Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Schooled by the Workplace, v. 3

I absolutely cannot wait for you to read this edition of Schooled by the Workplace. I laughed A LOT while reading this. Dear Maggie, you are hilarious and I'm sure Bones would be proud of the lady you are today. (You can read my edition here, or Suze's here. Email me if you'd like to contribute to a future edition of the Schooled series.)

by: Maggie Hansen

I started my first job ever – besides babysitting – the day after I graduated from high school. In an effort to keep my siblings and me focused on school, my parents had enforced a strict “no working during high school” rule (I'm talking stricter-than-curfew strict). And in high school, I thought I was pretty hot stuff. Having received numerous accolades, knowing I had a scholarship to attend an in-state university in the fall, I was fairly positive any place of business would be honored to have me on their payroll. And I had passed AP tests, for crying out loud – a petty job that paid minimum wage was small potatoes in my book. This prima dona got hired at a local Gandolfo's for the 3 month interim between high school and college. What I didn't know was that I'd learn life lessons in that sandwich shop that were at least as important as the knowledge I'd gain by continuing my education. What follows are some truisms that have come in handy while workings as a professional in my chosen field, but that didn't show up on any final exams.

#1: There is always a bigger circle in the world that does not have you as its center
I thought I knew everyone in my hometown. More importantly, I was fairly certain everyone knew me. Imagine my surprise to find out that I had never seen the majority of my co-workers before in my life. Even the familiar ones had been the kids whose faces I knew, but whose names I'd never bothered to learn.

#2: Your co-workers don't automatically like you
I had to earn respect: it didn't come to me just because my last name was Hansen, or because I was going to college Respect came as I took shifts for other people, or when I made sure the mayonnaise jar was full (more on mayo later). It was lost when I had to ask for the 100th time if someone could show me how to clean the soda machine spigots or when I fell for obvious practical jokes.

#3: Getting an A in English doesn't always translate into good work ethic and its sister truth: You are conspicuous when you watch TV while on the job
That big-screen TV with ESPN rolling non-stop turned out to be the bane of my employment. When business was slow, why bother looking for little jobs to do when I could watch Anna Kornikova smash the socks off of some hapless tennis opponent? I thought I was discreet, watching TV from the corner of the kitchen doorway Turns out I stuck out like a sore thumb when I failed to notice customer arrivals and no one was at the cash register.

#4 Everyone has to take a turn cleaning the toilet
I had thought I was only hired to run the cash register. Little did I know, I would be expected to make sandwiches, slice meat, mix the special mushroom sauce, take phone orders without forgetting about them, and, yes, clean restrooms. To make a business run, everyone has to do a little more than he or she was “hired to do”.

#5 Not everyone likes things the way you like them: or, How I learned not to put too much mayonnaise on sandwiches
Did you know that some people like mustard more than mayonnaise? I've always thought that was pretty messed up. So I interpreted loosely any customer instructions like “hold the mayo” or “extra mustard.” That was before I had really learned about calories or high cholesterol. And you know what? I couldn't force my love of mayo on people just by continuing to add it to their sandwiches; in fact, I got the privilege of re-making more than one sandwich that was made exactly to my specifications.

#6 You can always get fired
And I did. For not attending a mandatory meeting. And subsequently rehired, but not until I endured the shame of getting fired.

Can you imagine where I'd be if I hadn't gotten a job before beginning real life? Not only did this job take my ego down a notch or two, but it also helped me see what it takes to be a valued employee. And now, working at a hospital, I think of my manager, Bones(!) DeGraffenried, and I wonder if he would believe I ever survived in the real world. And I would say, “Bones, I owe it to you.” Thank you, workplace, for schooling me.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Morphit. And Birthday Weekend Stuff.

Why, hello! I have to say, I was honored and impressed and so touched by Chad's sweet post yesterday and your nice comments. I can't believe I have such a thoughtful husband and such wonderful friends. You all make 28 feel good. :)

Right now, I have to share this picture. It came from a dumb site called, where you get to input photos of two people and expectantly wait for a generated image of the two people--morphed into one. Of course, I put in a picture of Chad and one of me, hoping to see some adorable little Chad & Cammie baby. Instead, I got. . .

Legolas, with bangs. Nasty, nasty, nasty. I was so disappointed.

