Suzy Winter (@wintermom2013) has a number of claims to fame, but the most relevant to this podcast is she is our very own host's (Daniel's) mother! Along with that, she helped beta read the book we released back in December.
She's been a huge part in Daniel's success, and is one of our greatest and most supportive fans. Suzy is also an English teacher and tutor who recently left the public education system to work in the private sector as a tutor.
You don't want to miss this episode on writing, being a good mom, career transitions, and living the good life, and possibly MOST IMPORTANTLY, is Kent actually Daniel's real dad?
Try something new. Specifically, take a leaf of faith and do that thing you've been scared to do.
Find Suzy's writings, including the piece about quitting her job.
"Before the school year began, I decided to resign as a teacher due to living in a pandemic riddled world. I made my prayerful decision based on my health concerns and that of my husband. No way would I risk exposing either of us to COVID-19 by entering a Petri dish environment of my classroom"
"No one ever said life was easy. But Ponyboy is pretty sure that he's got things figured out. He knows that he can count on his brothers, Darry and Sodapop. And he knows that he can count on his friends—true friends who would do anything for him, like Johnny and Two-Bit. But not on much else besides trouble with the Socs, a vicious gang of rich kids whose idea of a good time is beating up on “greasers” like Ponyboy. At least he knows what to expect—until the night someone takes things too far."
"Pino Lella wants nothing to do with the war or the Nazis. He’s a normal Italian teenager—obsessed with music, food, and girls—but his days of innocence are numbered. When his family home in Milan is destroyed by Allied bombs, Pino joins an underground railroad helping Jews escape over the Alps, and falls for Anna, a beautiful widow six years his senior."
Truly, this was one of our favorite books read in 2020. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.
"A tour de force from acclaimed author Alan Gratz (Prisoner B-3087), this timely -- and timeless -- novel tells the powerful story of three different children seeking refuge."
"When half your galaxy is unexpectedly sucked into a black hole - when a hitherto-unknown species of space aliens lays waste to your home planet - when disaster rears its ugly head (or heads) - who can you call for faster-than-light appraisals and best-in-the-multiverse customer service? Just one man - Tom Stranger, Interdimensional Insurance Agent."
Note- if you have Amazon Prime, it looks like this bad boy is free!
"From the creator and star of Hamilton, with beautiful illustrations by Jonny Sun, comes a book of affirmations to inspire readers at the beginning and end of each day."
If this doesn't give you chills, or teach you how to be a better writer, nothing will.
"Suzy Winter is a wife, mom, and new grandma affectionately called ZuZu, who is rediscovering her first love—writing. She is also a former English teacher continuing to help students via online tutoring. Suzy lives in Amarillo, Texas with her husband of 35 years and their 9-month-old rescue pup named Abbi."
Honestly, a much better bio than we came up with.
Daniel: [00:00:19]Hi guys, and welcome back to dead by tomorrow. If you're a long time listener,you're not crazy. Andrew's voice has not changed. This is actually Daniel doingour introduction and kickoff this time around. So our guest today is none otherthan Susie winter, who is a 17 year middle school English teaching veteran hasactually been teaching a little bit longer than that lives in Amarillo, Texasat the moment, and has really just lived a lot more life than Andrew or I, orreally any of our other guests so far also she's my mom.
Maybe I should've started with that. So Suzy, AKA mom,welcome to the podcast.
Suzy: [00:01:07]Hey guys. Thanks for having me. And I guess I was a nice way of saying I'm oldmaybe, but uh,
Daniel: [00:01:14]I didn't say it.
Andrew: [00:01:16]that in there on you.
Suzy: [00:01:17] Iam not totally surprised at all. So it didn't take you what? 30 seconds? Three.
Daniel: [00:01:23]Yeah. 30 seconds is generous.
Mom, I'm just going to use mom for the rest of this episode,because it's too weird for me to say, Susie, Andrew, you can say mom too, ifyou want, I'll leave that up to you.
Andrew: [00:01:35]Now we're all going to be confused.
Daniel: [00:01:39]You've been, you've been shouted out on this podcast once or twice, cause weknow that you're probably our most avid listener. You've also been shouted outonce or twice on the, you can mentor podcast that Beth will sometimes host. Butfor those that don't know you and have not known you for literally three decadesat this point.
Just tell us a littlebit about yourself, a little bit about who you are besides being my mom. Someof, some of the things that you're passionate about and, and what you've beenup to lately.
Suzy: [00:02:09]Well, besides being Daniel's mom, I'm also a mom to Beth and Kristi
but also mother-in-law to Doug and Hillary and grandma tothe cutest granddaughter in the whole world, just a little biased with that.
Married the Kent 36years, which seems like not that long until I see his pictures and I'm like,gosh, what happened to us? But um, yeah, I've been a middle school teacher,like Daniel said 16, 17 years, and I know where he's going with longer thanthat, of how I started in the teaching to begin with. But I would say 16 out ofthe 17 years, I've been the pre AP English teacher because.
I like , that level of questioning and kids, and I don'tknow, they're just fun. And I dabble in writing and do a blog and written fordifferent magazines over the years and stuff. And this fall, let's see, I had adecision to make, with this pandemic stuff going on, that we've all been goingthrough forever, 20, 20 dumpster fire type deal.
I was just notcomfortable going back into the classroom cause I knew it would possibly belike, I knew my health issues. My husband has health issues, nothing serious,but we're in that category of high risk category I guess, is what you call it.And I thought, well, I just don't have a peace prayed about it.
Resigned, which was probably, well, definitely the hardest thingI've ever done in my entire life. And within four or five hours packed up myclassroom, but got all home and sat there and looked at it and cried for daysthinking, well, great. Now what do I do? I had a piece about what I did. I haveno doubt that was the right thing to do.
