In this Happy Hour podcast, we’re chatting with Carolyn Averill about a big website we just redesigned for her. Joining us will be Hannah Hess, designer, and Emily Wenman, developer, here at Backflip.
- (5:21) St. Ambrose website redesign.
- (21:23) What was the most challenging part of the process for Hannah and Emily?
- (26:58) How long should a website last?
- (37:51) What were the best parts of the process?
- (56:16) St. Ambrose logo redesign.
- (1:22:08) Two truths and a lie.
Ryan Freng 2:39
Hello and welcome back to a another backflip happy hour. I’m Ryan Freng Coker Director here at backflip and John is not here. So no witty report or rep parte or anything like that right now, but we’ll say we’ve got two special hosts today. I’m gonna bring them on. We’ve got Emily and Hannah joining us today as maybe special hosts. How’s that sound guys?
Emily Wenman 3:07
Ryan Freng 3:09
Yeah, so we like to start off the top of the show with what we’re drinking. So I think I was showing you guys earlier this is a happy hour. This is an espresso. Look at this is like a bespoke glass that we just got which is kind of silly but fun. Then you can really see and get that frothy Nespresso goodness Carolyn’s guys. Carolyn, this is like a bespoke glass. So we just got which is kind of silly, but fun. Oh, I think I’m hearing somebody’s feedback that I’m getting feedback from you, Hannah. We’re good. Now. I think I muted you. You’ll have to unmute yourself or go headphones. All right. This is starting off quite well. I’ve got this Nespresso and of course, I’ve got a little bit of Tara mana in this glass right here. Since you’re the only one on right now. What do you got Emily?
Emily Wenman 4:02
I have a tall glass of water here. Keep me hydrated news on this Friday afternoon. straight
Ryan Freng 4:09
vodka. It’s amazing. You’re a champ. Let’s see. And Hannah, are you back
Hannah Hess 4:15
back? Guys, I think we’re good.
Ryan Freng 4:19
Awesome. So Hannah might have to jump out and then for whatever reason, maybe it’s the Wi Fi on the front there. But what are you drinking right now, Hannah?
Hannah Hess 4:27
I’m drinking the carbon for mango seltzer today.
Ryan Freng 4:31
Nice. And let’s see. For those who don’t know Emily is our developer and Hannah is our designer here. Yeah, anything else you guys want to say as a short way of introduction before we bring our guests done? Nope, I’m good. Great. I know Carolyn can barely contain herself. So let’s bring her in here. This is like all the happy hour people who watch so we have like our entire audience right here.
Carolyn Averill 5:01
It’s just because like they’re so quiet like compared to John. I feel like John is just always like willing to just spit ball something. In everyone’s like,
Ryan Freng 5:10
yeah. All right new direction. So welcome, Carolyn.
Carolyn Averill 5:14
Thank you. Yeah. How’s it going? Great. It was a busy week. It’s nice to finish in a very relaxing way like this. So perfect.
Ryan Freng 5:23
Yeah. Well, we’re happy to provide a nice relaxing way. For you to finish your week. What do you drink in
Carolyn Averill 5:30
the parks. That’s the best room from Carmen for designed by Hannah, which we were just talking about before we started here. And it was my first time trying this. So I brought this from home because it was a special day and especially a drink so got the karma for glass and we’re good to go.
Ryan Freng 5:46
That’s super legit. I love it. Can you hold that up again to take a look at that?
Carolyn Averill 5:50
Yeah, that lovely color. Also? She got her coaster. Coaster.
Ryan Freng 5:57
You got your swag. Yeah.
Carolyn Averill 5:59
For all those people who participate in the comments, you get a coaster? That’s right. And other things. I got other things too.
Ryan Freng 6:05
It’s not a farce. So what are we doing today? What are we We’re talking about news, we just launched a big Awesome website with you a big redesign. And that’s why we have the rest of the team on here. We’ve got Emily and Hannah. Yeah. Tell us tell us what we all did.
