Episode 32 – Jen Slaw


Jen juggles great coworker relationships

 

jenslaw_dress_cutout_headshot_Jen Slaw started juggling in middle school and hasn’t stopped since, now teaching corporate audiences to be more balanced and productive. She took the balancing act literally as she spent several years performing juggling shows at night while working as a structural engineer in New York City.

You can catch Jen as she tours nationally as a speaker, educator and host that has been on The Late Show with David Letterman, ABC News, Fox, Huffington Post Live, Good Day Sacramento, Good Day Philadelphia, Off-Broadway and TEDx stages — and now, the Green Apple Podcast.

Jen Slaw worked as a structural engineer in NYC for 6 years until she quit to become a professional juggler. She serves as the director of Juggling Life, a non-profit with a mission to engage, inspire & emotionally heal ill & disadvantaged youth through interactive juggling and performing arts programs.

She was valedictorian of her high school class and graduated from Swarthmore College with degrees in Art & Engineering.

I’m doing a research study about Corporate Culture!

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It’s anonymous and I promise it’ll take less than 2 minutes.

Other pictures of Jen

(click to enlarge)

Jen performs her signature "Huggling" move with Matt Lauer
Jen performs her signature “Huggling” move with Matt Lauer

Behind the back juggling
Behind the back juggling

Taking a break while taking a break

Life’s just one big balancing act

Jen wows morning TV show hosts

Jen encourages all of us to learn from the drops

Jen’s links

 

Transcript

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    John: Welcome to Episode 32 of the Green Apple Podcast, where each Wednesday I interview a professional known for a hobby or a passion. So if you or anyone you know is known around the office for having any hobby at all, please let me know at greenapplepodcast.com because I’d love to hear all about it and have you on as a guest. And I’m also doing a little bit of research for a book I’m writing so if you haven’t done so already, please take 60 seconds to do my anonymous survey about employee engagement by going to greenapplepodcast.com, click the big green button that’s right there. It’s only a few questions because I know you’re super busy but the more data points I have the more legit the research so I really, really appreciate it.

    Okay, now let me introduce this week’s guest, Jen Slaw. She’s a professional juggler who happened to graduate college with a degree in Structural Engineering. It’s my first engineer on the show so I promise I’ll be nice. She’s been seen on The Late Show with David Letterman, ABC News, Fox, Huffington Post Live, Good Day Philadelphia, Off-Broadway and TEDx stages, and now Jen, you can check off the Green Apple Podcast. But just to make sure I don’t screw this up, I’ll let you say this part. Could you please give us a little bit about what you’re up to now and the engineering career you came from because I know they’re very different?

    Jen: Sure, yes, they are, I’ve had a couple good transitions. What I’m doing now is I work as a consultant, a speaker, a trainer, sometimes as a host or an emcee, to help companies balance change really by enhancing their collaboration skills so that their teams can adapt, be more nimble, and better juggle all of their responsibilities. And I come to it from kind of a unique angle, as you know. I spent many years as a professional juggler and before that I was a structural engineer. So I left my engineering job to be a pro-juggler and then over the last couple of years have transitioned into the role of speaker and trainer.

    John: That is awesome! So cool, Structural Engineering. What made you want to get into Structural Engineering, when you were little?

    Jen: Actually, before I get into this, I have a bone to pick with you because I listened to some of your other episodes and I said that they talk about engineers.

    John: Exactly, that’s why I’m going slower for this one.

    Jen: They have like a Nerd-Off competition or something here.

    John: Right, yes, yes. You, I know right now you’re wearing a pocket protector, you can’t help it, I know that’s how it is. On behalf of all engineers, Jen Slaw is picking a bone with me. This is great. So what makes you want to get into engineering, like you couldn’t do accounting? What happened?

    Jen: Well, I will admit, I was a little bit of a nerd in school. I was very academic, I loved Math and Science. When I was applying to college people were encouraging me “Oh, have you ever considered engineering?” At that point in high school you don’t quite know exactly what it is and when I went to visit Swarthmore which is where I ultimately went to school, I had an interview with one of the Engineering professors and was really interested in what they were doing. And he suggested, “Well, if it’s something you’re considering, definitely apply as an Engineering major, we’re always looking for more women engineers, may help you get in” and so that’s what I did. And I’ll be honest with you, every year of college, I questioned whether or not I wanted to continue doing Engineering.