I have no doubt. I would have put myself at risk andeverybody else in my family. I'm not one to sit around and get all mopey andcry about things forever. I decided, okay, chances start over. What do I wantto do? Wrote out a list of what I like about teaching or Different jobopportunities I could do.
And I knew I needed something where I could influence otherpeople. I could be a mentor. I like learning new software and skills. I likewriting. And I always wanted to work in a college type situation like a Rockylap and to start looking on online job sites for different things and somethingtruly did not excite me at all.
I'm like, that's going to be boring. I'll be bored out of mymind. No way I'll do that. And online tutoring presented itself. It seemed likethat seemed to be taken off with thepandemic and kids being home and remote learning. And from what I'm gettingmessages, my kid's just not getting it.
There's a disconnect. They just don't know what to do.They're struggling. So that's the majority of what I've been doing. And I workwith college kids. So there's one kind of bucket list thing taken off for me,which has been fun. Kids from all over the U S Boston, California, you name iteverywhere in between.
So that's been fun helping them with revising our essays andthings like that. And before thatreally started taking off, I think about August, September, I thought, well,I'm home.
I haven't written anything in a little while. So I'll writeabout this experience of resigning my job and wondering now what do I do withmyself? And so I wrote it So now toomany, many magazines had three reply. They wanted to print it. And somethingelse I've always wanted. I don't want to sound egotistical, but I thought if wereally cool to write for something beyond Amarilla something on a bigger scaleand these three magazines are nationally, no two are Christian women magazines.
And the other one is an educator magazine called theeducators room and they published my piece and educator room asked me to comeon board as a contributing writer in theeditorial team. So I write pieces two or three a month. And about educationalreform how to treat your teachersencouraging pieces and things like that. So that's what I've been doing sinceresigning and pandemic. And like I said, I don't regret doing that at all.
I feel, I wasthinking about this the other day. If I hadn't had that happen, I would nothave been able to very easily had the chance come October and help take care ofDaniel and his new family. Like moms usually do when new babies are born. Andthen October, my husband had a medical emergency thing with the he's too old tohave this, but he had an appendicitis attack where he had clinics removed.
And that normally happens at your age or younger, but no, hesaid that's what he would have. And I was able to take care of him for all ofthat, which was really, really weird. I'm sitting there thinking great. Iresigned to take care of my family and mix of a pandemic and you go into ahospital where there's COVID everywhere.
But we survived. It was all fine, but bottom line was allreally a little scary to do, but it was really bottom line, the right thing todo.
Andrew: [00:07:13]Well, that's pretty cool.
So obviously it was the right choice for you to make inhindsight, but what was it like making that kind of, what would be considered alate career career change?
You took something that, I'm not horribly educated on theeducation system, but my understanding is one of the big benefits of working inthe jobs that you did pre resignation is the retirement plan. So youessentially throw away the retirement plan by resigning and a lot of safety andsecurity and took a risk on something that turned out to be good.
But what does that like before you actually do it?
Suzy: [00:07:50]We weighed all that as well. And that's what made it really, really scary. ButI also know. It wasn't long-term, because I knew I wouldn't stay home forever.I'm not, I'm just not wired that way. Ididn't know at the time I thought maybe I could do something else besidesteaching.
No idea what nothing else really excited me or made methink, Oh yeah, great. I'm going to be real estate agent. No, that soundedreally boring. No way. And I didn't know if I'd ever get back into teaching,but about February started praying about it. Cause I knew pretty soon schools around the area and, everywhere theycan start looking at their staff and if they want to add new classes and.
Staff changes and, interview seas season was about to start.So it was kinda like, okay, God I don'tknow which way you want me to go. So I just have to trust you to do this thatnight. A friend texted me and said, Hey, this private school needs a writingteacher for sixth, seventh, and eighth grade.
Are you interested? I told my husband, I'm like, okay. Ithink that's the fastest I've ever had a prayer answered, a couple of hours andI'm texting back going, yes, send me all the information and I start in thefall. So I'll be back on a different retirement plan. It's that's okay. I stillget it.
I'll retire someday. 5,000 years from now. No workout. I'm not that worried about it.
Daniel: [00:09:21]So you took just a little bit of a period of time to be at home while a whole lotof people are at home, but that's not exactly a process that is foreign to youbecause for a large chunk of time, whenever Yeah, y'all first had kids firsthad me. You were at home teaching me teaching Beth
Christie wasn't necessarily in grade school yet, but right.
It's still teaching. And so there was that time periodwhere, you were the stay at home mom doing the whole homeschool thing. And soyou've, you've done that then went back and taught and then came back and wereat home for a little while, empty nest and now are going back to teaching.
And so as somebody who is flip-flopped between that severaltimes, what are some of the pros to staying at home and the cons of staying athome compared to pros being in the workforce and staying, or in constant andthe workforce specifically as a mom, because I think that's something a lot ofmoms are trying to figure out is, do I stay at home or do I keep working.
Suzy: [00:10:28]Yeah. Well, I really feel fortunate that we were able at the time to allow me tostay home because my husband, you know, your dad basically was in a job. well, we're
Andrew: [00:10:39]Wait a second, two 23. Me Daniel. I need you to get one of those right away,Ken, I'm sorry for what comes next.
