yeah.
Wesley Shelley 18:39
Yeah. Awesome. Yeah.
Wesley Shelley 18:43
And that’s one of the reasons that we chose Renaissance is I mean, my wife and I, like I told you, when we met at this school, it was a small school, and it was very personal. And we we firmly believe because we’re both educators, we firmly believe that school should be personal. Yeah. And the last thing we want is for our kid just to be another number or another test score. And you know, the first after the first few weeks, you know, Zoey came back, she’s like, this feels like family. And we’re like, this is exactly why, you know, we wanted Renaissance.
Wesley Shelley 19:10
She is a weird homeschooler
Wesley Shelley 19:14
are those weird homeschoolers?
Emmett Angle 19:17
Yeah, so yeah. Remember, you said you have you’ve done some kind of like, drama ish related work in your therapy. Could you go into a little bit more detail about that?
Wesley Shelley 19:29
Wesley Shelley 19:32
So I think it’s sort of silly to there’s, you know, there’s some psychologists who, who
Wesley Shelley 19:45
talk about skills streaming.
Wesley Shelley 19:49
Just sort of like a program that’s basically basically sort of talking about, hey, there’s if a student is missing a skill or doesn’t have some kind A social skill, let’s just teach it to them directly. And I think to a certain extent that can be done. But I mean, let’s be honest, social situations are so varied and happen so quickly. Can you really teach all of that?
Wesley Shelley 20:18
And to me, I think the answer is no.
Wesley Shelley 20:21
And that’s why I appreciate I don’t know if you’re familiar with Michelle Garcia, winners think social curriculum. That’s pretty. Although I don’t, I love the foundation of it. I don’t, I don’t necessarily love the all the lessons. But basically, it says, Hey, our job is to teach kids to to be social problem solvers. Because you’re never going to face the same situation all the time. And so can they can they adapt? Can they read a room? Can they read a situation? Can they understand what’s expected? What’s unexpected? Can they be flexible in their thinking, and, and so that’s, you know, that’s why I appreciated the some of the drama activities that I’ve done is that social interactions happen so fast, and they keep you on your toes. And it shouldn’t be like, I don’t believe in this canvas, like, okay, let’s talk about introducing yourself, like, a certain extent, like, to a certain type of like, okay, sure, you can talk to a, you know, an elementary or middle school student about that, but, but when we talk about the more nuanced things, I don’t think that’s going to hold water. So some of the things for instance, were think some of the better ones. Some of the activities. Some of the warm up games are fun, they’re just regular drama activities, like, like, yes. And so you start a story, right? Yeah. Another one was what they call it se with feeling, which is just like a neutral statement. And then one student reads it, but they read it choosing an emotion, and then you have to do it, like other people need to decide like, what emotion are they trying to express? For instance,
Wesley Shelley 22:07
Like my house is filling with chocolate, right? Like, okay, you can be like, my house is filling with chocolate. Yeah. And to be quite frank with you, I feel like that’s a, this is a little bit off topic. I think that’s a fantastic assessment for, for autism for younger students. Because oftentimes, they really struggle with using any kind of emotion, you know, probably through, you know, not not all of them, but a good number of them. That maybe they can identify it. But in terms of producing it, it’s a different story. There’s one activity that was like talking gibberish. So there is a situation, right. So to lay the stage with a situation this person is, is maybe I don’t know, like the mayor, and this person is interviewing the mayor about some, maybe the, I don’t know, maybe the riots that have been going on or the statue that needs to be, you know, taken away. But they’re not allowed to speak in a real language. And so they have to, you know, like, use nonverbal cues to somehow Express Hey, like, I’m mad, or I don’t want to talk about this.
Wesley Shelley 23:25
Or I’m interested in this. So
Wesley Shelley 23:29
it’s been a while since I use so that was, you know, I’ve used that a decent amount. And that was, that was a few years ago, Lately, I’ve been gearing more towards just Lego groups, because it’s sort of just a common it’s cool to have a group that, that there’s like a common purpose and a shared purpose, where, you know, they together they problem solve and choose, like, what, what Lego set they want to build, they problem solve and choose, like, Who’s gonna have what role? They build it. And of course, like, through all of that, like, there’s going to be disagreements, and there’s going to be like, hey, let’s do it this way. Let’s do it that way. Or we’re running out of time. So I found that to be to be helpful as well, but I just went off topic, because that’s not talking about drama. Yeah.