    Ultimately, I double majored in Engineering and Visual Art, so I did a lot of painting and printmaking and kind of felt like the two kept me balance. And it was Senior year actually of college that I was like “That’s it, I can’t do this anymore, I’m quitting Engineering, it’s too much, I’ve got my Art degree.” And at that point, my mom, who was always very supportive, was like “No, it’s senior year, now you’re finishing.”

    So I did and I’ve gotten to work on a lot of really interesting projects but over the years working as a structural engineer I started to realize that I think I liked the idea of it more than the actual day-to-day practice of what I was doing and ultimately had to make a change.

    John: Yeah, yeah. I actually started college engineering as well so it’s time for me to come clean. And then a big fat D in Physics and limited social skills pretty much meant Accounting was for me, that’s pretty much how that went down. And I was like “What major can I have a lower GPA in and still get a good job? Accounting, sweet! Let’s do that.” Yeah, it was brutal, Physics was just… I remember the final exam first semester freshman year, it was some question about like a frog that weighs this many kilograms is on a disk that’s spinning at this rate and it jumps off at this angle, what happens to the rate of the disk and I literally out loud said, “Who cares?” Like, who cares, it’s a make-believe disk in the woods — I’m out. Show me things with money, I can see that, that’s actually like a real thing.

    But that’s so great though, that’s cool, and I think that it’s great that you had both the Engineering and the Visual Arts. So even though college you were balancing that whole thing, so that’s great.

    Jen: Yeah. What I liked about Engineering was and I did Structural Engineering so it was all about building and putting things together and that’s what I liked about it, breaking things down and how do things fit together to create something and I think that carries over into what I’m doing now, so it was a good foundation.

    John: Yeah, absolutely! So after you left school you went to work in the city, right?

    Jen: Yes. I moved to New York right after college and my first job was actually with the New York City Parks Department and I was part of a really cool program called the Classa program where they recruited graduates from top schools and they gave us really interesting positions in the Parks Department. So I was assistant to the Chief of Design and it was a great first job in New York, I get to drive a Parks vehicle, like really get to know the city. And I got to work on some interesting projects, the Minor League Baseball Stadium in Coney Island was part of that so I would go and shadow the Chief of Design and kind of go to his meetings and represent Parks and learn about what was going on with all of these different projects around the city.

    So that was really fun and that’s kind of where — I’ll tell you this story because the Commissioner of the Parks Department, Henry Stern, at the time, kind of an eccentric guy and he had this thing where he gave everyone a Parks name, I think I may have mentioned this to you. So what he liked to do was he liked to ask you questions about your hobbies, about where you’re from, any kind of question to come up with a quirky name for you. So of course my Parks name became Juggler. And you get a little name tag with your name and you’re looking for your desk with your Parks name. As quirky as he was he kind of got that it was about connecting on a different level with people.

    And as part of this program the recent grads got to make rounds, they call them, with Henry Stern. So being the Commissioner of the New York City Parks Department he had to go to a lot of events in the evenings, make appearances, and so we would have to take turns going around with him and basically being his personal assistant shadowing him. And part of that job was to carry this giant black book that had — everyone he would meet he would give them a Park name, so you would be responsible as he’s saying hello to someone that he’s met before, you’d have to look up their Park name and whisper in his ear and feed them their Park name to make sure he got it right and he could have that connection with them. So that was really kind of crazy and fun to see happen.

    John: But that’s so cool and so like outside the box. So unorthodox but such a great thing because then everyone remembers you as Juggler, they don’t remember your name or what you’re working on or anything like that and even years later, I’m sure if you bumped in to somebody, “Hey, aren’t you Juggler?” And part of you hates it but the other part is like “Man, they actually remember me.”

    Jen: Exactly, it makes me stand out, it makes me memorable. And he’s connecting with people in this weird fun quirky way.

    John: Right, right, the only problem is if someone else comes along that also juggles, it’s like ooh.

    Jen: Right, yeah, he has to come up with something else.

    John: Right, we’ve already got one. That is so cool though and such a great experience, that’s awesome. So obviously in your nights and weekends and free time and you eventually became a professional thing, your hobby passion was juggling. Such a cool thing.

    Jen: It was, yeah. I had learned how to juggle in middle school so it was a hobby from a young age, one of our middle school teachers taught our class how to juggle as a lesson in focus and concentration. He really had a structured system in place of different levels test that we could graduate from one to the next as we learn more tricks and so I got really into it. That’s kind of that engineering structural side coming out. Yeah, it was a hobby all from middle school up through college and beyond and he actually started taking some of us out to professional gigs, in 7th Grade I think was my first paid juggling job at the Saints Sahag and Mesrob Armenian Church. I got paid like $50 to do my juggling act and I was like “Wow, this is amazing!”