Suzy: [00:10:46]No, I'm sitting there thinking, do I call him Kent? Or I call him dad becausehe's not Daniel's dad. I mean, He is Daniel's, Debbie's not Andrew's
Andrew: [00:10:53]Here it is again, I'll pay for the 23 and maybe this has taken a whole right.Turn
Daniel: [00:10:59]Yeah. Well,
Andrew: [00:10:59]test is on
Daniel: [00:11:01]what I expected. We learned things about people that we know in these podcasts,but
Andrew: [00:11:05]Holy crap. This is, this is some drama.
I'm so excited.
Suzy: [00:11:10]There's no doubt that yeah. Anyway, they're too much alike to not berelated. anyway, I was fortunate enoughto, to be able to stay home with Ken's job with IBM and such. And I know a lotof families may or may not really have that option. And so I feel reallyblessed to have had that chance to do that.
And it allowed me to, take you guys to playgroup and, churchevents and things like that, where you could be around other kids and things.And it gave me a chance to be around other stay-at-home moms. Cause we're allin the same boat because in that time period in the early nineties, it wasn'tvery common to have stay-at-home moms.
It was kind of like, Oh, that means you don't work. Yes, I do. Have you met my children? I'mworking all the time with these cats. When anyway it really allowed me to be there to train y'all up, teachyou our morals and values and, and beliefs and such. And so to me, that was thepro side. And I guess the con side, I don't really know what a con side tobeing a home was.
Daniel: [00:12:18]I guess some of The con side , might be that there were opportunities that youforego by being at home that you don't get, that you would be in at work.
Yeah, maybe, but if it's on a social side, I had other momsthat I hung out with, two or three times a week and talk to each other on thephone and, things like that. So that, wasn't it now maybe on monetary side,that was a con, but that really didn'thurt us or affect us really until y'all were older and then can stop change wherewe went into being a pastor and our income changed pretty significantly.
I will say not theIBM job a paycheck anymore. So that kind of required me to go back into theworkforce, which. Before I was thinking, well, what can I do? I've been ahomeschool teachers since let's see. Well, I don't do the math. So you were 34years old?
Daniel: [00:13:18]We don't do, we don't do math on the podcast. It's a, it's a hard role.
Suzy: [00:13:22]Several years. Kindergarten throughfifth grade is how long a homeschool to you.
It's not that well, that's one thing I can do and do prettywell. And when we put Charlie in the public school, I, I was not one to stayhome because it was boring all day, just myself. And so I thought, well, I'lltry substitute teaching and start off doing that. And one of the principals atone, it was actually your principal Puckett.
Gave me information to go get my certification to teach. Andso that's how that all started. And I guess the pro side with that for me, wasworking, helped me gain a new level of independence and identity. And I don't,I don't have a problem, being the wife and the mom, but I knew, those two rolescan't be everything.
I need something that I felt good about myself. And so theteaching provided that and I could be a totally different person and theclassroom that I am at home, but the con side of that is I did miss out beingthe homeroom mom Coming to school eventsand things like that. But I did try and make it to all the basketball games andtennis tournaments that were home instead of out of town.
And whether you stay at home or work outside, you just haveto make a connection. The most importantthing is whether you're working outside the home or work or staying at home,maintaining the connection with your kids is the most important thing and yourfamily.
Don't let it sacrifice that.
Andrew: [00:14:58]That's good advice. I need to probably take that to heart on my own because Iget a little too caught up with work sometimes.
So you become anEnglish teacher at some point when you decided that Daniel was most likely notgoing to kill himself, fending for himself in the wild which were all surprisedabout, but it's okay.
Because Daniel and I are obviously pretty big book nerds,and I'm sure you had a part to play in Daniel's life. There. Is there anythingfrom an English teacher's perspective that you're like, Hey, this is the kindof book that I wish my kids would read that would make them like reading or youjust like giving out to kids that you're teaching or, what is the Englishteachers book recommendation list,
Suzy: [00:15:34]There are so many books and there's really not a one book fits all type thing.Everybody has their own likes and dislikes. For me, I've always loved historical fiction. And then I didn't reallyget into scifi type things until I guess when I got married, because Kent likethat, Sean Ruh.
And I thought, well, read that too. And got hooked intothat, that um, there is one book that has turned every reluctant reader I'veever had into somebody who actually likes to read, because I like it whensomebody comes to me, when my kids say, well, I don't like to read con causeit's like a challenge of you can't make me like reading.
I'm like, just wait. Okay. Yeah. And it's
Daniel: [00:16:18]done by tomorrow?
Suzy: [00:16:19]no, it wasn't written
Andrew: [00:16:21]That was an
No, that was a hell no.
Suzy: [00:16:24]not yet. It'll be in my library this year. No, the outsiders by se Hinton. And I don't know if y'all got to readthat it's been around 50 something years. It's a classic. And every time, I'vehad kids, they say, Hey honey, you borrow the book over the weekend. I justneed to read this one chapter.
Then they come back and they're like, miss, what are thewhole book? Am I in trouble? Yes. Horribly go sit down. But I'm not really, Ijust made them not give away the ending because it is really one of those booksthat grab you from the very beginning it's action. You have fights and. Good versus evil type situationthat um, that's one book I recommend to anybody who really doesn't think theylike to read.
And I have some, a list of other books I've read lately. Go.Okay. Let's see. Okay. It is calledbeneath a Scarlet sunset by Mark Sullivan. Daniel actually gave me this bookChristmas couple of years ago, and I finished it in a weekend. That's how, howgood it is. And it's a historical fiction about well, I think it's morebiographical because well, maybe this historical anyway, it's one of theseweird really fiction I'll call it that the character is true.
He's based on a real guy and then . An Italian teenager whobecame a spy for the allies and became a driver in the Nazi party group. Andit's that story. And it's about to be made into a movie. I read today with TomHolland in the league, which like, okay, I don't see him as this character, butI don't know.
