Interview with Tabitha Zehms, 04/26/2018

UW Oshkosh Campus Stories
Max Zarling, Interviewer | uwocs_Tabitha_Zehms_04262018_uc.mp3
Campus Stories Oral History Project (UWO Audio Series 51) |


MZ: Can you please state your name just for the record?

TZ: Tabitha Zehms

MZ: And what years were you active or at UWO?

TZ: I attended UWO from the Fall 2002 till 2007.

MZ: Okay! So first I am going to ask you a couple question about your childhood. Like where you grew up and stuff.

TZ: Okay!

MZ: First, where did you grow up? Did you grow up in Wisconsin or somewhere else?

TZ: Yeah. I grew up on De Pere, Wisconsin, which is a small city right outside of Green Bay So the Green Bay metro area.

MZ: Ok. Interesting. I am from a small town to; south of Milwaukee.

TZ: Oh really?

MZ: Yeah, Sussex.


TZ: Oh, I heard of it.

MZ: Its very small. What was your community like in that town?

TZ: What was our community like? Well De Pere is divided by the Fox River so there is an east side and a west side. Which doesn't really even matter cause the city is only like 20,000 people. But each side had their own school district so there was a lot of friendly competition between our side-the east side-the Red Birds and the west side- the Phantoms.

MZ: Yeah. I would expect that! Usually there is that competition. Did you have any siblings?

TZ: I- Yes! I have two younger sisters. One is fifteen months younger than me, and ones three years younger than me. So growing up we were like sixth, seventh, and eighth- eighth, ninth, tenth. Like always a few grades apart.

MZ: Yeah. I am the middle child of five, so-


TZ: Wow.

MZ: Yeah! I know how being an older sibling and how that is. In your town that you lived, were there some children your age that you hung around with in your community?

TZ: Yes! Absolutely! When we first moved to De Pere, I think I was six. And we started school there and we lived in the city, and later on when I was twelve we moved out to the country a little bit. But when we were in the city, we were in subdivision with a lot of kids in the same grade and the same ages as me and my sisters.

MZ: Yep!

TZ: So I have a lot of good memories of like playing in front yard, playing in the backyard, running to everyone else's yards. It was fun!

MZ: So were the yards like connected or like-


TZ: Just close by.

MZ: Just close by.

TZ: Like the next street over.

MZ: Oh okay. Did you remain friends with any of these kids like after high school and through high school.

TZ: Yeah. Actually those kids were the same kids throughout the grades and throughout high school. Actually one of the other girls in my grade was my roommate in college. We lived in the dorms together.

MZ: Alright! I'm get back to that in a little bit.

TZ: Sure!

MZ: Other than your roommate, were there any other of your friends that you grew up with, that went to college like went to UWO or somewhere near?

TZ: Oh sure-

MZ: That you know of.

TZ: Lets see people from high school, who I still talk to. One of my good 4:00friends Jessica went to Carthage, which is in Kenosha. So that not to far away, but we still hang out whenever we are both in town. She lives in Green Bay again. And I live in Boston now.

MZ: Oh okay!

TZ: Whenever I come home I make sure I visit her and we still email and call each other. And another friend of mine- she went to- where did she go to school? She went to school in Minnesota- I think- with a bunch of kids from our year who went to school over there. She lives in Florida now and we still talk and hang out together too. I spent a lot of my summers in Door County, Wisconsin.

MZ: Okay!

TZ: And so I have my one friend: Casey. And so we still saw eachother, even though it wasnt school time; it was summer time.

MZ: And Door County is nice.

TZ: Yeah. Yeah. It's fun. And it's fun to work up there too.

MZ: So did any of your external family, like grandparents, cousins, live in the same community as you?

TZ: Yes! We were fortunate that both my mom's side and my dad's side were fairly 5:00close by. So i grew up mostly seeing my mom's side of the family. I saw my grandma and grandpa all the time. And my aunt and uncle, and we had i think there were nine or ten grandchildren- ten grandchildren total.

MZ: Wow.

TZ: And we all lived in the Green Bay area, and most of them still do. I say half of them still do I think.

MZ: Go Packers! Whoo!

TZ: My grandma would be so disappointed if i was not/still a Packers fan. So yes! Go Packers!

MZ: My uncle who lives in Wisconsin as well he's a Vikings fan.

TZ: What? Is he on border or something?

MZ: No. He lives down in Menomonee Falls, and he just- all of us like the Packers except for him and my older brother who's a Bears fan. And we're [unclear].

TZ: Oh boy! I don't know one's worse.

MZ: I know! It's a heated battle when there- its the Packers versus the Bears 6:00when everyone is over.

TZ: I imagine!

MZ: have any of your like cousins, grandparents, and parents gone to college? Or were you like a first generation?

TA: Lets see- Most of the cousins that i grew up with went with went to college. Like a four year university i think most of them did. My dad went to college and my mom did not. But my dad actually also went to UW Oshkosh.

MZ: Oh!

TZ: It's kind of funny! He went to UW Oshkosh and got a computer science degree, and worked for a while. And when we were, maybe when I was in middle school, he went back to UW Oshkosh to get a masters in physics instrumentation. And when I trying to decided where to go to college, I was- I graduated a year early from high school and wasn't sure if I was ready to go to a really big school far 7:00away. So I thought I would try Oshkosh first.

MZ: Oh yeah!

TZ: And I really liked it. At first I was like " I would never go to school where my dad went to school. What a dorky place to go." And then then I toured and I really liked how of the size. Cause I knew I can really get to know my professors and like make relationships that would like be good for networking and understanding the field.

MZ: Yeah!

TZ: And so I was like alright I will give Oshkosh a try. And then I stayed for my masters there as well.

MZ: Thats cool!

TZ: So I even wore my dad's master's robes when I graduated. Yeah. It was cute. He was very proud of that.

MZ: Saves money!

TZ: Yeah!

MZ: Yeah! It is a pretty small college and it's campus compared to like Madison or-

TZ: Right!

MZ: Other campuses.

TZ: Like Milwaukee- Yep! Yeah but I loved it.

MZ: So your father graduated from UWO.

TZ: Yep!

MZ: And he went back for his masters.

TZ: Mmhm.

MZ: And that's the reason why you chose UWO because he kind of went there and you just wanted to give it a try?


TZ: Yeah! So like at first I was like I definitely won't go there, but UW Green Bay was to close. Like I knew I wanted to go to school, but I didn't know exactly where. And I got in to Gree- I applied and got into Green Bay and Oshkosh and Madison. And I wasn't sure which one i wanted to try, but oshkosh just felt good and i thought i could save money and commute for the first year so. I ended up only commuting for a semester, but yeah! Dad was part of the reason, but once I went i was like "ok i can see why you liked Oshkosh dad!"

MZ: Oh yeah! This is just a random question, are you a cat person or a dog person?

TZ: I would always say I'm a dog person.