    John: Yeah, $50 in 7th Grade, wow!

    Jen: Yeah. So it really helped, I did gigs on the weekends with this teacher, Jackie Erickson, who we’re still very close to, and other former students and kind of helped pay my way through college doing juggling gigs and kept doing it as I was working for Parks. And then ultimately I left the Parks Department to work for a private engineering firm in New York. I figured, okay, I’m going to give this engineering thing one more try. I worked for a great private firm in the city, I got to do some work on bridges, roadway construction, and a lot of work with the MTA and the subway system and looking at feasibility projects to make them more handicapped-accessible, things like that.

    And yeah, all along I was still juggling on the side and everybody kind of knew that. I definitely wasn’t shy about sharing that I juggled on the side. It was a good environment because there were a lot of young people in the office and so we all became friends and some of them would come out to see my juggling performances on the weekend and I think it just helped bond us together more to be learning about each other’s lives in a different dimension outside of work.

    John: Right, most definitely, because that’s who you really are and what you love doing. I’m sure they probably knew when someone dropped a pen and you’d grab it really fast and then all spidey senses went on and like…

    Jen: Well there was one time one of the partners of the firm had his grandchildren in the office, this was around Christmastime and there was this big beautiful Christmas tree in the lobby. I was actually with my husband, my boyfriend at the time, my now husband, he’s a civil engineer, and a couple other people, we were in the lobby for some reason. And the partner’s there with his grandkids, something was said and I was like “Oh, there are kids here, I’ve got to entertain them.” So I took three Christmas ornaments, three balls, off the tree, juggled them for the kids, did a little thing with them, interacted, they were like “Wow, cool!”

    And still to this day one of the other coworkers was there was like “I can’t believe you did that in front of the partner, you just took those Christmas balls off the tree and juggled them. That was crazy!” It was just this fun moment that they remembered and it was a connection with him. And ultimately just a couple of years ago, I went back and did a little performance, emceeing for the same partners 50th work anniversary, so that was really fun to see his grandkids a little bit older.

    John: Right, right, that’s so cool, though.

    Jen: Yeah, just little fun moments like that.

    John: Yeah, and they actually remember you because you’re a real person that made a connection as opposed to oh, you’re supposed to just stand there and be very stoic and not say anything. It’s like, “Nah, come on!” That’s so cool!

    So in all of your juggling exploits and all of this because I’m sure you’ve done some really amazing shows, what are some of the cooler and most rewarding things that you’ve gotten to do?

    Jen: Probably the top I would say is appearing on Letterman, that was pretty cool. That was a big moment, yeah, having watched the show as a kid and never imagining that I would be on the show doing something. But yeah, that as an interesting process. I had auditioned for the show, basically you go in, you do everything weird and quirky that you can do. I was juggling, I was juggling and hula-hooping, I was juggling and roller skating, I was juggling apples and having two Late Show interns eat the apples while I juggled them, all these crazy stuff, and I do a little bit of juggling where I stay on the ground and I juggle behind my back and under my legs.

    And they videotape your audition, and then about a year went by and nothing, and then I got a call back that they wanted me to come in for a taping and it was okay, what do they want me to do. I did all these different things, what should I bring. They wanted me to do the juggling sitting down on the ground. I’m like “Really? All that stuff I did and that’s what you want to see on the show?” Okay. So I went in and did that and it was a really crazy experience. The director was very specific, he had a clear vision from the video, he must have just watched and he was like “Well, didn’t you do it in this order in the audition? Make sure you do it exactly the same way.”

    So that was kind of interesting and a little bit nerve-wracking to make sure I was doing it exactly the way they wanted and it’s for a segment called “Is This Anything” so it’s a really goofy segment there. The screen goes up, you’re doing your thing, you don’t really have any interaction with Dave at all. The screen goes back down and then they debate whether or not what you did was anything so of course they try to make it funny, make fun of the performers sometimes so it’s always a little like “How’s this going to go?” And Paul, who I had met backstage, was watching me warm up and he was like “Oh, wow, that’s really neat, it must take a lot of core strength. You must do yoga or Pilates, I’m going to use that when I talk about it.” And when I got out there and did it he was like “You know, would it have killed her to stand up? Really?” I was like “You told me to sit down.” But then Dave said “Well, she juggled behind her back and under the leg and it was pretty intricate. I think that was something.” So that’s what I needed, Dave saying that was something, that was really fun.