They didn't ask me.
Daniel: [00:18:00]Can do no wrong in my book.
Suzy: [00:18:02] Idon't know. This character just seemed he's Italian. I don't see Tom Hollandpulling off Italian, but
Daniel: [00:18:08]Oh, he, he can do anything he's Spiderman
Suzy: [00:18:11]We'll see. As long as Tom Hanks is in it, he has been every world war two,maybe. Right. So many, we will be good.
he has to pee
movie. If you, if you've never paid attention to that as alistener, just think about every Tom Hanks movie and think about how he pees inalmost every movie.
Suzy: [00:18:27]No way. I don't believe you because you have been known to punk me on thingslike this before.
Daniel: [00:18:33]We, we we'll
Andrew: [00:18:34]30 movies, not in CMP once.
Daniel: [00:18:37]I'm telling, I'm telling you a Castaway peas into the ocean. Forrest Gump, he'smeeting the president and he has to go pee
green mile. He green mile. He, he has a. Problem with hisbladder that the magic large black man is able to fix for him, pay attention toit. It's in a lot of his movies.
Suzy: [00:18:55]Okay. That's something I've never thought about noticing in the movie before,but okay. The back on books refugee byAlan Kratz is good. It's Also historic fiction. It takes, it's a book of four,three or four different characters who are all refugees from different timeperiods Nazi, Germany, Cuba.
And I think something in the middle East, I want to saySomalia, but it has such a surprising ending. I'm going to have to read itagain to see if I can see all the clues before the ending. Because when I gotto an Indian, I'm like, wait, no way. It's just one of those books. And thenfor fun Saifai camp got me listening to this book called Tom stranger, a murderof manatees.
It's ans by Larry. I think it's Korea. I don't know how yousay it. C O R E I a. And it's an audible book and Jane from fireflies, the onewho narrates it. So it's just. Cheesy corny type thing. So if you just wantsomething like, and then I finished last night goodnight, good morning bylandman Manuel Miranda, which is two kind of little short, I would say,inspirational nuggets to read.
And that was fun. And that one I would recommend in acourse, I'm going to recommend that by tomorrow to people. I think I've giventhat whole to some for presence. Andleaf and a pebble duh. So
Andrew: [00:20:17]you for, including me in this
Suzy: [00:20:19]But it really
Andrew: [00:20:20]slips or 10 bucks,
Suzy: [00:20:21] whereI'm waiting. I don't see it.
Andrew: [00:20:23]It'll be there.
Suzy: [00:20:24]but as far as gifting a book, yes, I have to know a person's likes anddislikes.
You don't want to give them a book they'll cylinder,bookshelf forever. So anyway, and in the
Andrew: [00:20:34]I've got to follow up. Oh, go ahead. Sorry. I was going to say, I've got afollow up question for you on that book that you're talking about, the beneaththe Scarlet sky. And I know you probably don't know much about Daniel's ex exhibitions that he does whenever you're notlooking climbing specifically thingsthat he shouldn't, but that was one ofmy favorite things about that book was it reminded me of Daniel and I, so tosay hiking, where we get a little crazy was like half the book at thebeginning.
Was him doing all of his crazy stuff at a hundred percent? Ihope this would be me as a kid in Italy. But did that click it all with you? Oris that why Daniel might've recommended it or.
Suzy: [00:21:09]no, I recommended it. He just gave it to me for Christmas. And I think I knowhe knows I've liked that genre before. Cause that's something I think Hillarymammo share But I didn't even put thattogether about you guys and the climbing and the caving. Well, I finishedbefore I knew all that. So
Before I heard that and speaking of there's lots of thingsI've learned about my son through the podcast and in the book that I neverknew. And there's probably a reason that I never knew cause he'd probablygrounded forever if I did
Andrew: [00:21:41]good thing that he didn't tell you. I guess
Suzy: [00:21:46]And good thing, he didn't get hurt.
Andrew: [00:21:49]that actually has been pretty lucky.
Daniel: [00:21:50]Yeah, for sure.
Andrew: [00:21:52]Yeah, shout out to that book. It's a great beneath the Scarlet sky is a greatbook. Like I am not a historical fiction kind of person. And that was probablythe gift. The book I gifted most last year was that one I probably gave outthree or four copies cause I get, that's what I give as gifts as books, peopleget tired of.
I don't get invited to many parties anymore, but it's cool.
Suzy: [00:22:11]Well, I'm looking forward to see who they cast, that's all I've seen so far isTom Holland. That was just a little blurb I saw on it, but it just beinteresting to see who the general is, who they pick is Mussolini and his wife.And I don't know, I don't have anybody in my head who I would pick off the topof my head to play, but it'll be interesting as long.
That's the one problem when I read a book and then I see themovie and they do such a horrible job, but this really, really disappoints me.So
Andrew: [00:22:38]Hey, I just finished a Lord of the rings, like today, actually on the way backfrom setting up the mic at your place. And I finished fellowship and I waslike, all right, I guess the movie is the exact same thing of the book. Nothingchanged. It was practically verbatim.
Andrew: [00:22:51]out to all of the rings for doing it.
Suzy: [00:22:53]Yeah, cause well, this makes me think of a lesson I've always taught in classis to get them into imagery and see how the author does that with theirwriting. I take that clip from which oneis it returned to the King where they're returning the ring in Mount doom. Ithink it's called.
And I play that scene where he's about to throw it into thefire, but they don't see it. They just hear it and they have to write downeverything. They hear, the tone of the voice, the sound, the hear in thebackground. And then I play it again. The hit the write down everything, theysee the fire, the expression on her faces and especially, yeah, especially thephases when Frodo turns and he has that demonic look on his face.