MZ: Oh!

TZ: But while at Oshkosh I always been a animal person. And my first pets were cats. While I was at Osh- UW Oshkosh, a friend of mine called me up and said "I know you really care about animals Tabitha. my friend's boyfriend has a farm, 9:00but one of the kitties was abandoned, will you help it?" So I picked it up and brought him to the emergency vet because he hadn't eaten for like three days or something.

MZ: Wow!!

TZ: And I was worried about him! And he was just too fuzzy and too cute so I kept him.

MZ: Was this when you were living in the dorms?

TZ: No this is when I was living off campus. While i was going to school at UWO.

MZ: Man, if you had a cat in the dorms, I wish i could bring my cats to the dorms.

TZ: So I had two, actually that kitty the one I had in college just passed away two months ago.

MZ: Oh, Im sorry.

TZ: Yeah, Im really sad so then I got two cats because they obviously needed a friend

MZ: Oh Yea.

TZ: They were my buddies through the rest of school and through all my life, the early years.

MZ: I understand that

TZ: And you're a cat person Max? You have kitties at home?

MZ: Yeah, I have one of my own and then I have three others that are my 10:00brothers, my dad's and my older brothers

TZ: Oh wow! A house full of kitties, that's fun.

MZ: We also have two dogs. We used to have a rabbit but she passed away

TZ: Aww. I'm sorry, we grew up with a houseful of animals as well. I think the max at one point was four dogs and three cats and four birds.

MZ: Oh wow!

TZ: We had cockatiels. Yeah, my poor parents, they still have the cockatiels, because cockatiels live a long time.

MZ: They're loud too, aren't they?

TZ: Not too bad, compared to some birds, like parrots or bigger birds. So cockatiels, they're okay. They're really messy though. They used to really like humans but then actually randomly we got another one and then they started having a lot of babies. Once the two mated and became a couple, they cared less about us humans.

MZ: They cared more about the babies

TZ: Yeah, Yeah, they did and more about themselves. But--you know my parents are 11:00still caring for them. They gave me Einstein for my fifth grade birthday present.

MZ: That's pretty cool.

TZ: I bet they had no idea that they would still have her now.

MZ: Wow!

MZ: Tell me about your K12 school experience. Where did you attend elementary school, middle school and high school?

TZ: Okay--I attended most of my elementary school at Dickenson Elementary school in De Pere.

MZ: Was it a big school?

TZ: No. It was small. Then middle school was fifth grade thru eighth grade still then and that was at De Pere Middle School. Then I went to De Pere High School. So the east side of DePere just got to be called DePere but the westside of DePere was called West DePere High School. I mentioned I graduated a year early?

MZ: Yeah.

TZ: I was in the gifted and talented program in elementary school and in middle 12:00school I was pretty normal I guess. There wasn't a lot of gifted and talented programs there. Then in high school, I was starting to get frustrated because my classes were really boring and I didn't know what to do with myself.

MZ: Too easy?

TZ: Yeah, so I was getting frustrated. I had asked if there were more things that I could do. Like if I could take prerequisites in the next class at the same time. They were like--no. Then actually the principal suggested that maybe I should just home-school. So I did some research and I found an online distance learning school out in Ojai, California and I signed up for that my sophomore year of highschool. Halfway through. Then actually, through the school district in De Pere I still took Spanish and orchestra at the school. I still maintained my school friendships and I still went to school everyday for those classes.


MZ: Okay, it was just online?

TZ: Yep, this was online. It was called Laural Springs School and it was accredited and so I got my diploma and all that stuff. Then I graduated in 2002 when I would've graduated in 2003. Then to supplement some of those classes that I took at the highschool, I also took some classes at UW Green Bay as a special student. If you are not a full time or part time student, you can sign up as a special student, which was the title they gave it where you could just sign up for a class at a time.

MZ: When I was a senior, some people in my class graduated a semester early and went to WCTC for the next semester

TZ: Okay, they took some classes there--nice.

MZ: Yeah.

TZ: My younger sister did the same thing. She stayed at school, but when she finished what she could take at the highschool, they paid for her to take 14:00classes at the local college.

MZ: Man, that's nice that they paid for it

TZ: Yeah, I know.

MZ: What was your favorite class you took in elementary, middle or highschool?

TZ: Let's see--.

TZ: I always really liked Spanish class. That was always one of my favorites and I really liked music class.

MZ: What instrument did you play?

TZ: I played Viola. I started playing the viola in fourth grade and I played it all the way through college. I played in the orchestra at UWO as well. I studied with the teacher there, Claire Bucal for a while in private lessons too.

MZ: I am a trombone person.

TZ: You are?! Oh, so is my husband. We actually met at UWO and he was a trombone in orchestra and I was a viola in orchestra. Actually, a handful of my good friends and other people I dated actually were trombones. I think trombones are 15:00good people.

MZ: Thank You

TZ: You're welcome Max.

MZ: It's not easy to play but it's fun to play back and forth.

TZ: Yeah, I think trombone is pretty versatile because you can do jazz, you can do orchestra. You can go classical too. Or regular band instead of orchestra so there are lots of options for trombone.

MZ: In high school we only had band not orchestra. We didn't have any string instruments. I wanted to try to learn to play a string instrument but never got around to it.

TZ: It's tough when it's not your school because you have to take private lessons and it's all this extra work without the fun group part. That's challenging. I get that.

MZ: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

TZ: When I was younger, in elementary school I wanted to be a paleontologist and I wanted to study dinosaur bones.

MZ: That's a cool job.

TZ: Yeah, right?! I thought that was pretty cool too. Then, around 16:00middle school, I wanted to be a rocket scientist. I wanted to work for NASA.

MZ: That's a cool job too. Dang!

TZ: Then for awhile, I wanted to into the Air Force Academy. I thought that was what I was going to do and I could do rocket science that way.

TZ: Then, I changed my mind and decided I don't know what I am going to do. Probably something with science because I am good at it and I enjoy it. I find it interesting. So, that's what I went into school with--well, I think I am going to go into the medical field, but I am not sure.

MZ: Did you come into college undecided or did you come in to college with the microbiology major?

TZ: I started as a medical technology major.

MZ: Oh, okay.

TZ: I met with him, the director of that program and I met with the biology folks because I thought I was going to be premed. I like both departments and I 17:00liked what they had to offer and I felt like the medical technology program was pretty rigorous. I thought I would enjoy that challenge.

MZ: Yeah.

TZ: I did--but then I found that once I was there, it was too inflexible and there was so much I had to fit in in those four years. I missed music my first semester and I really wanted to take it. I really missed orchestra, I want to sign up and play, but I felt like I had too many credits and too much to do. That's when the changing of majors began.

MZ: I understand that.

TZ: I changed so many times Max.

