Who Might Want To Read This Rundown Of My Life?
- Anyone who wants to do a similar writing exercise. I tried to squeeze out the details and just leave major life experiences, relationships, goals, beliefs, and feelings. It’s fun for me to look at it and see what I have done with my life–and have yet to do.
- Anyone who would like to create such a document as a starting activity in self-exploration. In the process you will surely see voids in your life that you want to fill or mistakes you have made that you can still repair.
- Anyone who wants to know me very, very well and has time to spare.
- Me. I keep adding to it as I grow and learn more about the world and myself.
- My children and grandchildren and other loved ones–so they know who I really am–or was.
- This web page could give my family a dandy start on writing an obit for me. (Yes, even dead I will be trying to be helpful–and controlling.)
My Life In A Nutshell
- Was born in Callender, Iowa, August 19, 1943.
- Started getting chubby around age 4.
- Felt sad when all 3 siblings married wonderful spouses when I was 5, because it seemed as though 3 of my 5 parents had left me. I didn’t understand that loneliness until much later in life.
- Was fat by age 6. Went on my first starvation diet at 8 years–ate ice cubes in the middle of the night because of hunger and cried and prayed to become thin. Was outgoing, fairly smart K-12 student.
- Had same boyfriend most of the time from grade 8 until I was a junior in college–casually dated other fellas.
- Graduated from college in December 1966 with majors in English and business education, minors in history and, I think, economics too. (I love learning.)
- Taught for 34 years at Fort Dodge Senior High. Since 1982 primarily taught technology classes.
- Married Jerry in 1967. Divorced in 1991. Most painful, difficult thing I have had to do in my life. He is a dear man, and we have a good relationship.
- Have 2 children: Jonathan, born in 1972, Josie, born in 1975. If they are ok–I’m ok.
- Battled with food, feelings, and my body for many years until over 30 years ago I lost 100+ pounds, and more importantly, learned how to maintain my weight loss.
- Have been in a 22-year committed relationship with Steve.
Philosophy of Life
- The REAL me is how I FEEL about me. The REAL me is not how I look or how others perceive me. I could be fat, ugly, and dumb, but if I FEEL gorgeous and smart, that is who I am to myself. I TRY not to evaluate myself using any external subjective or objective appraisals.
- I believe that little in life is black or white. Most of life’s problems and solutions come in shades of gray.
- No person, or political party, or culture, or religion is all good or all bad or all right or all wrong.
- Global cultural, political, and religious arrogance are a danger to all peoples of the world.
- “Find yourself by losing yourself in service to others.” Mahatma Gandhi
Some of My Favorite Philosophers, Authors, and Role Models
- Mahatma Gandhi
- Wilson Greatbatch
- Stephen Covey
- Oprah Winfrey
- Mother Teresa
- My mother–who was unconditional love personified
Personal Mission Statement
- In 1982 I wrote a note to myself that said: “I want to grow as I help others to grow.” I didn’t know what a mission statement was at the time, but to this day, when my words or deeds do not fit that mission statement, I feel icky inside.
- About 1995 I started thinking that I wanted to multiply my reach beyond one-to-one student/teacher contact so I made this addition to my Personal Mission Statement: “I want to help teachers to better empower themselves so they can go forth and help their students empower themselves.” This started many years of working on school improvement initiatives city and statewide.
Personal Qualities and Skills I Strive For:
- To give 100% to my responsibilities and sustain a high level of self-motivation
- To work well as a team member or leader
- To be an enthusiastic, lifelong learner
- To become a better listener and better person
- To think creatively
- To use common sense
- To see the big picture and capture the essence of concepts, situations, and people and not get stuck in the details
- To plan and organize–strategically and long term
- To be positive, spontaneous, and good company
- To continue on my introspective adventure of peeling back layers of self-deception in my quest to become my most authentic self
- To be genuine, but still sensitive to the feelings of others
Some Relevant Non-Education Experiences
Related to Fat:
- Lost 100+ pounds over 30 years ago and have kept it off
- Lectured for Weight Watchers for several years
- Wrote weekly “The Fat Column” in Des Moines Sunday Register
- Gave workshops, seminars, and keynote speeches for small groups to over 2,000 attendees
- Appeared on many radio and TV interview and talk shows
- Wrote, packaged, and successfully marketed the 6-hour The Smart Cookie Approach to Dieting tape library
Related to Motivation and Character Education:
- Belonged to of National Speakers’ Association for many years
- Presented at the National Convention of the National Association of Secondary School Principals in Las Vegas
- Wrote the chapter called: “How to Be Happy Without Spending a Cent” in the book called Rekindling the Human Spirit
Classroom Experiences in the ’80s and ’90s
- Taught English 9 in a computer classroom for 5 years. The use of technology was integrated into my English curriculum by the early ’80s!
- Created, taught, and revised several high-school technology classes based on practicing essential skills and attitudes necessary for success in the workplace. Emphasis placed on time and work management, technical reading, listening skills, problem solving, critical thinking skills, cooperative learning, and peer teaching. These classes were called “Using and Understanding Computers” and “Business Communications and Technology I, II, and III.” Also, individual students or groups could take up to 3 additional advanced multimedia independent study courses. After the beginning class of “Using and Understanding Computers,” the courses evolved into constructivist, caring communities of learners in which I functioned as a facilitator of multiple projects. I helped individual students and groups set goals, design their evaluation tools, and then find the necessary information and people they needed in order to reach their own high standards of excellence. Achievement of standards and benchmarks was measured using relevant performance assessments.