And then we, we read it the excerpt from the, from the book and we discuss, okay. Did PeterJackson do a good job interpreting this. How it's written in the book andthey're like, yeah, he tid. I said, yeah, it's the one time the book did themovie did the book justice. So here's your freebie pre P lesson.
Daniel: [00:23:53]It is, it is certainly certainly rare. It, something I want to circle a little bit back to is I know you loveto, to bring up the fact that there are probably stories you haven't heard.Although in reality, I, I feel like I was a fairly open book about most things.If you asked, I'm happy to tell you, if you don't ask that's that's on you.
But Beth Christie andI are obviously very different. And so first of all You can tell us which oneis your favorite? I I'd be totally okay with hearing that and it being on therecord, but if you don't want to go into that, that's fine. I would actuallyjust like to actually hear what were some of the big differences in raisingthese three different kids?
What were some of the challenges? Cause again, I, I'm 30now, so most of my friends have kids. A lot of our listeners are probably justnow having their first one or two. And, and what is it like to be a parent ofmultiple and see, see them grow up and have to change your styles.
Suzy: [00:24:55]Yeah. Well, I'm not gonna say here's my favorite because it is cliche, but wedo love you guys all the same, but we, but we don't treat you the same. That'sthe key. You are all very three uniquekids and. Daniel you are the true extrovert. Mean? Look it up in a dictionary.Your pictures probably there you were that way from the get go.
In fact, I think you were the child. I know you were thechild that I had to apologize for within couple of hours. Have you been bornalready? Because as soon as you came out, you peed and shot the nurse straightin the face and I'm like, I'm so sorry about that.
Daniel: [00:25:34]I didn't know that I didn't know that was a turd of extroverts, but
Suzy: [00:25:37]Oh, it's not that, but
Andrew: [00:25:38]I pee on everyone. I meet.
also am just,
I'm amazed that we've already gotten into just talking aboutP two separate times in the podcast. That's the first.
Suzy: [00:25:48]Oh, that's true. Well, we do where you are from a scatological family. I blameyour, your late father era grand grand for that. Cause
father. Wait, dead.
Andrew: [00:25:58]All right. That is three different references. Kent is not your father Daniel.I don't care what she says next.
Suzy: [00:26:05]the attitude that says it all that's you can deal. Anyway from the get go, Daniel was pullingshenanigans, I will say. And the girls, they are your classic introvert type,except they could be an extrovert if they were in control of the situations,how I say it. My, I think what made thedifference in reality is we changed as parents, as we got older.
And as you got older things in our life changed when Bethwas born, we had changed churches from a traditional church to anon-denominational church, where we found the playgroup of moms embraced homeschooling. And that kind ofstarted me on that journey. And with your first kid, you tend to be reallyanxious and nervous about everything.
Oh no, the pacifier fell on the four week. I go sterilize itfor a minute and whatever, and time the third is kinda like, Oh, just step inCoke. You'll be fine. And rinse it off. You relax a little more, the more kidsyou have, but let me think that you don't change. I don't feel like we changed.
Our core of how we taught you. Our situation's changed,which kind of made how we treated you a little bit differently, but not much. Iwould say, I guess we relaxed a little bit more and have more confidence timeChristy came around. It's kind of like, Oh yeah, this is what we do. It's nobig deal.
We're pros at it, butwe had to treat y'all a little bit differently. A lot of ways you three arevery similar in being super competitive and you have some similar likes anddislikes, but there are some differences as well. I think one difference parents need torecognize and accept is if your first child is in all AP classes.
And your second and third or fourth or whatever, they're notquite ready for that. Don't force them. Well, so-and-so's in AP. You should,you all are going to be pre AP, no matter what, you're setting your kid up forfailure for that. And it's going to backfire and their school experience willjust not be enjoyable at all.
And if you as a kid were the star football player and yourson has no interest in that, don't force him. That's not what they want to do.They will hate it. They'll end up resenting you, but if they want to be inchoir or band or something, encourage them. So that's something we tried to doas parents is encourage you guys to pursue things that interest you and Let me think, I think our job as aparent is to also raise him in faith, whatever your family believes in raisedhim in that.
And like your pastor said this morning in the babydedication service it's to also help your kids find their unique gifting andcalling and encourage them in that journey as well, because y'all have similar paths. You are all theword's not coming to me. I want to say servants, but you are in places in yourcareer and in social where you give out to others and help serve others.
That's something wetry to instill if you guys something else that we. That I noticed was different with you guys inthe homeschooling world was Daniel. You kinda wanted to absorb it all at onetime. And he's the reason I got into this to begin with because he got mad atme, skipping pages.
When I would read to him, he would just teach me to readmama. So I did. And he I remember one time he was in a, we were going to takeoff for Christmas break or I thought we should. And I was like, no, I want tokeep doing my math. And he wanted to get a great hit. So I let him do that. AndBeth, she needed her, her lessons presented in chunks because she saw the, thebinder that I brought in to start first day of homeschool for her.
And she was like, I can't read all that. I'm like, no, no,no. It's one page at a time, but it overwhelmed her thinking. She had to readthe whole book that day. And then Christie, we only did the pre-K stuff withher before we put her in school. And she was a kid and she's probably gonna,well, hopefully she didn't get too mad, but cause we all know this.
She would give the, you hear when you say, Hey Christie,what does a cow say? Well, it's supposed to say moon, but the one time she saidMeow for every animal in this really deep voice, we're a little, what? 18months older, however old she was and we laughed. She thought, Oh, I get areaction. So she liked giving the wrong answers to things, but.