Carolyn Averill 6:24
Well, it started in this room here. We started with little brainstorming sessions. Yeah. And I mean, this was back in April, I think we got going on this. So we met and we were talking about who is the audience of Sanders Academy? What is the website for? And what are people looking for? What are their needs? How can we help solve them? And you know, we had a we had a kind of internal team from St. Ambrose. So Jim Carrey is our Executive Director, Angela Heinlein, who is the Director of Enrollment, and then Joe Draves, who is the drama director, and then myself. So we have the internal team that was helping steer everything. And it was a good representative sampling of the community of St. Ambrose, you have parent representation and kind of board representation, founding family representation. And then Angela, who is also really focused on those new prospective families and what they’re looking for. So it was really, really good. And then benefactors, of course. So we had a great team that was kind of brainstorming and pulling together, and then you guys were able to guide us in that process, which was very fruitful. And I think it was a good educational experience to for the Sanders team, about how you can present yourself because every one of those people knows good things about how I present the organization. But then you have other people like you do this for a living, you work with so many clients, so many kinds of clients to that, what are lessons that we could take from your experience. So that was kind of where everything got started. And then we built a website over the past five months, four months?
Ryan Freng 7:50
And then it just kind of happened. Yeah. Is that Hannah and Emily? Is that how you guys remember it? Yes,
Hannah Hess 7:57
um, it was actually a really fun process, because I feel like the whole St. Ambrose team really knew what they were looking for. And they were, they were maybe a little bit too direct in their feedback initially, but we were able to kind of wrangle the team in Carolyn did an awesome job, kind of getting that from everyone on her side, and then managing to put it all into something easily understandable, and something that we could actually work with, for us. And so I loved it. I think you guys are one of the most well organized clients that I’ve worked with since being here. And so that was very helpful to me in helping us stay on track and on budget.
Carolyn Averill 8:43
Yeah, there was that Google Doc, which kind of right, it reminds me of the mega doc from we did the benefit dinner in December. Yeah. Yeah. So it was kind of similar in that way. I mean, we had I tried, because I try to keep it a risk for myself, I want to know what I’m doing. And then also, I have a mindset of like, if I can have what I need together, then I can give it to someone, and it’s gonna be much harder for them to accidentally make a mistake, you know, to like, misunderstand what I was saying and how I was writing it. And so if I can do that better, I’ll be more equipped in what I’m doing and remember what I’m doing, and then the other person will also be able to, like, run with it more effectively. So yeah, we had, yeah, the feedback is interesting, like working with a creative endeavor. I think that’s a different kind of approach that people have to learn how to work within, and what is helpful for the designer, because I know that was something I would say, like, you have all these ideas, but we can’t just give all these ideas, we have to also understand what we want and who we are, and do backflips does understand who we are, but and they can give us that feedback. But we still are the owners of that. So what is the most important thing that we want to communicate? And then we have to share that with Hannah so that she can really effectively take that piece and do something with it. Otherwise, we’re gonna give her five ideas and then she has to figure out which one we think is The most important, that’s not going to feel good for her, that’s probably going to lead to us not really liking it as much. So the more clear you can be, the better everyone is going to be off, and everyone’s going to be much happier in the process too.
Ryan Freng 10:14
Yeah, that’s, that’s really important. What about you, Emily? What’s what’s kind of been your experience going through this?
Emily Wenman 10:21
Yeah, I love the start with the kind of user profiles that Carolyn mentioned, that was very helpful as the project went along. Because we were able to make more informed decisions of not just like, what do we think is best, but what will be best for the parents and the benefactors in Windows. So it really helped make the conversations more pointed. And I appreciated that as we were kind of comparing different features or different ways the design could be done.
Ryan Freng 10:53
I think we’re getting, we’re getting Hannah back in there.
Hannah Hess 10:56
I’m working on it.
Ryan Freng 11:00
Nice. Are you on your phone now?
Hannah Hess 11:02
Yeah. I’m trying.