    But the best moment was meeting Bill Murray, he was on the show, that’s the same show, so I met him backstage in the green room and he just walked over to me with a twinkle in his eye and reached out his hand and said, “Hi, I’m Bill.” It was just a really cool moment to meet him and have a little interaction with him.

    John: Right. You’re like, “I think I know you, I’ve heard of you.”

    Jen: Yeah, I think I know who you are.

    John: Yeah, that’s a pretty awesome experience.

    John: Yeah, that’s probably the top.

    John: Yeah, it’s hard to top that one, that is very cool. And so would you say that from doing juggling from an early age, 7th Grade, gosh, would you say that this has developed any skills that– well then now you speak about it, what skills that juggling can bring to the workplace?

    Jen: Definitely. I think it really helps you understand that learning anything is a process that takes time, practice, patience, perseverance. I have a higher threshold for frustration, I think, because I’m used to when I’m learning a new trick I know I’m going to drop the ball and I have to figure out what went wrong and then pick it up and try to learn something new for the next attempt. So you’re not as afraid to just try something, throw the ball, try something and continue on the path to learning something new and not being afraid of dropping the ball because you know it’s just part of the process. So I think that’s a big thing.

    And I also talk a lot about balance and just kind of keeping all the balls in the air, it’s such a great metaphor for life, how we have to break things down. Obviously when you’re starting to learn how to juggle you don’t start with all three, you start with one, you focus on one thing at a time and then you learn how to combine them in a way that works for you just kind of like we combine all the things in our life.

    John: Yeah, that’s an excellent thing because a lot of people are like “Ah, that’s just a hobby, she juggles, whatever, meh”. It’s like “Well, no, actually there’s a lot of things that I’m learning here that translate directly to work.” I think a lot of people’s hobbies and passions, it’s not a throwaway thing, it’s a real thing. Yeah, I think it’s so cool, juggling is one of those things that yeah, you can do it anywhere all the time and people are always like “Whoa, look at that!” It’s such a great way to stand out and a cool thing to do. “I can do three” and then after that it’s like “All right, I don’t know, you guys are making stuff up.”

    Jen: Yeah, and it’s something a lot of people think they can’t do and it’s fun to watch– I do a lot of teaching so it’s fun to watch as people start to learn, it opens up a whole new world of possibility that this thing you thought you couldn’t do you can start to learn if you put in the time and the practice and the patience and the perseverance again. That’s a great lesson for life and work.

    John: Yeah, yeah, like “Wait, I can quit my job and do this?”

    Jen: Well I don’t necessarily advise them–

    John: No, no, no, don’t. Just when the partner brings the kids now you can entertain them, like that’s what this is for, everybody, like here we go. That’s so cool. And like you said earlier, you weren’t shy about talking about it at work which I think is interesting. What made you want to just be like this is who I am?

    Jen: And it’s not like I went and broadcast it to everyone but I think it happens organically and maybe it starts with people that you’re close to. I was developing these friendships with the person who I shared a cubicle with and then some of the other young people in the office. And so as you’re having conversation you just kind of share what’s going on in your life and “Oh, I have a performance this weekend” or “I’m doing this.” And so I think it should happen organically and kind of in a gradual process but I think people shouldn’t be shy about sharing another part of themselves because it’s who you are.

    I talk sometimes about work life balance and how it’s really more work life integration and it’s a juggling act again because there’s not like this work you and then this personal you, it’s one person and everything’s combined in this pattern and I think when you’re sharing that, it helps you to embrace the whole and feel more comfortable and feel more balanced.

    John: Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. And it’s so great that people want to know what people are interested in because that just makes you a more interesting person and someone that you actually want to hang out with. Because even if no one else that you worked with, I’m sure no one else juggled or especially juggled for pay, but they all were interested in it and it’s like “Oh, wow, that’s what Jen does, now we know” and it’s cool that they came to shows, that’s even better. They’re like “Yeah, we can throw you a bowling ball in the middle of…” No, no, no, not yet! That’s so great!

    So one thing that I like to think about, because I have time, is who’s responsible for creating this culture for people to open up or this engagement. Is it more on the firm or the company to create this culture or is it more on the individual to as you said, just gradually share when appropriate, or somewhere in the middle?

    Jen: Ideally it should be both, I think, somewhere in the middle. I think the company is responsible for creating a culture where people feel comfortable sharing because ultimately as you said, that’s what deepens the connection. And so often at work you’re working in teams and when you’re feeling more connected, you’re more willing to be open and to brainstorm creative ideas and you’re just more comfortable working with people, so I think that’s important. Having team meetings, there are ways, starting off a team meeting by just asking everyone to share something. I think there are simple things that companies can do to encourage that.