So it made me think,Oh, she's going to be the class clown or the family one. Or they ended up beingDaniel. But anyway her first daykindergarten, she came home. Mommy, I don't like kindergarten. I'm like why shegoes, I don't think my teacher knows anything. What do you mean? Well, shedidn't teach me to read all we did were the stupid games where he had get toknow people.
I'm like, Hmm. Okay. You wanted to learn things. She's yeah,that's what school's for. So of course she ended up doing that. And then something else that I hope we'vedone a good job at is the more kids you have, the more opportunity presents foryou to find what connects. Well, how parents can connect with their kid.
To me, there's nothing worse to have children and not playwith them. Not find things you like doing together because that's not whyyou've had them. I hope that's not why. They were there for you to train, tomentor and raise up to be responsible people on things. But but also realizedthat you can find different things to connect with your kids.
Like with Daniel Joy's has been food books, TV shows. He'sreason that I became a doctor who fan and with the girls has been shopping,cooking, movies, coffee, rungs, and the music's kind of been the thing thatconnected all of us together. Cause I pretty much liked 90% of what y'alllistened to. I don't know, I feel like I have, and then I introduced you guysto all these music, which for a little while you can have light on if you doanymore, but I know Kristy still does, but anyway, I feel like a rabbit trailthere, which is not too uncommon, but yeah, I can't remember what else to say.Okay,
Andrew: [00:32:24]That's okay. It's your podcast episode. You get to rabbit trail where you wantto, unless Daniel and I come in with a hard right. Turns like we do. Sospeaking of hard-right turns
Andrew: [00:32:33]well, so near the you've launched in the stories already, Well, I'm going toofficially open it up to you. Do you have any stories you want to share aboutDaniel, me, your other children?
Daniel's real father, whoever that might be
Suzy: [00:32:47]It's can't I
Andrew: [00:32:48]anything like that.
Suzy: [00:32:48] Gosh, there are so manythings I could say about Daniel, but don't want to totally embarrass him. Butthen his dad was saying, can't, his dad was saying this child is notembarrassed easily because he's the one that would sing in the grocery storeloudly at the top of his lungs.
And having a good time. I'm talking two years old in thegrocery cart. I think one of the firstthings that came to my mind was, well, two things. One of the things I do atthe beginning of the school year is I had this SlideShare is introduce myselfto the class and everything going here.
I am. Here's what I like. Here's here are my kids in thisone year. Daniel had his hair dyed bleach blonde, and these little girls startpointing and giggling, I stop. I said, what are you doing? Why are you laughingat my son? Messing with him. But they said, was he at the mall Saturday? I'mlike, and I knew he had been.
And I'm like, yeah, why we saw him. He was in an inflatable,Sumo wrestler suit. And he's being chased all over the mall by a mall cop. Andhe got kicked out because there's other guy in another Sumo wrestling suit. I'mlike, yup, that's my son. That's one ofthe first things that I thought about. And then
Daniel: [00:34:00]for the record. I'm S I'm still upset with Westgate mall for that, because wewere just wearing it. It was, I'm pretty sure it was me and Matt Scruggs werejust wearing our Sumo suits that we had, Halloween costume suits and just goingthrough the mall. And the mall cop came up and was like, Hey y'all have toleave.
And I said like, why, what, what are we, what are we doingwrong? And he didn't really have any answer. And he was just like, ah, well,you, you can't be in here with that. And I was like, why? What's, what's wrongwith what's going on? And he shuffled away and got on his walkie-talkie andobviously asked somebody, whoever it was telling us to leave.
And then he came back and he was just like, well, you just,you have to leave. You can't, you can't be in. And I just remember being soupset that they kicked us out with. With really no good reason we weren't doinganything. We just wanted to walk through the mall with our nice air conditionedSumo suits.
Andrew: [00:34:57]Maybe they remember the other time we were there completely dressed in blackhas ninjas. And they're like, yeah, we ain't doing that again.
Suzy: [00:35:03] Iremember
Andrew: [00:35:04]that guy. I'm all did not have a soft spot for teenage boys, but then again,who does? I don't like them anymore. They're jerks.
Suzy: [00:35:12]let me think. Oh, well, speaking of how people react to you, it's, it is funnyand ironic to me that over the years I'd always run into Daniel's teachers at meetingsand whatever, and, and Christie and best too. But the way they would respondwould be totally different when I meet Daniel teachers.
Oh, you're Daniel Small cone in the narrowing of the eyesand arms across your folder, across your chest. And I'm like, what do you do?You mean? Well, he's just such a smart Ella likes to mess around in class andin a. I think one, I don't know who it was, but I just say, well, he might likeyou, if he's doing that.
Cause I don't think he's that mean I'm I tried to defend youas best I could, but anytime it was the girl teacher, Oh, we just love Beth andChristie, so it's totally different. And another is one teacher. I think it wascoach Stewart at Crockett, because I think I've told you this before. You don'tremember every day you'd go up and say,do you know the muffin, man?
And she got annoyed with you because it was, I don't knowhow long it was going on, but she told me one time he tests needs to quit. So Ithink I told you, you just need to quit saying that. So you made a t-shirt thathad the question on it and she read it and she was just looking at you, likereally.
And I don't know what you said. You probably smarted off toher then too. But later about four or five, six years later, I had her son inseventh grade and I'm like, Oh, Hey, how are you? And then he startedrevenge with me because of you. And itwasn't malicious just every day. Didn't matter what pair of shoes I had on Icould have on flip-flops.