MZ: That happens to some people. Sometimes people don't but a lot of times people come in undecided or they change their major sometime through their career

TZ: Oh Yeah, multiple times. I was a triple major for a while: an English, Spanish major, and philosophy. I was a music for a semester. I actually changed 18:00so much that I finally had always taken Spanish as well so I decided graduate my undergrad with my Spanish degree. Then I was going to just start over but I was taking some microbiology classes and that professor said "if you are interested and you think you can handle it, why don't you apply for the graduate program anyway? You'll have to take some of the background classes and they won't count towards your credits for your master." So I did have to take some undergrad classes to catch up but I had taken enough science that it wasn't too many. So that's what I ended up doing.

MZ: That's pretty good that professor was able to help you and suggest--

TZ: Right, helped me pick a path--.I thought I had to start all over and be an undergrad again and get my microbiology degree and then go on to more school if I wanted to. I like school, so I thought I did, but right, I was so glad that 19:00mentioned what I was passionate about to him and he was like "hey, I think we could do something else. I have these opportunities and these ideas, so let's try it".

MZ: As a child, what did your parents want you to be?

TZ: A doctor or something in science because my mom would always say "you girls are so smart, you could do anything". Then she would always mention medicine. I thought I wanted to do music for a career for a while, but my parents, I could tell they weren't as enthusiastic about that.

MZ: I understand.

TZ: They were worried about the career opportunities and that you would be working a lot of nights.

MZ: Or that sometimes it won't pay

TZ:-have a family. Right, there is no guaranteed income either.

MZ: What profession is your mom in?

TZ: My Mom?


MZ: Yeah.

TZ: Was a stay at home mom for us. Before she raised her kids she was doing clerical positions, administrative work.

MZ: Okay

TZ: Dad, was always a computer scientist. Even after he graduated with his physics degree. He liked computer science and he eventually opened his own custom software company. So he had his own business.

MZ: Wow, that's pretty cool.

TZ: He still does actually and I work for him part time now as a programmer.

MZ: That is pretty cool.

TZ: Yeah--yeah.

MZ: I wish I could do that-

TZ: My husband said the same thing. He tried a class in college and said it was super hard so he thought he could never be a programmer. Now, he is an audio designer.

MZ: Oh, wow

TZ: He went to UWO for recording technology and now he is an audio designer. He taught himself Python online. There is just so much online now for introductory 21:00courses for that stuff online. So don't give up Max. Try online.

MZ: I am going to become a teacher.

TZ: Oh great. Do you know which age you want? Or which field?

MZ: Elementary school.

TZ: Oh--how fun!

MZ: Because high schoolers are not nice.

TZ: Ha! High schoolers right! They can be really challenging. Elementary school kids want to learn. They are there to have fun.

MZ: They are more respectable towards the teachers.

MZ: So you only looked at Green Bay and Madison?

TZ: And Oshkosh

MZ: And Oshkosh?

TZ: So I was like "I don't know what I'll do--I'll transfer later. I had thought maybe a big school somewhere else, but I wasn't real sure what I wanted to major 22:00in so I wasn't sure what school would be a good school to go to. You know some schools are famous for certain programs.

MZ: Oh Yeah.

TZ: I wasn't really sure.

MZ: I applied to Stout because I wanted be a technology teacher for high school before I realized high schoolers are jerks. So I was referred by a friend of mine who graduated here at Oshkosh and I took the tour and I decided to come here.

TZ: The tour helps doesn't it? I had been to Green Bay already, you know, I had mentioned I took some classes there.

MZ: Yeah

TZ: I was like "no, it feels too much like home. I wanted it to feel different and I didn't end up going to my tour at UW Madison because I was like "it was going to be too big" Actually I moved to Madison after college and I loved it but I don't know if I would've like being a student there. I did love the town. It's a fun city.


MZ: I hear it's different because it's a big campus. It's different than Oshkosh. I would think a smaller campus is better.

TZ: Yeah, like I said, doing the tour and getting to actually meet and talk with professors who had time for me, I had heard that was a concern at the bigger campuses. They busy and they do research and you are taught by aids instead which isn't bad if the aids can be good teachers too but I liked the idea that I could really get to know my professors.

MZ: Yeah, it really helps me with my education.

TZ: I agree, so I really liked that.

MZ: What did you know about Oshkosh before you attended. Did your dad tell you anything about it?

TZ: He said he had a lot of fun.

MZ: Did he mention Sloshkosh?


TZ: Yeah. He spent a lot of time at the library, but the Library was a bar back then.

MZ: Oh?

TZ: He played a lot of pool and foosball. He actually passed down his foosball skills to us girls. We had a foosball table and he claimed those were his glory days in college, so he taught us some pretty good foosball skills.

MZ: That's pretty cool.

TZ: Yeah. Other than it's reputation of being a party school--when I was there I obviously didn't get that impression about it. The campus feel like a fun size and there was enough to do and a lot of clubs and if I was interested in things I could find things to do. I liked that.

MZ: You realized it had a reputation like "Sloshkosh" but then did you witness and experience "pubcrawl" and all that?

TZ: I never did the official "pub crawl", but I definitely had fun. I didn't 25:00ever feel like it was more of a drinking school than other drinking schools; like if I visited friends at other schools. College kids drink, sometimes they have big parties but I didn't feel like it was worse than, or deserved it's reputation of being the most drinking school or anything like that. Or at least the people I hung out with weren't crazy about that.

MZ: It wasn't like movies like Animal House? That's the only movie I know.

TZ: Right. Exactly. It wasn't anything like that.

MZ: When I first came to college I thought it was going to be like the parties were going to be like Animal House or like some other college drinking movies.

TZ: Yeah, like huge and drink and well--that wasn't my impression while I was there. Maybe I just didn't go to the right parties?

MZ: I don't go to any of them.

MZ: What was your first impression of UWO your freshman year when you first came 26:00on the first day? Or the first week?

TZ: I was a little intimidated. I was commuting so finding a parking spot but then also get there on time and then get to know the campus cause all of a sudden that was the first time you go to classes with a lot of different buildings and people places and the schedule was not the same every day like it was for me in high school. I remember having dreams about being late for class and being nervous. But, overall, it was good and it seemed fun and I liked it. I didn't at first feel like I was a part of the community because I was commuting. I felt like it was fun and I like being on campus and I liked that feeling but I didn't spend a lot of extra time there. I didn't feel like I was making a lot of friends. Like I mentioned, that first semester, I wasn't in orchestra or 27:00anything else really extracurricular so I decided to move into the dorms my second semester.

MZ: What dorms did you live in?

TZ: I was in Dirty Donner. Fourth floor, for two years.

MZ: You were only in the dorms for two years?

TZ: Yep--Yep

MZ: Lucky

TZ: Then a bunch of us who were friends on that floor moved into apartments together.

MZ: That's pretty nice. I am in North Scott.

TZ: Oh, you are?

MZ: It's not that bad.

TZ: What year are you Max?

MZ: I am a sophomore.