- Created and facilitated “Night CATS,” an evening open computer lab for students, parents, and teachers.
- Created and taught “Business Communication for Supervisors and Administrative Managers” for Iowa Central Community College.
- Created and taught several technology staff development classes for the school system and AEA.
- Presented ICCC’s first distance learning workshop.
Educational Technology Experiences
Longtime member of many committees advancing the cause of school improvement and technical literacy including:
- Spending 100’s of summer hours seeking money for a new technology classroom, then writing curriculum to restructure business education and technology curriculum, and finally selecting hardware, software, and courseware to support new curriculum.
- Helping to write technology policy, planning budget and training sessions, and making hardware and software purchasing decisions as a charter member of district wide and building technology committees. Difficult decisions were based heavily on staff input attained through needs assessment surveys, questionnaires, and one-to-one contact.
- Contributed to the technology portion of a book published by Ten Sigma: Productivity Skills Book for Teachers–Helping to Restructure Education by John D. Wessels
- Attending and presenting at Iowa Technology Education Consortium Annual Conferences
School Improvement and Restructuring Experiences
- Northwest Iowa Leadership Academy Board member
- FDSH curriculum committee member
- Co-wrote initial NISDC Grant that brought over $200,000 to district for school restructuring
- Charter member and chairperson of Shared Vision Steering Committee (governing board of all school improvement initiatives in 10-building school district)
- Shared Vision newsletter editor
- Co-created the Dodger Dreamer and Doer characters who appeared in live skits and sang at school improvement conferences around the state
- Co-wrote school improvement media presentations for teacher training also starring the Dodger Dreamer and Doer
- Total Quality Management (TQM), Facilitating, Consensus Building, Conflict Resolution, Cooperative Learning, Brain Research, Distance Learning
- Longtime member of Phi Delta Kappa, Delta Phi Epsilon, NBEA, IBEA, ITEC, ISTE, ASCD
- Iowa State Department of Education’s Character Education Steering Committee
- Fort Dodge Community Action Network’s steering committee member for character development in our schools and city
- Managed one of 3 high school classrooms in Iowa to win the Star Schools and Department of Education’s Iowa Technology Showcase Award for best uses of technology in the classroom in ’98
- Listed several times in Who’s Who in American Educators–nominations are made by former students who are National Merit Scholars
- Golden Apple award recipient
Why I Didn’t Remain In K-12 Education Even After I Was Eligible To Retire
Using what I had learned about school improvement and technology, I created and facilitated caring classrooms of learners during my last several years of teaching. I proved to myself, in my own classroom, that both learning and teaching can be effective, relevant, and joyful. But I was failing at making systemic change in the system. I had spent 15 years trying to change the culture of schools and was mightily discouraged. I decided to retire in 2000 and work on my other passions–character education and helping women who struggle with weight control issues.
Jobs and Interests Since K-12 Retirement
- After taking the national Character Counts training, I facilitated 1-hour to 2-day college credit training sessions for teachers and trainers through the Institute of Character Development at Drake and Iowa AEA’s. In the second day of a training session long-term action plans were created often by an entire school community including all teachers, curriculum directors, principals, superintendent, non-certified staff and board members.
- Served as project director for a $1.2 million PT3 grant (Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers to Use Technology) for 2 colleges and AEA5. In that capacity, created the 3-semester hour course “Technology for Teachers” and got it approved for transfer to Iowa State University, the University of Iowa, and the University of Northern Iowa.
- Taught the 3-semester hour data processing class at ICCC required for AA degree.
- Participated in several local volunteer groups.
- Served as Blanden Memorial Art Museum board member and docent.
- Took many technology, art, and cake decorating master classes.
- Traveled to 6 continents and scores of countries including China, Chile, Argentina, Egypt, Israel, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, India, Russia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, all over Europe, including Scandinavia, and 46 of our 50 states.
- Invented and have a patent pending on a jewelry organizer.
- Wrote the book Judy’s DietGlue and created a website and blog and currently spending a ton of time online social networking in order to help thinking women who struggle with their weight.
Why Am I Still Working So Hard?
- I have been working on my book and website, without going public for far too long. I kept thinking I could still make it better but also because I have been a chicken because of the fear of criticism. I still hate the idea of exposing so much of myself, but I HAVE to do it because I know I can help a lot of yo-yo women dieters who are feeling bad about themselves.
- Another reason it took me until 2013 to finish my book and website is that I tend to splatter rather than focus. I want to be all things to all people, learn more about so many subjects, taste so many foods, travel to so many places, get to know so many people, and most of all get a deeper understanding of the human condition.
- My work is a “God Thing.” It seems to me that we were put here to learn, grow, and then give our gifts to the world. In order to do that, it is important to listen to that voice that comes from within us. Since retiring from full-time teaching, I have been able to listen to that voice within and focus on just the area I am most passionate about–helping women with chronic weight problems.
- Sure I want to at least recoup my expenses and maybe even make a profit, but my commitment to my causes will always remain primary and profit secondary.
To continue developing my little online business to help yo-yo women dieters feel good about themselves so they will give their gifts to the world.