Hey, she's on tide. Like an idiot. I looked down, I'm like,thanks. I cut my jewelry every time I did get him back. And so that gosh, andnow that you're a daddy with a little
Daniel: [00:37:05]Indra. Do you remember that? Because I completely
Andrew: [00:37:07]do. That's why I was, that was one of those things I completely forgot about
that went on for
Suzy: [00:37:12]Were you
Andrew: [00:37:13]No, I
Daniel: [00:37:14]thought it was pretty much everybody did that to somebody.
Andrew: [00:37:18]Yeah, we, it was a thing we could, we had stamina when it came to holding out areally dumb joke or a bad idea.
Suzy: [00:37:26]Well, your typical, yeah, you're typical middle school kids. And you're thereason the way y'all act, which in my mind, isn't bad at all. Is a reason when people are trying to decidewhat grade level to teach, because you have to decide, you just can't decide,gonna teach a kindergarten.
You have to literally sign up and take a test that lets youteach certain grade levels. And when I told them I'm want to teach middleschool, they're like, why they're jerks are mean they're immature and nobodylikes them. They smell funny. And all these, horrible reasons. I'm like,because of everything you just said.
I, they need somebody who will put up with them that willteach them in spite of that and who actually likes their sarcastic snarkybehavior. Cause I give it right back to him every time. But I think y'all brokeme in for teaching middle school. And I was thinking about this. I have beensurrounded at one point in my life.
I was surrounded by middle school children, 24 seven forninth street
in some ways could be terrifying if you think about it. ButI don't know, just made life a little interesting.
Daniel: [00:38:34]Is seventh level of hell or something like that.
Suzy: [00:38:36]for some people it would be.
Andrew: [00:38:38]you and Kurt are saints.
Suzy: [00:38:39]Yeah, I liked middle school. I, I did pick it when I was doing the subbingthing, trying to decide what level to teach. I try them all out and decided,okay, high school, they're just too fold themselves. I don't like them at all.And, and I'm short, dealing with people who are six foot and, way bigger thanme.
I just did not. I just didn't like that and little ones.They're fine, but they're almost a little bit too needy, but then again, middleschool can be too at times. But havingthe help a first grader, make sure her pants are zipped up. I'm like, no, Idon't want to do this every day. Hey Anna. I just liked the conversation I'vehad with middle school kids.
Cause it's just, I dunno, it's just fun. And you can. Youcan do all kinds of things with them that they will think is kind kinda cool orwhatever, and that you can do with high school and have a 10 minute debate witha kid over if baby Yoda is going to be good or evil, that kind of stuff, butwhich has happened on occasion.
Andrew: [00:39:45]All right. I'm going to slide something in real quick, because, and this ischeating. I have, I have pre-knowledge here full disclaimer. So whenever Iswung over earlier to help you set up the mic and computer you had, I was, youhad your. Personality test pulled up. And so I'm going to steal Daniel'squestion and I'm going to throw this maybe a softball, maybe not.
You want to tell us a little bit about what you had and whatyou found out.
Suzy: [00:40:10]Well, I know I didn't really get into knowing about any of this, honestly,until Beth started researching it, because I think some of it was part of inher lessons and stuff at tech, because she's like in the brain research andpersonality and things like that. And I didn't know anything about that really,until she mentioned it, if I'm remembering right.
But I am going to an I N F J and I always have to look thatup because say, figure out, okay, what does that even mean? But when I read thecharacteristics, I'm like, Yeah, that's definitely me, the compassionateintuitive, sensitive helper, caring typeperson, which you have to be for going to be a teacher at times and a mom andgrandma mom also Integram too with awing three, which I think my family has known that for ever.
We just didn't have numbers to attach to it. But and it'sweird. Our family, Daniel probably doesn't notice, but personality tests havebeen in the conversation and our family, well, our entire marriage, becauseyour, your granddad grand grand it he passedaway when you were what?
Six or something like that. Five or six. But he did thispersonality study and they had numbers based on numbers too. But, and I don'teven remember what it was called now, but he said they were talking about meand they were saying, well, I think she's a two. Well, no, I think she's a 10.I thought they were ranking me no, on a scale of one to 10.
And I'm like, Hey, that's not nice. You're, you're grandgrand was, labeling me too. And your dad was like a 10. I'm like, Oh, okay. Iappreciate that. But why am I too? But it was a similar deal. And then we'vealso had, huh? Oh, what's it called? Gary smally. I think sky's name, can'tremember the study that one's called, but they classify you by animals likelions or your strong leader types.
And then you have golden retrievers who are the superfriendly and then beavers are super, highly organized. I think, and thenotters. Oh yeah. Otters are the ones who like to have fun and I've always beencalled the Otter and stuff like that, but anyway, that's, they all add up tobeing saying whether it's Myers-Briggs or this other one.
So I don't know. Thenwhen we change how I do things, but it explains why I am the way I am and how Ire late to everybody who is, I think completely opposite of me. I think I'm theodd duck in a family.
Daniel: [00:42:44]Yeah. And I think the, that can be some of the value in personality tests isjust understanding a little bit of. Why you do some of the stuff you do and howyou relate to others? Obviously it's, a personality test. Isn't something thatwrites and stone who you are and what you do, and that can change, but it candefinitely be be a useful tool.
Suzy: [00:43:02] Ithink, well, I feel like get, again, my personality might have changed evenmore because I know I'm not the same. I was 36 years ago when we first marriedbecause I wasn't in any type of leadership or teaching type position. That wasjust a secretary going back to school, getting my bachelors. So not reallyopportunity to exercise that gift basically, or that side of my personalityuntil much later.