Emmett Angle 24:26
Yeah, no, that’s super interesting that you mentioned drama therapy. I mean, that’s pretty much the root of my thesis paper is drama therapy. And I and I definitely agree with a lot of what she said that you can, you can pretty much a lot of drama, not just the games, but even like rehearsing in a play has a lot of benefits for people on the spectrum when they like when you have to like when you’re doing like character development. That’s, I think a really good that’s a really good practice of like Like, actually one of the is going on a tangent, and actually, Ms. Watson the theater teacher would make us ask all lots of questions like, what kind? What is your character’s favorite food? Or what? What facing like, when they’re frustrated or like, all that stuff? Like, just random questions out there. It’s like, it gives a lot of people, like, gives people on the spectrum, a lot of creative, like outlook, but it’s also a way to, like, better identify emotions. And
Wesley Shelley 25:37
yeah, I think it’s fantastic in terms of perspective taking and saying, okay, like, you know, like, the whole theory of mine, like, I am different than, like, This character is not me, they are different than me. And here is how they are different than me. And here is, you know, here are the things that probably we would do different, you know, in the same situation, or maybe we’ll, we’ll do the same thing in that, you know, in the same situation. Yeah.
Emmett Angle 26:04
I think, yeah, I definitely think drama has been a really good release helped for people on the spectrum. Yeah, and the thing is, also, that’s another kind of off rather off topic. Tangent was, you mentioned, like, people think casually, I have ADHD. I mean, I know, lots of celebrities do that with autism as well, like, Jerry Seinfeld is like, I’m, he was, like, I’m basically on the autism spectrum or something. And then there was like, in Yeah, it is very, like cheapening, and, like, kind of just treating them treating as like a joke. And when it just makes trivializes what I I would say,
Wesley Shelley 26:47
yeah, you don’t want to be a fad like, it seems like a fad. Right. Yeah, that’s, it’s uncomfortable. But I mean, I guess we do as a culture, we sort of, we mess things up, I guess, not as a culture as human beings. Right.
Emmett Angle 27:05
Emmett Angle 27:07
Yeah. Lastly, you What’s this is kind of a more personal question for you was, what’s been your favorite part about working with people on the spectrum?
Wesley Shelley 27:22
I love their honesty.
Wesley Shelley 27:31
I love how frequently
Wesley Shelley 27:35
they’re just gonna tell you what to think. Because I think, you know,
Wesley Shelley 27:40
like, there’s no, you’re not to second guess, like, do they really mean this? Or not? You know, are they telling me the truth? are they telling me what I think I want to hear? So I appreciate that honesty, that sort of, it’s disarming.
Wesley Shelley 27:59
Wesley Shelley 28:03
I just mean, I tend to work more with with kids, and maybe young team like tweens, then. I haven’t worked in a lot of high schools. Although I do have experience with high schoolers. I just, I don’t know, like, I love the I love these kids. I sort of love the underdog, right? I love supporting those kids who,
Wesley Shelley 28:31
you know, it’s sort of, you know,
Wesley Shelley 28:33
I think that seems to sound sort of we’re like, rooting for the underdog. But I think in many senses, it’s true, because it’s like, these are the kids that other people don’t understand, like I’ve worked with, you know, for instance, if you take a teacher, like how many? Like, how many students have I worked with on the spectrum? Wow, a lot. But how many teachers might have worked with a student on the spectrum? Not many, and so
Wesley Shelley 29:03
advocating for them?
Wesley Shelley 29:06
cheering for them, helping them? helping other people understand them?
Wesley Shelley 29:17
in their quirks?
Wesley Shelley 29:20
I don’t know. I think it’s one of my big goals is to in my job is how do we make school personal? And I feel like students on the spectrum where they give us a great opportunity to to show like, can we can we make it personal for these kids who, like you said, like, they’re on the outskirts?
Wesley Shelley 29:38
And can we be a cheerleader for them? And can we
Wesley Shelley 29:45
can we support them in a big system, where it’s hard, where it’s hard to make, you know, to get individual needs met? So yeah, I just I like knowing not knowing what to expect, you know, when we worked in residential is like, Thank you wouldn’t believe what happened today? Or, you know, like I would play. You know, for instance, just like joining the kids and like, I would play like, I was an adult, I was after college. And I totally got into playing Pokemon, because all the kids in my dorm were playing Pokemon. I’m like, like, why not? Like, it seems dumb. It seems silly. It seems childish. I don’t care. That’s what kids do. And, like, let’s do it. Like, it’s like, okay, I’ll build a deck, or I’ll build a Star Wars deck, you know. So just join in, join him with him and and embracing who they are. Because I feel like I don’t know, again, embracing them as people, period. Because oftentimes, you know, I work with students with disabilities with any number of disabilities. And oftentimes, they’re just misunderstood or misunderstood. And we try to, we try to put them in this box of what we think kids or teens should be, rather than celebrating. Sort of those, those differences that make them unique, and that make them more than a label. You know.