TZ: Okay

MZ: So three more years, hopefully

TZ: Yeah, that's right--education is a lot.

MZ: I am doing a dual major. Special education and elementary ed.

TZ: Oh wow! That's amazing!

MZ: Thank you.

TZ: And challenging I'm sure.

MZ: Yes--lots of essays.

TZ: It will keep you busy.


MZ: I don't like essays at all.

MZ: What was you most memorable experience if you remember your first week of Oshkosh?

TZ: My first week--

MZ: Did you go to all the orientation things? I remember from my freshman year; I don't know if it was different back in 2003; that you all pile into the gym and they do some drug and alcohol abuse stuff.

TZ: Oh my gosh! You're right! Orientation! Now I remember--do you remember what it is called? They had a little acronym for it. I can't remember the acronym for it, but now I that you say that I remember. I remember those classes. That was 29:00too silly.

MZ: Yeah.

TZ: You feel like some of it is like come on, but you get why they are doing it.

MZ: Yeah.

TZ: If you have some self control, it doesn't seem like such a crazy idea what they are suggesting. I remember that part being intimidating because you don't know anybody, where as I grew up with the same group of kids, like most kids do, when you go to middle school and high school it's all the same people. This is the first time you are going to school and making completely new friends.

MZ: You are sitting next to complete strangers that you don't know and it's--

TZ: You are trying to make small talk and meet people and they break you up into groups and you have to do awkward ice breakers. I remember a lot of the awkward ice breaking stuff where you feel super uncomfortable and anxious.

MZ: Oh Yeah.

TZ: About it all in my English honors class my freshman year. I remember that as well.

MZ: Ice breakers are always really uncomfortable the first couple days.


TZ: Yes.

MZ: What were your classes like? Your gen eds and then going into your major? What were they like?

TZ: I was in the honors program right away and I remember liking those classes. I thought I would take Calculus II just because I could. I didn't need it for anything but I took Calculus in high school why don't I take Calculus II and expand my math brain. I quickly realized I had a lot of credits that first semester and Calc II was maxing me out so I dropped that class. I think that was the first and only time I dropped a class.

MZ: That is understandable

TZ: It felt like a big deal to me because I had never quit something before, but it was a realization that just because you want to do all these things doesn't 31:00mean it's possible.

MZ: I understand that. I am in awe. Calculus is really hard in my opinion.

TZ: Apparently Calculus II is where my brain breaks as well.

MZ: I only got up to advanced algebra. That's it.

TZ: Right on, right on.

TZ: Can you repeat your question? I feel like I didn't really answer it.

MZ: What were your classes like?

TZ: Most of them were on the smaller side--20 or so people for the calc class and my English class--but then my science classes where the big pit classes at first. The biology and chemistry were the really big pit classes and then those had the lab portion too and that was a different time in the week.


MZ: Different teacher?

TZ: Yes, different teacher. I really liked my Spanish classes. Those were good. From the beginning they spoke a lot of Spanish and it was a more serious format than what you learned in high school and I really liked that. I had also tested in to the 300 level in Spanish so that was welcome to the big leagues. This is how you learn Spanish is that the teacher speaks it all the time. I remember that being more intimidating but also rewarding because I thought this is cool, I'm starting to get it. It's starting to come together. Then orchestra is obviously a different format once I signed up for that in the second semester. That's where you get to play in a big group. My favorite gen eds were--well, I 33:00took a philosophy class and fell in love with it and that actually became my minor for my undergrad. For awhile as I mentioned, it was my major. I really loved talking about ideas and those were more discussion based and trying to think about different opinions and ethics. A different opinion than I had. I grew up in a fairly conservative; both morally and politically; environment and thinking about things in different ways, I changed my mind on some things. I really enjoyed looking at it logically and trying to discuss it rationally without any arguments. We kind of avoided religion and politics at home--discussing it at all--and then finding an environment where it was okay to challenge ideas and it was presented in a way that wasn't heated among family members or anything was good. I really liked that.


MZ: I understand that. My family is very conservative as well and it kind of got annoying that they kept arguing that. College let me get away from that.

TZ: My opinions definitely started to change from some of my family's opinions on certain things and other things not. You become your own person and you find an environment where other people think like you think if it didn't match what you grew up with. My other eye opening gen ed class--I took a native American literature class and I hadn't realized there was some prejudice in my community regarding the nearby Oneida reservation tribe. And opinions about Americans that I didn't realize I had internalized until I took that class.


MZ: The truth comes out.

TZ: Yes. I really enjoyed it and I learned more about their culture and their society and why things were the way they were in their particular reservation or why those things can happen or where those stereotypes came from that were depicted in my community. It was good. The literature itself I really enjoyed. I loved the magical mysticism, the realism element and how tied they were to nature and their bond with nature as a culture. That was really cool.

MZ: For my American Lit class I read native American text and it's pretty interesting how it is way different than western civilization text and modern text. It is interesting to see that different take on it.


TZ: Yeah. That's what college is for right? New ideas, new ways of expressing yourself, learn about things outside of your own tiny world where you grew up.

MZ: Yeah, exactly. You lived on campus your sophomore year right?

TZ: Yeah, the second half of my freshman year and my sophomore year.

MZ: You had the same roommate the whole time?

TZ: Noooo, no--I changed roommates. That first semester, I had one roommate and we got along okay but I actually got along better with her friend that was also living there. I don't remember what circumstances it came around that we changed 37:00but we did so then I became roommates with another girl. Then the following year was the year that I would've graduated with my high school and knew that Amber was coming to that school so I decided to room with Amber.

MZ: Random roommates?

TZ: Yes, it was randomly assigned the first freshman semester with people I didn't know but than later became friends with. Then the next year I became roommates with the girl I knew from high school.

MZ: How did like your dorm? You were in Donner? The position it was in?

TZ: Yes, location wise it was good. Dorm life in general, I wasn't that crazy about. Sharing bathrooms and showers and having to wait in line.Trying to figure out when to take a shower when it wasn't busy versus when you want to take a shower.


MZ: Yes, that's a difficult part.

TZ: Dorms always smell like dorms.

MZ: Yeah.

TZ: A funny smell and you're cramped and there's no time to yourself because there are always people around; which can be good. I said I wanted to feel more a part of the community and live on campus so that was fun but you also don't have a lot of your own space.

MZ: It sometime just gets too much and you just want--..

TZ: To be by yourself for a while.

MZ: Did you share a room when you were at home?

TZ: I did. We rotated every once in a while we would get a chance at not sharing a room. We always had a three bedroom home, so one of us sisters always shared with another and the third sister got their own room for awhile. My younger sisters tended to bicker a lot when they shared a room. When I shared a room 39:00with my middle child sister we didn't bicker that much so and I ended up sharing a room for most of our childhood. Then the youngest sister got her own room for that whole time.

TZ: Right, I was used to sharing a bedroom but it's different when you share it with your sister.

