Tawnia is friend of almost a decade (whaaat) going back to our days as some of the only ladies (with a few notable exceptions!) working at the ITS Helpdesk at the University of Iowa. She was my wingwoman (and I hers) on many-a-night-out in Iowa City, and so many of my college memories include Tawnia.
Tawnia's interview, after the break!
1) What is your name, and who are you?
Tawnia Cummings. I’m a married, mom-to-be Instructional Designer at a Community College in Montana.
2) How do you know Kate?
We met at the ITS No-Helpdesk in College. We were the sorority girls in a room full of computer nerds and we became fast friends. We bonded over nights out, our shared love of diet coke, and talking about clothes when everyone else was talking about wireless routers.
3) Tell me about a typical day in your life.
Well, I wake up around 6:45 and take incredibly short showers and am at work by 7:30. Work is either crazy busy or incredibly slow (there’s no halfway) and I get home around 6. If the weather is crap, I work out in the exercise room on campus, but if it’s nice, then the husband and I will eat and take a walk. After that, we settle on the living room furniture, watch some TV and hang out. We did the long distance thing for nearly two years of our marriage, so spending time together is my absolute favorite thing in the world.
4) What’s the most challenging part of your life (could be a pet peeve, a work or family issue, whatever).
Settling into living in Montana. I’ve lived my entire life (30 years!) in the Midwest, and it’s just so different out here. I miss easy access to family and friends, I miss the grocery stores, the restaurants, and the patios. I haven’t made any close friends, and that bums me out, but I’m five months pregnant, so it’s not like I can go out and drink and I haven’t met anyone who I’d like to create a book club with. It’s hard. However, I have my husband, who happens to be my best friend, and that really helps.
5) What are you likely to be doing at 8pm on a Saturday night?
Finishing up dinner at one of the few good places there are to eat here. Saturday night has always been our night for going out to dinner, so we are either at sushi or Mexican.
6) Paint me a picture of your life in five years.
In five years, I hope to be living with my husband and baby in a bigger city, hopefully working at a college, and working on a book.
7) If you could be given any gift, what would it be?
The ability to be less anxious. I’m not a terribly nervous person, but I am a worrier, and I wish I could be more peaceful.
8) What part of your morning routine do you consider essential?
A 32-oz fountain Diet Dr Pepper and breakfast. I am MEAN without food in my belly!
9) What one deceased person would you like an hour with?
My son, Teddy. I never got to see what color his eyes were or hear him cry.
10) If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go and why? Have you been there before?
Europe. Anywhere in Europe with the husband. I’ve never been, and it feels like something I need to do. Right now, with the baby coming, I don’t see European travel as something we will be able to do for another fifteen years.
11) You have ten minutes to give a speech to college seniors. What do you talk about?
I recently wrote a short piece for my graduating high school seniors, so I’ll just repeat that:
I can't believe that you guys are going to be graduates, but I am so happy for you all! I know that you will accomplish more than anyone expects, not only because you are capable, but because you have the heart and strength to do what needs to be done. I wish nothing but the best for you on your journey towards the future. Do the right thing, be safe, and have fun, because the world outside of high school is the best adventure. And remember, 60% of the time, it works every time.
12) What is your all-time favorite song?
This is the hardest question on this list! I don’t have an answer because I probably couldn’t even commit to a top-10!
13) If you weren’t in your current occupation, what would you like to do?
I’d like to be an author/lecturer and write a non-fiction book about the Gilded Age (1890-1910). Basically, I’d like a job that was not dependent on where I lived, so I could be home with my family most of the time, and still be able to travel.
14) Tell me about your family.
My parents, Pat and Julie, just celebrated 31 years of marriage and are beyond helpful and supportive of everything I do. I have a younger brother, Brian (an engineer) who is married to Danielle, a really sweet Elementary Art Teacher and they have an adorable little boy, Parker, who just turned one in March.
My in-laws are Bob and Jayne, and they will have been married for 33 years the day after our anniversary. They live in the Chicago area and are really supportive of us. My brother in law, Michael, is an opera singer, social media maven, and all-around funny guy. I’m really lucky to have them as my family.
15) What do you “know now” that you wish you “knew then”?
Don’t be so angry about stupid stuff. A lot of things that seemed like a big deal were so not important. Also, don’t flake about plans with people. You’ll look back and wish you had made more memories when you could.
Thank you, Tawnia! For more fun with Tawnia, check out her awesome blog, From Iowa to Montana.