But let's not let this moment take away from the greatness of this weekend, and my birthday yesterday. It was such a wonderful day. We went to Bardstown, KY for a little road trip and took lots of pretty pictures.

 And this weekend, we went camping! We went to Jefferson Memorial Forest, and ended up at the same campsite we had last year (my sentimental heart was just singing, I tell you!).

And to top it all off, Chad made strawberry pie and we celebrated. It was a wonderful day and it made the transition to 28 a very happy one, indeed.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Birthday HIJACKING!!!

Chad Smith here. I'm taking over this site to tell Cammie just a few (28 to be exact) of the many reasons why I am madly in love with her. Please add your reasons too! (mostly I'm just looking for why you love/like Cammie. I'm not really interested in hearing why you may be madly in love with her...that one is kind of reserved for me.) Happy Birthday Pookie!!!

1) Cammie has such strong faith. Some may wonder why I put this first, but beside the fact that this list in not in order of importance, I believe our faith gives meaning to everything else in life--especially our relationships. Because Cammie has such a strong testimony of God and Christ, and Their plan for us, I can always trust that she will make decisions that will allow us to be together forever.

2) Cammie is cute, hot, and everything in between. I just think Cammie is the most beautiful creature on earth. She has the most amazing eyes, really awesome dimples, a very pretty smile, beautiful curly hair with sassy bangs, and a super cute little body. I could look at her all day. For free.

3) Cammie is a hard worker. 40+ hour work weeks...and then she comes home and takes care of me. That aint no easy thing!

4) Cammie is smart. I am always really impressed with how well she knows her field. She is always  pulling facts from research articles, teachers, and the DSM!!!

5) Cammie is smart, but doesn't make me feel stupid. I'm not very good at a lot of things that Cammie is really good at. Like spelling. But she never makes me feel dumb.

6) Cammie is funny. She makes me laugh. A lot. I'm really grateful for that because it makes life more enjoyable now, and I can see that her sunny disposition will be a big blessing in our home for the rest of our lives.

7) Cammie is so nice to people. Cammie would do anything for anyone. She is just that kind of person.

8) [This comment was flagged as inappropriate by the community and has been removed]

9) Cammie has the most gorgeous voice. I honestly just melt every time I hear her sing. A few days after we met we played guitars together, and when I heard her start singing I got this pit in my stomach because I thought there was no chance I was ever going to get someone so talented! I was really intimidated.

10) Cammie makes our house a home. I lived in the house we are in for a couple of months before we got married and Cammie moved in. No pictures, no decorations, no fresh scents. Cammie moved in and the feel in our house changed immediately.

11) Cammie is a sugar momma. That's right--this girl brings home the bacon. Lots of it. I'm grateful that she provides so well for us while I in school.

12) Cammie can shred a guitar. Read #9, inserting "playing" in place of "singing." Most girls can play a few chords (really sexist comment, I know, but this has definitely been my experience), so when Cammie said she played guitar, that is about all I expected. She blew me away when she started playing very complicated songs--songs that she wrote!!! She is very talented.

13) Cammie is really good at just loving people for who they are. She says it was one of the big things she took away from her MFT training, but she is just a natural at empathizing with people and letting them know she cares.

14) Cammie is Top Chef. I love love love eating food she makes. When we were dating she was busy with school and always ate really simple things like yogurt, nuts, granola bars, ect. So that is about all I expected. But after we got married she started making all of these yummy things! I was pleasantly surprised.

15) Cammie is one fit momma. She is doing a Half-Ironman this Saturday!!!! That is impressive.

16) Cammie writes really awesome love notes.

17) Cammie plays the piano so beautifully. I could have written one comment that said "Cammie is incredibly musically talented" but then I would have had two less comments. I am so happy that beautiful music is never going to be in short supply in our home.

18) Cammie is chill. Yesterday I was taking Carla (a blind friend of ours) to church (which Cammie usually does) and she was telling me how nice it is to work with Cammie (she plays the piano for primary--Cammie is [actually...was] the primary chorister) because she is very laid back. That was good for me to hear and made me think about and appreciate the fact that Cammie balances me out so well (I have a tendency to be a bit high-strung)

19) Cammie likes the outdoors. I like this outdoors, so that is pretty convenient.