MZ: I am a twin and I had to share --

TZ: Oh, you are?

MZ: I am older I just have to add--two minutes but still older. I had to share a room with him for fifteen years of my life. We got stuck with the smallest room and had bunk beds. My little brother got the large room and he would bicker a 40:00lot and wine a lot and we couldn't do anything about it.

TZ: Youngest ones win. Just give them their own space.

MZ: How did you like the food on campus?

TZ: It was alright

MZ: Did you go to Blackhawk?

TZ: I did go to Blackhawk. What is the to go, carry out place that used to be there? I went there a lot and I didn't go to Blackhawk as much.

MZ: There is a Scotty's Sub Shop.


TZ: Right-- I used to go there a lot too. I used to go to Scott a lot for food. I didn't go to Blackhawk as much. There was a to go take out meals place that I used to go to a lot when I first moved in but I don't remember what building it was above. It was a grab and go but it wasn't in Blackhawk, it was somewhere else.

MZ: Now there is one in Blackhawk.

TZ: Maybe they moved it so it is all in one place. That makes sense.

MZ: Were you talking about Reeve Union? There is a food place there.

TZ: It wasn't at Reeve either. It was maybe above a parking office or something. I know the campus has changed. There is that big fitness center--none of that was there.

MZ: Oh, none of that was there?

TZ: No

MZ: You didn't have Kolf?

TZ: We had Kolf but the fitness center was in the basement of one of the dorms. 42:00That's where I went to go workout and stuff and take classes. I think classes were in the basement of Scotts but ellipticals and all that equipment was in the basement of one of the other--

MZ: Was it Albee?

TZ: Yes, I think it was Albee.

MZ: I thought it was Albee. It has a gym and a pool or something.

TZ: Oh you are right, maybe it was there.

MZ: Foodwise, did you get sick of it? Was it repetitive?

TZ: Blackhawk was okay. I remember eating at Reeve union a lot once that got better. It expanded and got changed around and they made it newer when I was 43:00there and once that came I ate there more than Blackhawk. Maybe it was 50/50.

MZ: I eat more at Scotty's than Blackhawk.

TZ: Well its close for you.

MZ: Blackhawk gets repetitive with the same stuff. When I came here for my orientation, I thought oh this is great, there is so many choices. Now I feel like there is no variety.

TZ: That's too bad. I also lived on Easy Mac in my dorm room and my grandpa would make me these homemade ham sandwiches and I ate a lot of those. He would freeze them for me. I ate in my room whenever I could.

MZ: Ramen noodles?

TZ: You know what? I had my first Ramen noodles two weeks ago. I always went for the Easy Mac or the Campbell's Soup in the ready to go containers.


MZ: What flavor Ramen noodles did you try?

TZ: Chicken flavor?

MZ: Good, that is the most common. That's the only kind I eat.

TZ: It wasn't bad.

MZ: My little brother eats them raw. The buildings are far away and as it gets worse in the winter so it's nice to have meals and food in your dorm so you don't have to walk out in the snow.

TZ: Yes, that was the one catch. Donner was close to all my classes but it was not close to food compared to the other ones.


MZ: Scotts is not close to any of the classes but--

TZ: Right

MZ: Where were your classes? Where they all in the same general area or did you have to go all the way from Halsey to Clow?

TZ: Most of my classes, my science classes, were in Halsey. A lot of my gen eds were in Stuart. A lot of my philosophy and language were there. I think my largest spread was going from Polk. Some of my philosophy classes were in the basement of Polk so I would go from the library over to Halsey and then I had some at Clo too--some of the big pit classes and then some of my English classes where there. I never thought, oh no, I am not going to make it in time. I only 46:00had to worry about that if I was in the music department. Doing orchestra and then having to pack up and run to something else.

MZ: Yes.

TZ: The music building was further.

MZ: It is better when it snows that you don't have to make a large voyage.

TZ: Right, and really bundle up between all your classes. t really wasn't too bad.

MZ: Can you just remind me again what majors you started with and what you ended up with?

TZ: I went in my freshman year as a medical technology major. I changed majors several times as I discovered and like new things I would change my major. I always had Spanish as one of my majors and I ended up graduating with Spanish and a minor in philosophy. After that, I continued on at grad school right away. 47:00That was the biology degree in the masters program with a microbiology emphasis.

MZ: What made you like Spanish?

TZ: I had taken some classes randomly through different programs in elementary school and then I took Spanish in middle school and I found the pronunciation came easily to me and I like the idea of learning different names for things that I already knew. It was interesting how language works. You learn in Spanish that they use the noun before the adjective instead of the adjective before the noun. Those types of structures and how to translate things back and forth. It just interested me so I decided that Spanish was the one where my pronunciation was good and I felt comfortable with it so I kept it.


MZ: Did you try German, French, Mandarin?

TZ: No, I never really did. Spanish was offered in middle school and I liked it so I stuck with it. I didn't feel--curiously though--even though I really enjoyed language itself I didn't try French in high school. I just stuck to Spanish.

MZ: In my opinion, Spanish is a more friendly language than French. French and German sound more aggressive to me.

TZ: Sure. Because Spanish is the latin one. Well French is latin too but there are a lot of warm sounds. In my opinion there is not too many sounds that are completely different from the English language, whereas with French, for me, that accent is hard to mimic. A lot of those sounds come from the back of the throat and are harder for me to imitate.


MZ: You had many lab classes. What kind of labs did you do? Did you go on field trips in forests or dissect things?

TZ: No, that would have been cool but no I didn't. In the biology classes, we did do some dissections. The microbiology classes were obviously a lot of microscopes and plating and transferring of microbes to see if you had growth and what kind of growth. You are trying to characterize the microbes that way. My organic chemistry and general chemistry classes were test tubes and chemicals. Mixing and heating, that type of thing. I didn't do any of the 50:00geology or anything like that where there would be field trips. I did do a couple of study abroad trips while I was at UW Oshkosh.

MZ: Where did you go?

TZ: To do a Spanish major you had to spend at least a portion of time in a foreign country. I wish I had spent much longer. I would be fluent in Spanish if I had gone for a year but I only went over winter break for a month to Cuernavaca, Mexico and did a Spanish language program there.

MZ: Did you like it there? Was it nice?

TZ: Cuernavaca was very pretty and our host family was very nice. I did not like the culture as much as I thought I would. I loved the dancing. I loved going out salsa dancing with my friends and I loved how friendly families were and how nice people were and kind to Americans. I didn't like how sexist the culture 51:00was. There was a lot of cat calling and that made me feel really uncomfortable. I remember not liking that and that was my first experience traveling abroad to a foreign country where they don't speak the language experience. My other trip was for philosophy for over a month in the summertime. We went to Cambridge, England and Dr. Carlin came with us and taught us all our classes but we used Cambridge University facilities and went on field trips. That was super fun, the classes were fun and the people were fun and Cambridge was a really fun town to explore.