Ryan Freng 11:06
That’s all right. This is a part of the charm of the show. When everything goes wrong. Yeah, it’s, you know, it’s so important that organization and having these conversations upfront, I think, are really helpful. Kind of it’s kind of like a Pixar creativity, Inc, sort of methodology, where they let their directors or let their creatives, whoever’s kind of creatively in charge of a project, come up with the solutions. And anybody else, the other directors, the other writers, the other crew, when they hear or see the creative direction, they ask questions. And if they see any problems, they raise up those problems, but they don’t provide solutions. They let the creative brain trust, provide those solutions. And I think that’s important in this type of project as well. And it might be easier for people to think about, like a house, right? So you’re gonna build a house, let’s, I’d say that’s probably a pretty analogous with kind of what we’re doing here creatively. And you, you know, you have some idea of what it’s going to be like inside and how it’s going to be arranged and things you like, and things you don’t like, however, you don’t have the architectural or engineering background, to understand, Okay, well, I want this shape, and this here, and that, and this stairway here and this, I don’t know, wall and height of this, right? That may be engineering, an engineering nightmare, or it might be impossible, or it might be not to code. You know, there’s so many reasons why that might not work. But when you’re designing a house, you’re generally not doing that. I mean, most people I know, don’t do that. If you have a desire for a stairway to be somewhere else, you provide that feedback, oh, I’d like it to be open. And I’d like the stairway. I think I kind of like it in these designs over here, like how it’s done. Because there’s a problem that I’m trying to solve, here’s the problem. As opposed to, this is how it’s going to work. And this is how I would do it, or here’s how I have done it. Because again, building a house, you don’t know what you don’t know, and why something is a good idea or why something is not a good idea. And so starting that upfront, having that conversation we like to share and kind of say like, let’s, let’s be descriptive instead of prescriptive. So if you want some kind of functionality like a man that dropping like flies, like a, you know, really prominent donate button right for website, say, donations are really important. So we would like a button, way up front that gets gets people right away to it. That’s a very helpful, descriptive way to discuss an idea, as opposed to Okay, we’re gonna do a rounded button, it’s gonna be green, and it’s gotta go right here. And it’s got to be this many pixels big. And as soon as the designer or the developer hear that, it’s a little like, Ooh, well, okay, we can just do stuff. However, here’s 10 reasons why that’s not going to work, or why we would do it just a little bit differently. So instead of having to do that every time, when you can be descriptive, instead of prescriptive. It gets us a lot further. So yeah, I think that’s a great process, doing the personas right up in front, because it can get really personal to like, I think it should be like this. And like you said, Carolyn, lots of people have lots of different opinions. It would be a travesty if Hannah and Emily had to sort through that and be like, Okay, I’m gonna pick this one and pick this one and pick this one. And, you know, then it’s like, well, my idea made it in here, but it didn’t make it over here. And you know, that’s just,
Carolyn Averill 14:57
well, why is that like that? It’s like, well, we gave it to you We told them to do that. So then that’s what they did. And then no one’s happy. And then time, that time could be wasted if that’s what had happened, you know. And I think the other thing that happens with that process is, and I think this is maybe something that some people might not have realized, not like the internal team that we were working with, necessarily, but kind of broader. Some people might not realize how much time that takes, like you’re really going through, and you’re analyzing things, they’re assessing things, it’s not just like, Okay, well, here’s what we want here, the pages, and we’re just gonna take what we have, or we’re gonna do this. And I think there was an assumption I kept, I did. That’s why I don’t think anyone had this idea, because I did kept saying it throughout the processing. Just so you know, this will take more time than you think about, it will take a long amount of time, because we’re going to do it, well, we’re going to be very thorough about it. And so we had these long conversations around this table here. And then I had a lot of long conversations over zoom with my colleagues about this to really parser because good things, magical things can happen when you have a conversation about something that Angela might say something from the perspective of someone who talks to prospective parents, and she’s gonna give me a light bulb moment, and then I’m gonna be able to incorporate that, or I’m gonna be able to have adequately, you know, convey what we need to convey. And so you’re able to get that important feedback from people, you’re brainstorming, you’re collaborating, you are, you know, thinking of things that you wouldn’t have thought on your own. And I think that’s the beauty of working with a group, especially a group that has, I think humility really comes into it to like, you have the humility to understand, Okay, here’s my perspective, this is my first kind of gut instinct, because I think might be best. But maybe it wouldn’t be maybe there is a better way or a different way that’s going to help serve our purposes better. And so I think if you can have any team meeting, any project, or any, whatever it is, you know, you can have a really strong opinion about something. But the way you share it is really important. And the way you take other people’s ideas is really important. Because then it’s not just Well, I automatically think this is the best idea. And this is where we have to go. But you have to take into account of things that you might not be taking into account. So I thought that was a really good process. And I was always very pleased with the conversations that I was having with the internal team. And then little pieces that Emily would say something or Hannah would say something like, Oh, I didn’t even know we could do that. Oh, that’s a good idea. Yeah. Okay. And then I would take that back to my internal team, and say, well, here’s what they suggested. So I think it was a really good, you just work through a process together. And we all had that good amount of humility. We had good ideas, we had passion when we thought something was really important. And we really, and we wanted to explain why it was so important. And you know, there were some things where I was like, Yeah, I don’t really mind too much like, I’m not going to die on that hill. And then there were a couple of things. I was like, No, I think this is a really fundamental. And this is why, and I will make a case for why I think this is so important. So there’s a good amount of like, give and take with the team.