Emmett Angle 31:17
Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to talk to me. Yes.
Wesley Shelley 31:21
Oh, sure. Yeah, absolutely. So how many more? How many more interviews you got?
Emmett Angle 31:27
This is your my last of four interviews.
Wesley Shelley 31:30
Gotcha. Yeah. So how did you find me? I’m just curious.
Emmett Angle 31:34
I actually looked on psychology today. And I saw the last name Shelley. And it was, it seemed familiar and I’ve seen you around Renaissance. So I was like, Okay, I this like little bell rang in my head. And like, Is that Zoë’s, dad, and then I emailed you and then you responded back and it was like, not sure if you know, but Zoë’s in your theater class.
Wesley Shelley 31:55
That’s funny. Awesome. Cool. No, I’m happy to help. We do plans for college.
Emmett Angle 32:00
Yeah, I’m actually thinking VCU, or VCU and William and Mary are my top two and education. I’m planning on majoring that kind of like education psychology. In my like, my overall goal of being a high school history teacher. Not not unlike Mr. Tanner in
Wesley Shelley 32:22
Mr. Tanner is amazing.
Wesley Shelley 32:25
He cracks me up like insanely Nice. Yeah, I mean, when he retires, right? Like, who knows? How soon or far away? That would be? Cool. Cool. So what do you like for history? I mean, it’s always a history buff. Yeah. Tanner’s always surprised that but what do you like? What? What’s your What are your favorite history? History topic? Yeah, I tend to like a lot of
Emmett Angle 32:48
basically, it’s, yeah, I tend to like with harvests. It’s like I, I love Europe a lot. I just love Europe. I always liked. I really like a lot of actually, like, art history and scientific history. I just find it really fascinating. And yeah, I think I mean, also, like a lot of, like, politics of like, current modern day politics. I love discussing as well. Like, like he and I discussed about like the election. We’ve just lost, like the Iraq war. North Korea’s nuke situation, going back to the W MDS.
Wesley Shelley 33:29
Right. Right. Right. Yeah. Cool. Yeah, it’s fascinates me. So I mean, me Columbus Day is coming up, right. Like, I’m fascinated by. I’m more fascinated now. Partly because there’s just more, there’s better history books that are accessible for young kids. Like, we got to go into Steve shank and a little while ago, have you read? Have you read Bomb? Bomb? No, you need to read Bomb. The subtitle is the race to build and steal the world’s you know, like the atomic bomb or something like that. It’s fantastic. But anyway, I’m totally interested in. We have a little like a tiny bit of Native American blood and in our family, and just talking to some people who emigrated from Colombia. And Colombia has completely respected their indigenous people completely and said, we’re not going to bother you. You could stay in the jungle. We’re not going to tax you. We’re not going to take your land we’re going to do jack. And to compare that to the ridiculous history of our country. And, you know, Europeans in general, like wow, like, that’s, that’s amazing. It sort of blew my mind to think that like, wow, like some there are people in the history of the world who have done that, right. But anyway, so that’s, that’s actually what you need to look up Steve Shanken. Good thing you’re recording. He also wrote about, it’s got a bunch of bunch of books, like one on the Revolutionary War like King George, what was his problem? Good title. And then one was on.
Wesley Shelley 35:14
Oh my goodness, it was
Wesley Shelley 35:17
the port Republic 50 something like Anyway, it was like a World War Two, basically an African American unit who was loading and unloading, like torpedoes and bombs on these ships and in very dangerous conditions. And, like, one day, an accident happened completely, like, blew up, like destroyed, like this entire dock facility. And they’re like, we’re not going back to work. And they were they were tried for mutiny. So it’s interesting. Anyway, I could go on and on
Wesley Shelley 35:56
in your spare time, because I’m sure you got plenty of spare time.
Emmett Angle 35:59
Or maybe not as much now because I’m looking at college essays and stuff, right? Yeah,
Wesley Shelley 36:06
totally. Cool. Well, other questions come up, and then feel free to reach out and we should the best of luck, man.
Emmett Angle 36:12
All right. Thank you. Cool. Bye.
Wesley Shelley 36:15
Okay. Take care.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Shelley, Wesley. Personal interview. 10 Oct. 2020