MZ: Wow, I am kind of jealous.

TZ: Do it! I think Dr. --I don't know if he still does it now that he is director of the honors program but he might still do a study abroad.

MZ: My twin brother went to Europe for two weeks. He went a lot of different 52:00places in Europe. I didn't go, I am a homebody kind of person.

TZ: It is intimidating. Going to Mexico where you don't speak the language and trying to figure that out is tough. While I was in grad school, I went to Austria for a microbiology conference. I was there for a week maybe and that was the first time where I didn't speak the language at all. I didn't study German.

MZ: Did you need a translator?

TZ: No. The conference was luckily all in English. That part was fine. Figuring out menus and stuff, I did a little bit of studying. You just figure it out. I went to Innsbruck which is a college town so there were a lot of people who spoke English anyway so they could help you out. I get that though, going abroad where you don't know the language or the customs is intimidating. Even though it's fun and exciting it's also kind of scary. It's not for everybody.


MZ: I just have to ask? When you were in Mexico, you didn't pet any dogs and cats on the street did you? I was told by my mother that that's a no no.

TZ: How they treat animals there was very different and that also was hard for me to see. In America in general, we pamper our pets and we view dogs as member of our family where they stay in our house. There there were a lot of homeless animals. Or maybe they had a home but dogs were meant as guard dogs and they were always outside. So I did meet some dogs. I met some very friendly pit bulls actually. I knew who they belonged to.

MZ: Yeah, I went to Mexico and my mom said "Max, don't touch the dogs, don't pet the dogs!".

TZ: Oh you did? Was she worried they would have rabies or fleas?


MZ: Yeah, well it was kind of in the ghetto part of town.

TZ: Where did you go?

MZ: Oh, It wasn't Cozumel. It was somewhere around there. We went to Cozumel for a day. We took a ferry to Cozumel so it was somewhere around there. I'm not sure--that's actually going to bother me now.

TZ: Right, don't you hate when you can't remember the name? It will come to you.

MZ: I am looking it up. It may have been Cancun. Did I say Cancun?

TZ: You said Cozumel, but both of them are popular resort towns.


MZ: Yeah, one of those I went to. We stayed in a resort that was really nice but we went to a different place brought presents from home and gave them to some families.

TZ: Oh Yeah!

MZ: Since we were there over Christmas we wanted to do something nice. It was really eye opening to see how it is different than I live.

TZ: The quality of life, what's normal and even gift culture is different there too.

MZ: What other activities did you participate in while you were at UWO?

TZ: Well the big one was orchestra. I mentioned those two study abroad trips. I 56:00was in the microbiology club. The rest of the activities were the jobs I worked on campus. I was a peer advising liaison for a few years.

MZ: Yea, I tried to apply for that but sadly I didn't get it.

TZ: Oh man--it's a fun program. Then I prepared labs for some of the classes.

MZ: Were you an assistant?

TZ: Yes!

MZ: Teacher assistant. Or teacher aid!

TZ: Yeah, a lab aid where I would prep the lab with all the materials they need to teach lab for that week. I did that for a couple of classes too

MZ: Was orchestra the activity that you were most involved in?


TZ: Yes, because even though orchestra was a class you could sign up for it. I also mentioned I took private lessons too with violin and viola professor Dr. Bucal and through that I also was in a string quartet. I made friends in orchestra and then we could exchange quartet gigs on the side for money. We played a lot of weddings in the Oshkosh area. That was a camaraderie. Viola was not as popular as some of the other instruments so they always need them for the music majors' recitals. Typically, a junior recital and a senior recital or anyone who is doing small group performances would need a viola so I would spend a lot of time participating in those mini ensembles as well.


MZ: The viola is not as big as a cello but it is bigger than a violin right?

TZ: Correct. You hold it like a violin and you play it like a violin but it is bigger than a violin.

MZ: More of a deeper sound I am guessing.

TZ: Yep, it is and it plays a lot of harmony, whereas violins are know to have the melody a lot, violas don't have the melody a lot.

MZ: They all look the same to me.

TZ: Like you said, you didn't got to take orchestra so you didn't get to learn the difference first hand.

MZ: I had marching band instead.

TZ: When you are in those mini ensembles, you spend a lot of time practicing and rehearsing and you spend a lot of time practicing just for your own private 59:00lessons and for orchestra. All of the music students practice a lot and you would see each other in the hallways and in the practice rooms. It definitely becomes a community.

MZ: Did you practice a lot with your band mates then?

TZ: Yep. Oh, I should mention--I did two summer internship type things too. It was also my graduate work. What I did for my thesis was we went up to Door County and we helped manage the undergrads and we did beach water testing.

MZ: Oh, that's cool.

TZ: Yeah, and then the University would get things. We tested a bunch of stuff for Kimberly Clark for a while. They wanted to do a couple of side studies and I 60:00would help out with those too. When you spend a summer living with everybody in a double wide trailer together and you all took turns managing the boats and who was going to test what beach and everyone going back to the lab for the test results, you spend a lot of time together that way. After that came the microbiology club and we were all doing research in the building and you are there a lot, you get to know them that way too. I feel like both the music community and the microbiology community were where I spent a lot of time and I made a lot of friends.

MZ: What is the microbiology club?

TZ: I couldn't even tell you how many times we met, but we organized volunteer events in the community and we picked different microbiology topics to discuss and learn about together. And we had pizza parties. If you liked microbiology 61:00you hung out with other people that liked microbiology.

MZ: Yeah.

TZ: It was a pretty relaxed and fun, easy going club.

MZ: That's nice since you said you busy and had a lot of other stuff, it's nice to have chill time--

TZ: Right, I wasn't working or doing work for research. It wasn't work for research or any of the other stuff.

MZ: Did you do any research for homework for microbiology classes while you were at microbiology club? Or did you just chill?

TZ: No. I don't remember having to research or present anything for microbiology club.

MZ: What years were you active in that club?


TZ: That's a great question. At least the 2006/2007 school year for sure. I don't know if I joined right away when I started my graduate school in 2005. I don't remember.

MZ: Okay.

TZ: At least for a year.

MZ: It is always nice to at least do something for a year--give it a try.

TZ: Right. As much as I like philosophy, I never made it to philosophy club. I knew they had one and I knew when they met but I just never made it. If I had more time maybe I would have.

MZ: I would get extra credit if I went to philosophy club but I had stuff to do and it was late at night so--.


TZ: Right, you have to prioritize what you are going to do. What class did you have or do you remember who your professor was? Was is ethics?

MZ: It was ethics.

TZ: Was it Missner?

MZ: Hm.

TZ: Missner doesn't sound familiar?

MZ: No, he is really old and middle eastern. He has a thick middle eastern accent.

TZ: Maybe he wasn't there when I was there. I don't remember a middle eastern professor.

MZ: I could barely understand what he was saying.