Ryan Freng 17:55
Yeah, and one thing you’re putting out that I don’t know, if we mentioned is like the point person. It’s so useful, because it really takes it away from like my idea and your idea and, you know, whatnot. Like you’re saying, people are talking to you and working with you and giving you ideas, and thoughts. And you can kind of suss them all out, and some might come stronger, some might come less strong, but then we also have that lens of the personas to go through. So then it’s not about okay, well, is it just because somebody wants it? Or is it a good idea? It’s it kind of sidesteps both of those and goes towards a more user focus? Is this what the user would want? Is this what is best for the user?
Carolyn Averill 18:41
Yeah, cuz you can have a lot of ideas about what to put on a website, you know, for us, okay, it’s a school. It’s a Catholic school, what do we need to share with families that are currently enrolled prospective families, benefactors, alumni, random community members who might just be coming to see the musical or whatever? What is it that’s really most important, because you can have this huge list of all these things that are important. What is the most important because your homepage should only be so long before people just go at just endless scrolling? I’m out like this too much. And so it was a good process of like, what are the tearing the things by importance, and then making sure that they had adequate space, and Hannah was good at suggesting certain things that we wouldn’t have thought of how to make some things still prominent in a way that’s not going to be obtrusive to the view, but that’s still going to have a spot. It has a place. And that was a really I really appreciated that aspect of it because I knew that there was good creativity going on behind the scenes on on your side, but that flip side, and I had a lot of confidence in what was happening on your side of things too. We’re good, we’re good partners.
Ryan Freng 19:49
And I think one thing that’s so fantastic is just how organized you tend to be. This is with so many moving parts like the mega dock like and I no hana does this too. And Emily, on our side, likes to create those just documents that we can all work in together and keep everything straight. Because there’s so many moving parts. And at the end of the day, you know, is it is it the end of the world with this stuff, if something doesn’t get migrated or something gets migrated late? It’s not. However, if you write it down, if you’re taking notes, if we’re reviewing it, then potentially things can get caught before we’ve implemented them. So Emily’s not redoing stuff twice, because there was an error early on, or something was forgotten. Yeah.
Carolyn Averill 20:40
Yeah, I just like having respect for the people that I work with. Because I don’t want to waste someone’s time I don’t like when my time is wasted. And if you can avoid it, it’s kind of like that you’re using the building the house analogy, you know, measure twice, cut once. So I measured three times and I cut one it’s or whatever the case was, I mean, there was a lot of, in a sense of redundancy, if you want to think about it like that. I mean, I know every part of that website, because I saw it, I was in it so intensely. And you know, even then, like there was something that happened in the back end, and then some links ended up being broken, something went weird. And so there was a point at which I asked Angela to go through all the pages, because she had offered if I needed help, if I needed someone to look over anything, let her know. And so I did. And she was methodically going through every single page pages I had already methodically gone through. But in the meantime, links had been broken. So she started click on them, and they were all within this one kind of subset of the pages. And if we hadn’t been that kind of maybe a bit anal retentive. But thorough is really thorough, we wouldn’t have caught that. And that someone would have visited the site. And maybe they would have told us maybe they wouldn’t have told us we wouldn’t have known. And so I think it is, it is worthwhile to just really go back and check over the work, go back, be detailed, be careful, think about it. The theoretically, don’t be haphazard, be organized as much as you can, because the end result is going to be so much better, and it’s going to be way less stressful. And that is a good thing.
