Now, THIS is a name you all know... Jody has been instrumental in getting so many of us together with all her 'behind the scenes' work connecting us thru Facebook! Well, you've heard her name - but let's take some time to hear more about our Sister of the Week...
FOCUS ON: JODY LENNON MACKOWIAK
Please share a little about yourself (hometown, hobbies, career, family, etc.)? First and foremost, I am SOOO happy to have reconnected with so many people. I am just thrilled to see you and have some time to catch up with you.
Well, I don't have a hometown per se but have lived in Annapolis, MD for the past 25 years. My family moved about a bit when I was a child, so I am happy to be raising my children in one place. My husband and I met just shortly out of college and we were married in 1992. I got a job teaching elementary school a year after graduating and taught 6th grade in several locations in PG County
My husband and I tried unsucessfully to have children, but after a few years of infertility procedures, we had boy/girl twins. I stopped teaching when the twins were born, as my teaching salary would have been eaten up for daycare for two infants. Parenting twins the first two years was more difficult than I thought. Really! I could manage 38 sixth graders, how hard could two babies be? I don't think any of us are ever preparred to be parents, nor do we appreciate our own parents until we have children. I worked part-time supervising student teachers during their senior year at UMD, for seven years and it worked well with my staying at home with the kids. The twins, Haden and Kirsten (Kiki), will be 10 in May and are in 4th grade. Life was put on fast-forward once the kids hit school.
I am an avid crafty person, which started out with scrapbooking (it felt so good to accomplish something when the kids were infants and one scrapbook page gave me the feeling I wasn't running in circles.) Scrapbooking led to card making, which led to jewelry making, which led to upholstering a sofa, which led to refinishing a table....and it goes on...
Family Tree? Marlin Manderbach, Karen Topping, Kristi Smith Cooper, Me, Nicole Powell Estep...I don't know what happened to my tree after that...
What is your favorite AOII memory? Oh, geez...I remember not getting a bid the first time around, then getting a bid the second semester and just being thrilled to have Kristi as my big. Then there was my very "un-unified" pledge class....and those darn puzzle pieces...and the first de-pledge...Well, there was also the Theta Chi exchange...pledge sisters were in tubs...I won't mention any names.., I fractured my wrist at the Theta Chi house dancing .....Mostly, I just loved being part of an awesome group of girls who loved being together.
What is your most meaningful AOII moment? It was a thrill to get my letters, considering we may have been the first pledge class not to get them. Boy did we deserve a kick in the pants! I was also happy to have Anna Stupi Gosden stand in for Kirsti at initiation.
What do you remember most about your SHIP days? Hangin' in the CUB, Chapter meetings and "discussions" over date party themes, Greek week, cafeteria food, messing around in Naugle Hall, Maxi's and G-man...free popcorn at happy hour...popcorn and beer can substitute for a meal, and the joy of having freedom of making my own choices.
What funny story can you share with us? Embarassingly enough, most of my funny stories I wouldn't want to repeat to my own children since they involved too much drinking and too much fun. These stories are better shared in person, rather than published on the web!! I plead the 5th on this one!
What is your most proud accomplishment since college? I am happy with the decisions I have made since graduating. So the accomplishment list would be: Staying married for 17 years, teaching for 10, my continued growth as a Christian woman, and the work I do as a wife and mother. I have no regrets.
What advice can you give our graduating sisters? Be happy with today, don't worry about tomorrow, love your family, keep in touch with your AOII sisters, listen to your parents...they are right more often than not, and savor every last drip drop of college life...the real world is tough!
What are you looking forward to most about our Reunion Weekend? Oh, would I just love to see some of the "Old guard", 80's girls, sit back have a few beers and spend some time together!
Thanks, Jody - for reaching out to so many sisters and helping to make it possible for us to reconnect!!!