TZ: That's another fun part of college right? When you have professors with thick accents and you have to learn how to understand them and get used to their way of speaking.

MZ: Yeah, last year my second semester, my freshman year I had four classes back 64:00to back and three of my professors had accents. The first day I thought I might drop the class, I couldn't understand half the stuff that they were saying.

TZ: Oh no!

MZ: I didn't drop it, I just adjusted. It was interesting with the different accents and how different the professors are compared to each other.

TZ: Right. The teaching styles--I get that.

MZ: I am going to move on the some questions about after college. How did you feel when you were finished? Were you relieved or were you sad that you were done?

TZ: Overall, I was proud. I happy at what I had accomplished and I was glad to be celebrating it and acknowledging it. I was mostly excited. I was a little sad 65:00to leave my friends and my community but I was excited to start something new and try something else and work in the field.

MZ: Did you have a job set up right out of college?

TZ: There wasn't a very long period that I was unemployed. I can't remember if I moved back home for a little bit first or not? I think I may have moved right away to Madison with my boyfriend. I knew I would be living with him and going to Madison so I looked for jobs in microbiology in Madison. I found a quality assurance auditor position that needed microbiology experience for a pharmaceutical contract lab. That was my first job out of college and I was there for four years.

MZ: Wow, as long as it wasn't McDonalds.

TZ: It was not, but it was cubicle life and that was quite an adjustment doing 66:00research in the lab. Going out in the field to test beach water and sand for microbes, so being out in the environment and nature was really fun. Getting to do the field work and the lab work and that was all I did for microbiology and then going into a cubicle in an office type job was a bit of a transition. It was rough at first. I wasn't sure if I was going to stay with it. This was not what I did in school. School was way more fun. I had really good co-workers who were really fun and I adjusted to cubicle life.

MZ: Yeah, it's like a dorm but smaller. At least you don't have a roommate for your cubicle.

TZ: Exactly.

MZ: I understand that. You get all the space available and now you are just in a cubicle.


TZ: Yeah, what I did before was more hands on and obviously I knew that the quality assurance position where I reviewed all the work that they did in the labs wasn't a lab job. I could've gotten a lab job but I went with the office job instead. I knew it wouldn't be in the lab and doing as much. I knew it was more sitting at a computer. It became more theoretical but it did get into microbiology in the theory and I got to use what I learned in school.

MZ: As long as it was something that you liked and enjoyed. That is what is important.

TZ: Yeah, that was my job right out of school.

MZ: After that job, did you move to the current job you are at?

TZ: I did. After that I thought I liked Madison and I want to stay in Madison 68:00but with my experience I really could get the same type of job at another company. If you didn't want to stay here I could get the same type of work only somewhere else or I was looking at a lot of research positions at the university or at other institution. There are a lot of microbiology jobs in Madison but with some of the research positions it would have been less pay and they are all grant based so you don't know after a year if they would have funding for your position again and I didn't like that uncertainty. I felt sort of stuck--doing what I really like to do, the field research doesn't pay as well and it's not guaranteed and while I liked the quality assurance aspect and the pharmaceutical work, it's also not my favorite. I really felt like I wanted a change. I moved back home to Green Bay and I started learning programming from my dad and was going to do this for the meantime but that's has actually been until the present. That was in 2011? 12?


MZ: You don't do any microbiology stuff anymore?

TZ: Sadly no. I was in Santa Monica, California for a few years and I was looking at a program called Heal the Bay and they do some fresh water testing for microbes. I thought it was so cool and I thought I should sign up to volunteer for that and I wanted to get back into it there and ended up not going through with it. My husband and I got pregnant and had a baby and now the baby takes up all my time. Before that when I had free time I thought yeah, it's definitely still on my agenda. I still enjoy microbiology and I am debating--I am actually pregnant with my second child and I'll have this baby in June.

MZ: Congratulations! Boy or girl?

TZ: Thank you! Boy, another boy, so I will have two boys


MZ: Max is a good name.

TZ: Max is a good name. We will add that to the options list. I am hoping-- I like the computer programming because I am able to work from home and it's really flexible so while my kids are small, I like that I can be there for them. I might go back to microbiology when they are done or when they are in school full time.

MZ: For programming do you do HTML?

TZ: Mostly and some ASV. I've done some HTML too. I would say the big ones are or C sharp or C++ or Java script. There are some other ones too that I am not familiar with. I am a girl because that is what my dad 71:00programs in. What ones have you tried?

MZ: I took a class in high school. I did HTML, C++ .

TZ: Oh you did?

MZ: I like HTML better.

TZ: Yeah me too. I sometimes have to write in C++ or C sharp and I hate it. It's not as intuitive as which is more English based so it is more intuitive for a non-programmer which is what I definitely consider myself to be. I don't have a programming background. I didn't go to school for it.

MZ: It's awesome that you got to learn that from your dad and that it's your career.

TZ: Yeah I am fortunate that way, I agree. Thanks dad. You know he tried to teach us in high school all the time and he would do special classes with us on the weekend and I would say "dad, this is boring". My poor dad. Actually all 72:00three of us girls now work for him. We all came back eventually. We all went to school for different things.

MZ: What are the odds?

TZ: Yeah, exactly.

MZ: He thought--you all came crawling back to me.

TZ: Yeah exactly, it's really a pretty funny story. Yep guess what dad, we are all programming now. It's in our blood more than we thought.

MZ: How has UWO prepared you for life outside of college?

TZ: I would say the most valuable experience to prepare me for life outside of college were the jobs I had in college. I obviously learned a lot about the world and about cultures and perspectives and viewpoints in my classes but it was doing the jobs on campus like the peer advising liaison and the lab 73:00assistant. Especially, being a PAL where you learn about office politics where you learn how to work in an office environment, how to juggle different personalities, how to deal with different people, how to work on your professionalism skills and your customer service skills. I feel like I learned a lot about that there. I had really good role models there. I became good friends with some of the advisors as well as just colleagues. They were examples of women who had jobs and families and not having that at home I really enjoyed that my mom was a stay at home mom and that she stayed home with us but I didn't really see her have friends or I didn't see her have any interests or things to do outside of the family. I knew that I was still interested in those things and I kind of wanted both and I had those role models for me when I worked that job 74:00in advisement. That was really beneficial for me.

MZ: My mom was a stay at home mom. Before she worked but when she had my oldest brother she started staying at home and she got bored so she started redecorating our house, repainting it. It is difficult to find stuff to do when you are a stay at home mom and you are taking care of children. You have to find stuff to do around the house and then when there is nothing left around the house to do, you need to find something new.

TZ: Yeah, it's definitely fun to come up with things and activities for your kids to do but then your other jobs are home based because you need to be there to watch your kid. It's hard to stay intellectually stimulated sometimes.

MZ: Are you involved in your community?