20) Cammie is has wonderful insight into the gospel. Early on Cammie impressed me with her above average grasp of the gospel as she shared a scripture she had recently read and her thoughts on it. This knowledge and understanding of the gospel has helped bring the spirit into our home so many times.

21) Cammie likes to wrestle. A lot of times she gets in the mood to demonstrate her strength to me. It usually ends in boughs of hysterical laughter from both of us.

22) Cammie is tough. She does a lot of hard things and never complains about them. Ever.

23) Cammie is patient. I know I do things that Cammie doesn't like, but she is really patient with me as I try to change.

24) Cammie loves her family. I am the youngest in my family....even the youngest of all my cousins. So don't really know what it is like to have little siblings. But Cammie does. She is the oldest in her family....even the oldest of all her cousins. And she loves all of them so much and makes time for them.

25) Cammie writes me the sweetest notes.

26) Cammie is determined. When Cammie gets it in her head that she is going to do something, it gets done. The classic example is being the top saleswoman in her fifth grade candy bar sales fund raiser, but is still just as much a part of her today as ever.

27) Cammie is humble. With this long of a list of outstanding virtues, one could get a big ego. But Cammie is so humble and quiet about her strengths and talents.

28) Cammie consented to marry me. One year and four months ago yesterday in fact. I thank the Lord everyday of my life that Cammie and I were able to meet and be sealed together for time and for all eternity. She is such a blessing in my life and makes me so so so soooo happy! I love her so much and hope I can do a better job each day showing her that.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Thanks. Oh, and Grandma & Emma's Visit.

First off, I would like to say that I really appreciated your comments on facebook and the blog in response to my post yesterday. I feel so encouraged by the things you had to say. My plan for the race next weekend is to take it easy, and just enjoy it. I won't be the fastest one out there, but I really think my body can do it. Hopefully a solid sleep schedule and good nutrition will help some, too. Aaaand, I will repeatedly listen to this song between now and June 1.


Okay, are you ready for some pictures? Emma and Grandma graced us with their presence last week, and I would be most ungracious if I didn't acknowledge that with some pictures. We had such a good time! I had a hard time choosing my favorite pictures, because there were lots of great moments.

Day 1. To the Races! Chad scored some surprise tickets to Churchill Downs, and we saw two horse races! It was my first time, even though we've spent the last 10 months living 5 minutes from the track.

Enjoying Cherokee Park. Cherokee Park will always be my favorite, no matter what, because Chad and I spent lots of time there before we were married and it's where we got engaged. We spent a looong time figuring out the LOVE shot (below), but I'd say it was worth it.

Favorite Shots from the Louisville Slugger Museum

Visiting the Louisville Temple

At Dinosaur World! (We didn't actually go in, but we still took pictures because we're cool like that.)

At Dairy Kastle! What kinds of hosts would we be if we didn't take our guests to Dairy Kastle at least twice?

At Cheesecake Factory (thanks, Grandma!)

At Mammoth Caves (no cool pictures of caves here, just the gang. the caves are quite impressive, if you were wondering.)

What a fun time we had! I'm so grateful they made the time to come visit. I love my family!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Underprepared, but Determined.

Is that not the craziest video? Those women are some fighters!

So, I have been afraid lately that maybe I haven't prepared adequately for my Half Ironman a week from this Saturday. Those fears were confirmed (gulp!) by my failure of a workout today.

I have swam (swum?) the full distance several times, and have almost run the full distance a few times, but had been short on biking (only had biked about 2 hours max, even though I know I'll be on that bike for about 4 hours), and hadn't done a lot of brick workouts (where you practice swimming and then biking, or biking and then running). The brick workouts I had done were short and I didn't push myself too much.

So today, motivated by June 1st's horrific deadline, I set out to bike the full distance for the first time (56 miles!) and run the full distance (13.1 miles). The bike went great! I biked out to Iroquois Park (5ish miles from my house) and went up and down lots of hills, and almost ran over a turtle, a snake, and a chipmunk. And saw a groundhog (I think. It was fat and brown.)

