This instalment of the Snapshot interview features someone that is special to me, Susan Monro. Susan has been like a mother figure to me over the last few years while I worked with her at Acadia University in the lab we share. She is the person that first got me involved with theatre, and we have even worked together on multiple shows. She is someone that I actively seek out for advice in my own life, and I am happy to call her a friend. So, without further ado, Susan Monro.
Susan first met her husband Brad when they lived in Guelph, Ontario. Both 22 at the time. They worked at women’s and men’s clothing outlets respectively right across from one another, in what I imagine to be a Romeo and Juliet type situation; the star-crossed sales associates. Both caught the others eye and soon were dating. They were able to share a similar upbringing being the middle-children in their families which led them to have similar views of life, and they both bonded over how they were jokester trying to keep the peace. After being together for 8 months, Brad “tricked” Susan into marrying him, as she tells it. Brad had joined the military, and wanted Susan to join him but she could only come if they were married. Turns out, that wasn’t the case as common-law partners were allowed to move with military personnel, but the marriage has turned out to be a 33-year-long affair so I think Brad was justified.
Susan has lived in a number of different places often bouncing back and forth between the Annapolis Valley and Ontario. Susan first lived in Nova Scotia in the late 80s to the early 90s and at the time, she felt it didn’t suit her. But after moving back to Ontario and being there for about 7 years, she realized that the Annapolis Valley had grown on her. During her time in Ontario, Susan had taken a trip to the Peruvian Amazon. She went because of some advice she was given while working at Niagara-on-the-Lake. There was this group of older women who seemed to be in their 90s. They told Susan “Don’t wait until you’re old like us and can barely walk. Travel when you’re young, beg, borrow, or steal the money, just do it!” With that new found little gem of knowledge, Susan wanted an adventure and decided Peru was the place to have it.
After coming back, she had a new outlook on life which consisted of seeing the world as waves, where every wave is like an opportunity knocking and you can choose to go with the flow, or push against it. She has largely gone with the waves of life which served as the catalyst for her and Brad to move back to the Annapolis Valley, this time settling in Berwick, where they have been ever since. Soon after becoming re-acquainted with life on the east coast, Susan decided to go back to school, and chose Acadia University for her post-secondary studies. It was there that she birthed her 2 degrees, a B.Sc. consisting of a double major in Chemistry and Biology, and a M.Sc. in Chemistry. During the co-op period of her undergraduate degree, Susan became interested in acting. Joining her colleague from the Kentville Research Station, they went to audition for the Jane Austen’s Emma at CentreStage Theatre. Susan loved the part she got, a smaller role with large impact. Susan actually aspires to direct her own show about part of her own life. One recent achievement that Susan is thrilled about is a book she published called Call Me Terry, an autobiography of her father Terry Powell. Susan loved her father greatly and thought of him in very high regard. She encouraged him to write about his life because she loved his stories. Unfortunately, he was unable to write his whole life before passing away and only covered up to the 1950s. Susan’s mother, Helen, however was a part of Terry’s life at that point and she was able to finish the autobiography. It wasn’t until recently that Susan and Helen decided to publish the manuscript. Upon receiving the finished product Susan said to herself “Well Dad, we finally did it”.