TZ: We just moved to Boston in September, so we haven't been here for too long. In terms of the community I teach Zumba classes and dance fitness like Cardio Hip Hop. I teach at a Y out here one time a week and I've made a lot of friends with those moms. There is also a preschool program that I take my son to there. I've met a lot of moms through that. I am in the Mom's club of Brooklyn, which is the city I live in here--the Boston area and we do volunteer nights occasionally. There is a book club through them that I joined because I really like to read. I was thinking about joining the Brookline community orchestra.

MZ: Okay

TZ: Actually, from my Madison connections, I volunteer as member of a board. I 76:00am the secretary for a sanctuary called Primates Incorporated. The sanctuary is in Westfield, Wisconsin. It is about an hour north of Madison. We just got our first monkeys this year. It's been a long time of trying to fundraise and just be a part of board minutes. I have been volunteering my time in that way. Now it's remote. Before Boston I was in California for a few years. It's been remote for a while so that's been my community type activity.

MZ: What is your favorite genre or favorite book?

TZ: Until about two years ago, I never read fantasy apart from Harry Potter or when my friends read Twilight when I was fourteen I would read those and the 77:00Hunger Games, but my favorite now is fantasy. I read the Wheel of Time series when I was pregnant with Ethan, my first born. Now I am into the Witcher series and it's super good. I didn't think I would, while I really liked the Lord of the Rings movies, I didn't really enjoy the books that much. I thought, I kind of like fantasy but I never really read it as a genre. So I read a lot of that and I still read some of the classics sometimes.

MZ: That's cool.

TZ: Are you a reader?

MZ: I am more of a Rick Riordan, Percy Jackson, mythology reading. That is more interesting.

TZ: Are you reading his Egyptian series? I don't know what it is called but I heard it is good.

MZ: Oh yeah, it was great!

TZ: Do you like it better than Percy Jackson, because I was lukewarm about Percy Jackson.

MZ: I don't know--I didn't like the movies.


TZ: I didn't see the movies.

MZ: Good. Don't.

TZ: Okay.

MZ: If you read the books and then saw the movies. I read all five Percy Jackson books and then moved on to the next series. It was different to move from Greek to Egyptian. I didn't know anything about Egyptian mythology. As I started reading through it I thought it was pretty good.

TZ: Okay cool. I think I may try those.

MZ: The Heroes of Olympus, which is a continuation of Percy Jackson. There are a bunch of new books which I need to start reading that are pretty good. Rick Riordan is pretty good.

TZ: Young adult as a genre in general is good. I like it. There is good stuff 79:00written for the young adult audience and I think it is just as fun and engaging if not more fun than some of the adult books can be.

MZ: I read them when I was in elementary school, in fifth grade and I would pretend like I was one of them and it always made me happy and unique. It made me like him and I would visualize the characters in my head even though they were different in the movies. I have this vision and I would see them when I read them. It has weird and different characters.

MZ: Have you had much involvement in UWO since you graduated?


TZ: I've written to a couple of professors every now and then. I was on campus for a non-profit class that was hosted at UWO. I made sure to say hi to some people while I was on campus. I am part of the UWO honors facebook group so I get news about them through that. I read the Engage thing when it comes through and if it talks about a program that I used to do or used to know a professor I'll look them up. Then I volunteer to do this. That's the extent of my UWO stuff.

MZ: When were you on campus last?

TZ: Great question--I was still living in Madison. Maybe 2012 or 2013.


MZ: Compared when you visited in 2012 or 2013 to when you were a student, how much did it change?

TZ: The geography changed a little bit. There is the big fitness center now and advising has moved to a new building that wasn't part of UWO campus when I went. The library was still the library. I actually returned a library book when I went. I realized I still had one.

MZ: That's alright.

TZ: I returned it, so it finally made it home. The library was still the same, Demps Hall, I had a lot of classes there too. Dempsey was where I had 82:00that volunteer non-profit class and that is very much the same. It was funny to see how much was the same but then they added some new buildings. I was definitely envious of the fitness center and all the extra parking that they added. Man, that wasn't there when I was here.

MZ: Now they are adding a new sportscenter right next to Gruenhagen and they are making more parking spaces near Gruenhagen as well.

TZ: That's awesome. Shortly after I left they really ramped up. They have an environmental lab and processing lab and aerobic digester on campus or close to campus too. Being the nerdy environmental microbiologist that I am I thought that was so cool. It was there but it was an all purpose, not the same or as big 83:00or as productive as it is now. It is cool to see how much more they are doing.

MZ: You didn't really miss much. I had some classes in there and it just smelt like fish. It didn't smell good at all.

TZ: That I believe. I used to exercise on that water trail down by the river and it didn't smell that great.

MZ: On some days it is fine but on other days it is horrible. I have one last question. What advice would you give current UWO students?

TZ: I would say now is the time to try classes and subjects that you have 84:00wondered about because you won't get another chance to do it later. For me it was trying a philosophy class. I still read philosophy books for fun. Go ahead and try something that you have always wanted to because now is the time. I would also like to say, get a job on campus. I learned a lot from my jobs on campus.

MZ: It's better than going off campus and taking the bus.

TZ: Right, having to worry about transportation. Exactly. I would say if you have the time and ability to also manage a job, even if it's only a few hours a week. I learned a lot and I made good connections there. That would be my other advice. It's tough. I didn't work on campus all the time. It wasn't every semester that I had a job. It was only after the first few years I think. Then I 85:00was able to get one. You've got time Max, no pressure. Education is a tough program. You have a lot to study on and focus and do.

MZ: Next semester I will be going to school for three weeks and then I will go to an elementary school to work at for four weeks and then come back to Oshkosh for four weeks and then go to another school for four weeks.

TZ: Oh wow, that starts your junior year already. Cool.

MZ: It is going to be hectic.

TZ: Yeah right, that will be a crazy schedule too.

MZ: I just want to say thank you.

TZ: Yeah, thank you, Max. This was great. It was my pleasure to help out.

MZ: I did send you an email about the deed of Gift

TZ: Yes, my husband printed it out at his office today and I have it here on the 86:00couch. I will sign this and send you a PDF.

MZ: If you have a certain picture that you would like?

TZ: You are right. I need to send you some pictures. Does it have to be anything specific.

MZ: A picture of your face. It will be put in the archives as well as the transcript.

TZ: Okay, I will try to find one I like then. But I will get both of those to you tomorrow.

MZ: Alright then. Thank you again.

TZ: Yeah, my pleasure. Good luck with school, and I hope you have as much fun at Oshkosh as I did.

MZ: Yeah, I hope I will too.

TZ: I hope you graduate and get a job and, you know, get to pay back all those wonderful loans.


MZ: Oh, yeah, yeah - that's what - that's the best part about college. All those loans.

TZ: Alright, well take care Max. Let me know if there's anything else that you need.

MZ: Alright, yeah. Thank you.

TZ: Buh-bye.

MZ: Bye.

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