As the 2016 Summer Workshop approaches (3 weeks!), we thought those of you who are coming for the first time might enjoy getting to know Mrs. S. a little bit! While Mr. S. is familiar to you from the video lessons, the lady behind the scenes, Mrs. S., is a big part of the workshop week too!
First of all, I’m a graphic designer. All of the materials available for purchase—workbooks, textbooks, DVD covers, logos, etc.—are designed by me. I am also responsible for the creative aspects (layout and design) of our websites.
I especially enjoy getting to design the workshop t-shirts every year. The theme of the workshops is something Mr. S. and I discuss quite a bit. It’s fun to take a general concept and try to represent it in a specific visual way. Any design elements of the workshop, such as banners or nametags, are my responsibility as well.
For years, I was known as the “forum mom” for our Student Forum, though I haven’t been as active this past year as other members of our team have become more involved. I love interacting with the students, getting to know them a little better, and encouraging them in their fields of interest.
What do you enjoy about working from home and working with your family?
I absolutely love working from home and never want that to change. It’s so flexible! Obviously, you still have to get the work done, but I like that I can choose how to arrange my day.
Working with my husband is wonderful. We are close friends, and we enjoy talking through things and coming up with ideas together. I’m also very happy that our daughter works for us. She has several different responsibilities, but I’m especially thankful that she is a Story Coach, because I think it fits her gifting very well. While our whole family loves the OYAN community, I think it’s really cool to see our daughter share her father’s particular passion for reading and writing.
In what ways are you and your husband similar? In what ways are you different?
We’re similar in that we are both content to spend our evenings at home with each other, reading or watching an old movie. We both love to think deeply about things and to verbally process them, such as matters of faith, philosophy, politics, and work-related challenges.
While we both technically score as introverts, Dan is 110% introvert, and I am comfortable stepping over the line. I enjoy engaging people in meaningful conversation, even strangers, whereas my husband is more quiet around other people.
What’s something about you that’s as true today as it was when you were a kid? What’s something that has changed?
Oh, that’s easy! From a very young age, I always told my parents I was going to be an artist when I grew up, and now I’ve worked all my adult life as a graphic designer.
What’s changed? Well, as a child I was shy and reserved, but now I’m very outgoing.
What are your favorite pastimes? Hobbies? Interests?
I like drawing when I get the time. I enjoy reading nonfiction a lot more than fiction, actually. (Please forgive me, OYAN students). I like taking relaxing motorcycle rides. Oh, and I like hanging out with friends one-on-one, where I can get to know them better and just enjoy their company.
What are your favorite fictional stories, and why?
My favorite movie is a foreign film called Life is Beautiful. (Yes, I insist that people watch it in the original Italian.) I love the main character’s love of life and people, and that he chooses to bring joy in every area of his life, even the depths of a Nazi concentration camp.
I also love the movie Nicholas Nickleby, the 2002 edition. (I haven’t read the book.) I appreciate that the main character is always willing to stand up for what is right, even when it results in his own personal suffering.
As a just-for-fun movie, I’ve always liked Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Do you have a character in a show/movie/book that you identify with most?
I’m sure there are characters who are more like me, but presently I’m thinking of Anne of Green Gables because of her statement “Oh, if you only knew how much I wanted to say and didn’t!”
What is something about adult life that has surprised you in a good way?
I was surprised to find that marriage gets better and better with time.
With the Summer Workshop approaching so quickly, what’s your favorite thing about our workshops?
The privilege of meeting so many of our students, and many of the parents as well. It’s fun to see friendships form—not only between students, but also their parents. I’m always very impressed at the level of commitment these parents have to equipping and encouraging their children in their areas of interest.
I also love seeing the enthusiasm of the students and the various expressions of creativity. Some students make their own costumes. Several students bring instruments and play them in the lobby, unprompted. Some students share other talents with us on open mic night, performing skits, singing, juggling, etc. I so appreciate the way that the kids encourage each other, not only in their craft of writing, but also in life. Veteran students are welcoming to newcomers, and new students are usually willing to jump right in to all of the workshop activities and make new friends. I can’t wait to see everyone in only a few weeks!