Ryan Freng 22:10
Yeah, what so let’s get Emily and Hannah in on this, like, what was the most challenging part of this for you guys?
Hannah Hess 22:20
I can start. Um, so at the very beginning of this, we kind of had an outline of what page templates we were going to create for all of the content. And as we started getting into it, I did a deeper dive into a lot of the pages they had and how things worked and talking to Carolyn, about how they wanted things to work on the new website. And so I had to sort of create a template that was very flexible. And so for Emily, she had to build in all of these different blocks of content that could be turned on and off, depending on what that sub page needed. So that was really difficult for me to try to design in a way that would be easy enough for Emily to develop and for Carolyn and her team to use on the back end.
Carolyn Averill 23:16
Yeah, even when you go into it, like from my perspective of that I saw all of those different options in there. And they were labeled really well. So it was like, side by side, three side by side, two red blocks, or I mean, it’s that kind of really descriptive nature. But Emily, or Hannah had printed out those templates. And I kept those next to me while I was working. Because it was it’s something new. It’s like a new language that you’re learning like you have these blocks are able to play with and you’re able to build something, what block is appropriate for what time and what content will fit best on this particular page. So like it’s super flexible, because of that extra work that she did. It’s so flexible now that anytime in the future, as long as this website is in existence, you can create different kinds of content and fit it into the template, which is really like the most flexible thing I’ve ever imagined that it could be. So it’s like abundantly flexible and abundantly, like, useful for us. So the extra work was like so appreciated.
Emily Wenman 24:19
Yeah, Carolyn, I liked what you bring up for descriptive titles, because they’re so challenging because the pieces are similar but different. And you’d call on obnoxious titles with that visual cue of oh, they’re kind of in this order. So I know like know what they look like now, it’s very helpful in building like that. But one interesting challenge for me was that we started implementation and adding the content a little bit sooner than we normally do. Then part of that was easy to because Carolyn, you already were familiar with the WordPress back end. We didn’t have to do a whole training to get you in there and be able to get the content in. But that meant With that, I was still in process of making it look good on the front end while you were doing the content, and so it just took extra communication of you were like, hey, this thing looks funny, or this isn’t showing up. And I was like, great. Like, I’m either I’m not there yet, or I thought it was linked up. And it wasn’t and just like working through, which was in which category was a different. It’s a different process than what it normally what it has looked like in other projects. So I appreciated your flexibility with that. And communication, because that made it easier for both of us to not freak out if something looks wonky while everything was still in the process.
Carolyn Averill 25:38
Yeah, yeah. Especially because the timeline was kind of weird. So like, I was not ever. And it was just kind of what it was. So I just Hannah had given me kind of here, the ones that she’s still working on, you know, just don’t touch these yet. They’ll be coming. Yeah. So then there was a kind of a gray area sometimes where like it was developed, and maybe something went wrong. But I wasn’t sure if it was just not done yet. Or if it was wrong. Like there was a little bit of gray area, but it was fine. Because I I didn’t get upset about it. Like there was no need to just kind of like, hey, is this done? Yeah. Okay, great. Thanks. Good. Like, I’ll wait. And that’s no problem whatsoever. So I think as long as people are flexible, and they’re just kind of willing to roll with it, then and you communicate, like you said, it’s fine.
Emily Wenman 26:19
Yeah, you had a you had good expectations of like, oh, it’s still in progress. And not just like, oh, because I’m putting content in there, I want it to show up perfectly. And so if you made it easy on me, but it was just a different communication style, I guess.
Carolyn Averill 26:33
Yeah. And being able to do it, it was like a favor, though, I think that’s my like reason behind it is because it was like a favor to me that I was able to start doing it. So then it wasn’t as stressful for me to get it done in like a week, and get everything in and everything tested and all that kind of stuff. So the kinks worked out, like I was able to get in and start doing what I could, and then everything else could kind of come after that. Because I remember there was like a week of time where I really didn’t do much, because it was like really heavy on the front end, a week of lag, and then like really heavy on the back end. And so that was really a good like pace for me to have instead of just one week, go.