The bike went great, except I was really worn out by the end. It took me 4 hours. The last 10-ish miles were pretty tiring. I got home to drop off my bike, and I was so pumped about getting out for the run, even though my legs felt jello-ish. So run I did--but I only made it a couple miles before I had to take a break and walk. I walked-ran for 5 or 6 miles, and then had to stop and get water. I was dying. So thirsty, and once I stopped I couldn't start again. Only then I was 6 miles from home. Drat. So I walked home, and it took FOREVER, and I felt really mad at myself for walking, but when I tried to run again it just hurt too much, and I was getting sunburned like crazy, and I felt like a dork because I was all decked out in my tri clothes, and walking through the ghetto, and getting cat calls, and all I could think about was getting home and canceling all my therapy appointments for the evening. Which I did.

So what to do? There is NO WAY I am backing out of this race. I have invested a lot of money and time, even if it wasn't enough time. How much do you think adrenaline can carry a person through? I've done some reading and decided not to "taper" next week, and I really think if today were race day I could have forced myself to run those last 6 miles (but I didn't even start with a swim...)

Please encourage me. Tell me this is possible and I'm not crazy.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Schooled by the Workplace, v 2

Good morning, everyone! Good news: it's time for Round Two of my series, "Schooled by the Workplace." I am thrilled about having one of my all-time favorite bloggers guest-posting here today! If you haven't already met Suze, you need to hop over to see her right away. Suze is a St. Louis girl with an adorable little baby boy. She teaches high school French and is, undoubtedly, the "cool teacher" at her school. Every school has one, and I'm quite sure she is it. My favorite things about Suze are her humor and huge heart. Go Suze!

And now, for some lessons from the lady herself.

Hi, everybody!  I’m Suze from Straight on the Ground.  

My delightful friend Cammie asked if I would contribute to her creative blog series about what you’ve learned from your job that you wouldn’t have learned in a formal education setting.  Well, I am at a disadvantage, as I work in a formal education setting.

However, most of the lessons I’ve learned in my job have not had much to do with formal education.  They’ve had to do with people.

1.       Do what you say you will do.  This one is pretty obvious and a lesson everybody learns somehow.  I learned it when I told the kids that I would make them crepes and then something came up and I didn’t.  You don’t want 180 kids asking you over and over, where are the crepes? Followed by their disappointed faces.  Ouch. 


2.      Teenagers are awesome.  For the most part, kids are not the delinquents we are made to think they are.  They are also really good judges of character for the most part.  (With the exception of their opinion of Nikki Minaj.  And sometimes they can be duped as a group.)  They always know. 

3.      If you stop doing stuff for fun, you might as well be dead.  I guess Hemingway really said that first, or something like that anyway, but my kids at school have taught me that lesson over and over again.  I feel like we are taking fun away- not just from kids at school, but from everybody.  And it’s really important to value fun, or life kinda isn't that great anymore. 


Well, thanks, Cammie, for letting me be a part of your series!  I hope you’ve all enjoyed my lessons.  Next time you see a teenage kid out working at Target or McDonalds or something, be extra nice to them.  Sometimes we forget what it was like to be sixteen.  

Monday, May 13, 2013

I'm Gonna Miss This Girl.

The visit from Emma and Grandma this weekend has been so fun. (So fun! I will share more later this week.)

I am one of the most sentimental people I know, especially when it comes to my family. I have been so excited for Emma to go serve her mission in Peru (she leaves June 5th!). I know it will be a changing experience for her, and I know she will help others change their lives for the better. Thinking of the experiences she will have thrills my heart and brings nostalgia for my own refining missionary experiences.

Emma will meet people who will change her life. She will remember them forever! She may even spend all of her life's savings--twice--to go back and visit them.

In short, I am thrilled for her to have this experience. However, yesterday afternoon we met up with Taylor at Exit 53 between Nashville and Louisville. Grandma and Emma went to Nashville with Taylor, where they will spend some time before meeting up with us again and flying out of Louisville on Thursday. When I came home to Louisville, I felt really sad. Because it just hit me: this girl is leaving.

 And as excited as I am for her to be a missionary in Peru for 18 months, I am really, really going to miss her. Not that I even get to see her more than about once a year as it is. But she is going to be far away, and I won't be able to hear her voice on the phone anymore or see her face on skype. 

Last night she said to me, "I know this is what I'm supposed to do." I'm proud of her for her conviction, and her courage, and her selflessness. But oh, I will miss her.


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