    And then definitely I think it’s ultimately the individual’s responsibility to share what’s going on and to take that initiative to make yourself stand out, you are unique so why be shy about sharing that because ultimately it’s going to help you be remembered, or maybe promotions. I definitely got noticed for more things I think because I wasn’t shy about sharing different sides of me which is funny, I actually became kind of the PowerPoint presentation girl at the engineering firm doing these feasibility studies for the MTA. Maybe it was a foreshadowing of my future speaking career but I just loved doing that and then got involved with a project called Canstruction where a few of us were handpicked to build a structure out of cans for the special art program.

    So I think the more you’re sharing the more people are noticing you and the more you’re staying top of mind with people on the company and they think of you then for other interesting projects because they know you’re interesting. I think it’s really both definitely.

    John: Yeah, those are such great examples that you brought up, that Canstruction thing. I mean if you were just one of everybody else and didn’t stand out at all then the odds of you being selected are pretty slim. But when it’s like “Hey, that’s Juggler and we know what she does and she does good work also”, a lot of people are doing good work, it’s just you’re doing good work and we know who you are. The odds of you being selected for this really cool project went up significantly which is such a great example for people that are out there that are kind of on the fence or not really sure “I don’t know if I should… No one’s going to care” and it’s like you’re a perfect example. No one else is juggling, it’s not like you now had a juggling best friend that you can toss things back and forth within the office and it’s not that you have to do juggling in the office, it’s just this is what I like to do when I’m not here type of a thing.

    This is such a perfect example for people where a lot of people’s hobbies are things that everyone else is also doing, running or a sport, or something like that, but this is very cool. Very cool.

    Jen: And you never know what other opportunities are going to come up outside of work when you share your hobby. Maybe there is someone there who has an interest in that or has some connection to something that would help you develop your hobby or your passion. I had a coworker at the engineering firm who was also a structural engineer and also a great photographer. And he did a Lunch and Learn one day during the office hours where he showed photography from a trip he took out West at the Grand Canyon. And then ultimately I thought of him for our wedding and he photographed our wedding, he’s taken headshots for me and promo photos. So you develop those connections and you never know where it might lead.

    John: Yeah, that’s such a great thing. And a Luncheon Learn is a cool opportunity as well, that that firm actually has those opportunities for people to share these are the hobbies passions and then yeah, those connections, you never know what’s going to happen when you open yourself up like that. That’s such great examples. And something you said earlier which I think is really cool is that you’re unique, so be unique, don’t sit on it and hide it.

    Another thing that you kind of proved that even by being unique you actually become closer with the group, so by being unique you’re not out on your own, you actually become tighter with the group which is a cool thing that I think a lot of people are like “Oh, I don’t know, I’m scared, I’m going to be just this freak show that’s out on my own” and it’s like no, not at all, it’s quite the opposite but you got to take that step which is cool.

    So I guess before we wrap it up with my Rapid Fire Questions, do you have any words of encouragement or anything that I’ve kind of skipped over?

    Jen: Well I would say what you just said about not being shy to share your hobby, it might feel awkward at first but if you start with somebody that you’re friendly with at work and it kind of happens organically. Life’s too short not to share the things you’re passionate about and I think we all come more alive when we’re sharing something we’re passionate about and that only carries over into like we’ve talked about, people noticing you and people thinking of you for other cool interesting things. Not just strengthening the connection with other people but, like I’d mentioned at the beginning, the connections between the pieces of your life, you’re ultimately going to feel more balanced and more whole if you’re utilizing all these different things in your life and if they’re connected in a stronger way. And when we’re more balanced we’re more happy, less stress, we’re healthier, we can think more creatively, we can collaborate with people better, so there’s just so many benefits.

    John: Yeah, that couldn’t have been said any better. You should be running this podcast, what’s going on. No, that’s excellent, so cool. And I think that everyone feels like they’ve really gotten to know you but you know, my rule is we don’t really know you till you do my 17 Rapid Fire Questions so I hope you brought a seatbelt and we’re going to fire this up here.

    Jen: And one other thing that I can’t really do through the podcast but if we were in person I would give you a huggle, we didn’t talk about that. That’s one of my special things and that’s a way to connect too, it’s a combination of hugging and juggling so you hug someone and you juggle behind their back. So next time we meet in person I’ll give you a huggle.