Ryan Freng 27:15
Yeah, it’s funny to that feature that you’re talking about that flexibility and what we provided, we kind of came up with a unique way to do that, in the tools that we use. And then lo and behold, you know, a few months after this site, we’ve kind of architected this site, there’s a new system, a new plug in, that kind of gives us the capability to do something like that a little bit more easy, which is just kind of how the Internet goes, you know? Yeah, it’s a common problem. So maybe the update in a couple of years, I don’t know, how long is the website last these days? How long do everyone wants them to last like 20 years, but the way devices change? It’s, it’s not that not that long, unfortunately.
Carolyn Averill 27:53
Okay. Think about 20 years ago was the internet like, who doesn’t want well, who was like that nasty little banner and like a bunch of weird links on the left side, and like weird blocks in the middle like, Google, like, what a Google was, like, 20 years ago? My goodness. Yeah, I mean, what do people say? Like, how long has the website really last? I mean, in an ideal world, if you have a reasonable budget, not like a Microsoft or whatever, that they can just constantly be working on things like, what would you say would be a reasonable amount of time? ideal amount of time for a website to really last?
Ryan Freng 28:25
Yeah, that’s a really good question. I think, I think the biggest challenge is, again, that every year things are changing. So I think maybe what’s more important is to be adapting regularly, instead of doing a redesign every seven years or something, that seems to be what people kind of do. Seven years is like, Oh, this is so broken, and janky I can’t handle it. We need a new one. But ideally, every couple of years, you know, every two years, there could be a smaller refresh, you know, spread that out. Just stay current without having to completely throw the baby out with the bathwater every time.
Carolyn Averill 29:02
Yeah, ours previously was eight years old. It was definitely 13 WordPress editor, which was broken, and janky and the bane of my existence in many ways. Anytime I tried to do something like Oh, that doesn’t work now. Awesome. Okay, great. Thanks.
Ryan Freng 29:16
Yeah, right. And it’s you know, it’s tough but it probably needs to be part of that kind of ongoing maintenance and a budget or something where you know, you keep your you keep your building from falling down and you know, you upgrade stuff and try not to just renovate the whole thing. It always comes back to these analogies, right? You try not to renovate every seven years but if you can just continue to update and keep things working well and current then you have much less of an issue there.
Carolyn Averill 29:47
Well, I even think the the design that we have right now I mean, it’s a little it feels like I don’t know what the right word is like premature. Premature is one word for it like to think about the next website like I’m not thinking about the next website for Samaras Academy, what I’m thinking about is this flexible design this flexible back end. And so you could make things that it’s just updating the content, so it looks different. And maybe the template, you kind of switch something around, and you shake that up a bit. So it’s not just the same. But really, I think most people who are going to that website regularly, they’re probably parents, they’re looking for really specific information, we have a parent portal, that was something that I know a number of parents have already mentioned to me like how much they appreciate being able to go to one place. And they can find the E newsletter that goes out every week, they can find the current schedule, they can find information uniforms, or the pre planned absence form, like the things that they need to find the most, they can go right there and find that. Otherwise, who’s really coming and seeing the website that regularly I wonder about that? You know, I think a lot of it is probably a particular moment in a person’s life like prospective parents. They’re kind of checking on things. They’re curious, what’s the course of curriculum like what is math like it, Sandra’s Academy, okay, sports do they have and so they’re probably kind of investigating in a, you know, one to 234 year period before their child is old enough to come to the school. And after that, they’re probably not looking at those pages anymore. And so it is kind of like a new audience. There’s like that cycle of new audiences. It’s not like Target, where you’re constantly going to it because you need a new toothbrush, or you need a rug or you know, whatever. So it’s a different kind of audience than a retail site or blog site or a recipe site, that kind of thing.