And then being a mom brought out a whole other layer of mypersonality that wasn't being used, but it had to be brought to the forefront in order to parentthree very. Highly energetic kids. There was never a dull moment with thetheory that's pure. So
Daniel: [00:43:47]cool. I'm going to pause us real quick. So we're about at the hour, Mark, arethere any other stories that you had inmind that you wanted to share or questions you wanted to ask or anything elsethat you wanted to talk about?
Suzy: [00:43:58]well, let me think I was going to, I've got a challenge, but I didn't say,well, maybe I can reword it if I can find it.
Daniel: [00:44:07]Yeah. If you have a challenge, I can go into some of our closing and it asksyou for the challenge.
Suzy: [00:44:11]Cause my challenge is to goes back to when I was saying about. Stepping out andmaking a change, even though it was hard. I had a little story connected tothat.
Daniel: [00:44:20]Yeah. So I'll, I'll clump us in. I'll ask you if you have any challenge foranybody, you can share that, share the story, and then I'll go into closing usfrom there. So one thing we like to ask our interviewees is if they have anysort of challenge that they want to pose to our millions of listeners. So thisis your chance to influence at least a million people.
Suzy: [00:44:43]well, it's a little bit more than what I calculated. How many kids I've taughtover the years, 17 years probably 120kids a year since over a thousand. So it's a little bit more than what I'm usedto, but that's okay.
Daniel: [00:44:54]That sounds like too much math.
Suzy: [00:44:56]Yeah, well, that's all. Yeah. But shoutout to you for being the tutor to help me in math, when I had to take that tobecome a teacher, but anyway, you and your dad, I can not survive without youtoo.
One thing that I'm, Ialways tell new teachers I've had the chance to be a mentor to first-yearteachers or new teachers to a campus, several times and had student teachersand such in my classroom, which I really enjoy doing, but I always tell them ifyou ever get to the point in your career, that you are just yelling at the kid,going off and yelling and screaming, we all hear you.
We have the shutter door, then it's time to walk away. Youare doing more harm than good, and it's just time to find another career. And.I think that could apply to anybody. If you're if what you're doing is not making you happy, you have no joy, you needto put a pan on it, research, find something else that makes you happy, becauseI think your legacy is at stake.
That's the one thing my take away with teaching. I know thatthey're not going to remember hardly anything of what I've taught them. That'swhy I'm seeing an online tutoring. They still don't know how to punctuate asentence correctly. I could beat myself up over the head for that. I know Iedited your book.
Right. But anyway but they always remember how I make themfeel. I made them feel included. I connected with them in some way. And. That'slegacy and Juan, that's what I want for my kids to remember you guys and how Imade you feel, how I appreciate you and things like that. And my challenge is Iam 58 when I did this big major career thing.
And in my mind, it's really not that old. And I say thatbecause my dad was a 52, when he drove a truck, a diesel truck, meaning hehauled oil and gas all over the country and stuff. And he retired. I was twoyears old when he did that, he retired and put all that money, which was arisk. And open up a franchise a transmission shop.
And he did that at 52. And by 62, he had four or five moreshops that he opened up. That's a kind of a big risk when you have a kid who's,two or three years old, that type of deal. So to me making that risk, it wasn'tthat big a deal. So basically my challenge is if you're unhappy, need a changeand you think, well, I'm too old to do this, or it's going to be too hard.
You don't know till you try. Make a list of what you like todo, what you feel like you'd be, do good at and just take a step of faith anddo it. The picture I get in my head is a. Indiana Jones movie. We don't know ify'all know this one, but last crusadewhere Indiana had to walk across this chasm and there wasn't a bridge or anything,but he heard his dad's voice saying, take a step of faith.
So he takes a step thinking he's going to fall to his death.And this bridge thingy shows up. That's what you have to do. Just take a step.Don't be afraid. You're not going to know to try it. So that's kinda mychallenge. There'll be afraid to try something new. I think there's 20, 20 kindof forced a lot of people to try that.
Some it's been good. Sam it's been not so good, but you, youtried it. So that's my challenges. Step out in faith and try something new.Leave a legacy.
Because that's really what we're here for.
Daniel: [00:48:32]I love it, obviously very, very on theme with the idea behind dead by tomorrowis that we have a limited amount of opportunities to take those steps, to embracethose challenges. And really, we don't want to sink a whole lot of our timeinto something where we, we do find that we are stuck, unhappy and complacent
that, that I had everything that you wanted to on thechallenge before I go into a wrap-up.
Suzy: [00:48:55] Yeah, I think so.
Daniel: [00:48:57]Okay. Awesome. Andrew, anything you want to hit before I wrap us?
Andrew: [00:49:01]No man, that covers it.
Suzy: [00:49:02] Ifeel like my voice shook a lot, but
Daniel: [00:49:04]That's okay.
Andrew: [00:49:05]It's okay. I didn't notice.
Daniel: [00:49:07]Okay, I'm going to, I'm going to clap this out and I'm going to close, right?Clap. Well, thank you mom, for coming on and talking to us, I may have to go doa gene test now. That's, that's fine. I've I've always wanted to do one anyway.So it's just an excuse, but really thank you. Not just for coming onto thepodcast, but for being somebody that just helped to support me and encouragedme into being able to take this step with Andrew and for editing our book andfor being that person that really, has always, always been incrediblysupportive.
So beyond just the podcast, there's, there's a thing or twothat I can can say, thank you for But for all of our listeners, definitelycheck out the magazines that my momwrites for. We'll, we'll get those in the show notes. And if you ever need anytutoring or, or if you're trying to write a book and, and want somebody thatwill give it a read and, and give you some commentary Susie is, is your person.
So thank you guys for coming by and make sure that youfollow up on that challenge is take that leap of faith. You try something newout.