it started when i was five with the release of spy kids. i remember dressing in all black, throwing on a pair of black shades, and using a set of my mom’s headphones to carry out secret missions with my younger sisters in our backyard. in middle school, i started the Gallagher Girls series by ally carter and was, once again, transported to a world of secrecy and danger, where covert operations and secret missions were the norm. as i passed the through middle school and high school, that world seemed more imaginary than real–spies were characters, not real people. i still enjoyed spy movies but could no longer see myself as the pretend secret agent i had been when i was younger. last week, however, i had the unique opportunity of meeting michael sulick, the former director of the national clandestine services for the united states of america. now here was a man who had been a real-life international spy–he was a member of the CIA for over thirty years, working covertly in countries such as russia and poland. mr. sulick shared stories of his work, some humorous, others frightening and talked about the relationship between the CIA and other governmental organizations. he gave insight into the life of a spy, from their relationship with their family to the reports they have to write back at headquarters. it was quite possibly one of the most unique lunches in my life, and may have sparked a renewed interest in the occupation that captivated me when i was younger. super secret spies may not be so imaginary after all.