    John: That’s awesome, yes, because that is your signature move is the huggle.

    Jen: Yes, I’ve gotten to huggle some really cool people like Penn & Teller, Matt Lauer, Al Roker, even Batman and Santa Claus, so a lot of really fun people.

    John: That is awesome. And so the huggle is where you’re hugging someone and then you juggle behind their back. That takes skill because you can’t see because you’re a little shorter so you can’t really see–

    Jen: Well, it depends on how tall or large the person is.

    John: Right, because I’m sure Penn Jillette wasn’t very easy, he’s a big dude.

    Jen: Yeah, actually that didn’t work so well, he had to huggle me.

    John: They’re very talented guys, they really are.

    Jen: It’s another example of putting two things together that don’t necessarily belong and how that results in this fun connection between two people.

    John: Right, right. When I do my comedy I usually hug people too and then it gets really weird. But that’s a very cool thing, that is so cool, and I know that we’ll have pictures on greenapplepodcast.com of you doing huggles. That’s so cool.

    So here we go, hope you got a seatbelt, we’re ready to go here. All right. So the first one, Star Wars or Star Trek?

    Jen: I’m going with Star Wars.

    John: PC or Mac?

    Jen: Definitely Mac.

    John: Right click of left click?

    Jen: Left click. I don’t really get the whole right click thing, I have a Mac so…

    John: Yeah, you wouldn’t get it, it’s fine. Cats or dogs?

    Jen: Dogs.

    John: Sudoku or crossword puzzle?

    Jen: Crossword puzzle.

    John: Do you have a favorite color?

    Jen: Yes, purple.

    John: Nice, how about a least favorite color?

    Jen: Chartreuse.

    John: Is it because you can’t spell it?

    Jen: There’s a funny little story. One of my previous juggling partners was on the Martha Stewart Show juggling three balls, yellow, red, and blue. And he mentioned that the yellow ball and Martha Stewart looked at him and was like “That’s not yellow.” And she called over an assistant and was like “What color is that?” And the assistant looked at Martha, kind of gave her a weird look, “Chartreuse?” I just love that story so I always think of that color.

    John: That’s awesome. How about a favorite Disney character?

    Jen: Cinderella.

    John: That’s a good one. How about diamonds or pearls?

    Jen: Diamonds.

    John: I saw a little twinkle in your eye when you said diamond. Do you have a favorite band or musician?

    Jen: My favorite band was always REM. I’d say now my favorite musician’s probably Jason Mraz, he’s been huggled too.

    John: You huggled Jason Mraz, wow!

    Jen: I base my favorite people on can they juggle and he’s a great juggler so we got to do a double huggle after one of his shows which was really cool. I love him.

    John: That’s so fantastic, so cool, that’s very cool. How about a favorite actor or actress?

    Jen: Hugh Jackman, he’s at the top of my list of dream huggles, so if anybody’s listening that knows Hugh or has a connection, just send him my way.

    John: Does it have anything to do with his acting skills?

    Jen: Yeah, a little something.

    John: How about pens or pencils?

    Jen: Pens.

    John: How about, since you’re a structural engineer, bridges or tunnels?

    Jen: Bridges, definitely.

    John: How about a movie that makes you cry?

    Jen: A lot of sappy romantic comedies make me cry but probably the one that made me cry the most was Beasts of the Southern Wild. Have you seen that?

    John: Oh, yeah, the New Orleans… yeah, that’s a good movie. How about do you have a favorite number?

    Jen: Sixteen.

    John: Why is that?

    Jen: It’s my birthday.

    John: That’s good a reason as any. And how about a favorite TV show of all time?

    Jen: The Office.

    John: That’s a solid answer, solid answer. And the last one, the favorite thing you own.

    Jen: This is hard, I have a lot of cool things. I have a couple things from my grandfather who passed away a few years ago, that he made a stained-glass window and some rosary beads that he made by hand. So I’d say those are probably the most special sentimental things I have.

    John: Yeah, those are very cool, awesome. Well, thank you, Jen, this was so fantastic. Thank you so much for taking time to be with me on the Green Apple Podcast.

    Jen: Thank you for having me, John, it was a lot of fun.

    John: I love how Jen said that you’re unique so be it. Quit trying to be all the boring red apples who never stand out. If you’d like to see some links and pictures of Jen including huggling Matt Lauer at the Today Show, go to greenapplepodcast.com. And while you’re there please click the big green button and do my anonymous survey. And thank you for sharing this with your friends so they get the message that we’re trying to spread, which is to go out and be a green apple.


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