Ryan Freng 31:33
Yeah, that’s a really good point. And, you know, we have like Google Analytics, right. So that’s, that’s a one tool that helps us figure out what people are actually doing and what people are saying that they actually need. As opposed to just an opinion of all I think people really, you know, use this. Look at the statistics, they’re not using it, it might show that the user experience is broken, right? If they can’t find it. If it’s more easily found, then it’ll be more easily used. Or it could also mean that was that corn? Okay. Yeah, I guess we do have the ambulance trucks over there. I don’t know if that’s what it was. I just barely kind of hurt because I have the headphones on straight. Yeah, cuz three of us are in backflip. Carolyn, myself, and Hannah, and Emily’s at backflip, Minnesota. So challenges for you, Carolyn, we kind of went through Hannah and Emily’s challenges, what were challenges for you in this project?
Carolyn Averill 32:40
I think one of the biggest things was getting people like keeping track of all the things that I needed from individual people. Because we had the kind of core team that was really providing a lot of information. The course of study I mentioned before, that was a really big part for us, because it’s a school. And so when people are going and looking at a school, they’re sending their child there, they want to know what is my child going to learn? How good is this school at doing what a school should do, which is educating a child. And so we really wanted to make sure that that had most most helpful and updated information. And then it was presented in a way that was indicative of who we are, that it’s not just this dry text. And then this is what they read. And this is what they do. And this is what we didn’t want it to be like that because that’s not who we are. And so to incorporate Connie Nielsen, who is the dean of faculty, she was very fundamental on this, because she has, she wrote all curriculum, she was the director classification kind of while that curriculum was being developed. And then that was really no longer needed. So she transitioned back to only being the dean of faculty. So she was not working with all of the teachers about different things. And so I was waiting, you know, on that kind of content, or certain pages had a certain person involved, because they own that content, they are the really ones that are driving the content. So I had to keep track of those people. And you know, summer teachers are not really working in the summer. And so then I was like, Hey, sorry to bother you. Do you have this thing? You know, because it’s not, it’s not urgent, but I do need it eventually. And so the more loose ends you have, the harder it is to keep track of them. That was one thing. I think that was probably the most challenging. And then also just kind of taking people’s feedback we were talking earlier about different people have different opinions that different things, they like different things they don’t like. And so you’re trying to kind of parse through, you know, because someone might say they like these 10 things, they dislike these 10 things, but that doesn’t mean they liked them all equally, or they disliked them all equally. They probably really really hate to have those ideas, and they dislike eight and they’re kind of okay or maybe just like six and they’re kind of okay with two but they don’t prefer them. So then you have to kind of read people and you have to understand okay, well what did you mean when you said that like, you don’t like this? Why don’t you like it is there like a little twists we can make and that’ll be make it better. So just learning how to kind of understand people’s feedback, and then filter it, and take it, put it together and give it in such a way that is useful to the backlit team. Or it’s useful to me when writing the content or kind of working with other people to write the content. So I would say those are probably the two biggest
Ryan Freng 35:21
things. Yeah, and I mean, that seems kind of ubiquitous to across this type of project, right? Kind of the expected challenges. So yeah, having kind of setting setting up yourself for success in the beginning, I think is your best opportunity being organized point person, how we communicate, you know, where we communicate, that that at least gets you down the right path, you know, things will always come up. And you kind of pivot and deal with them creatively problem solve. But yeah, I think you guys were also very, very open to just our kind of direction and leadership, which is great. That can be tough. And actually, you know, it’s not as tough these days. But it was tough. 10 years ago, when we were, you know, more babyface. There’s kind of a sentiment of like, you’re young, you don’t know, I mean, not that you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s like you’re young. And I can kind of do this. I know more. So my opinion is just as important as you, the professional designer, or developer or something like that.
Carolyn Averill 36:31
I think it also had to do with my relationship with you. And like with you specifically, right? Because we were talking about backup as a whole that I was able to be because I was the point person, I was the one who was really the go between between the two sides. And a lot of times people would say something like, just trust them, it’s fine. Like, it’ll be fine. Because I, if they have a question, they will ask if they if we don’t like something that they did, they’re not gonna be offended. I mean, as long as we don’t say something offensive, which we won’t, but like, you know, we will work together. And because I have a lot of confidence in you guys. And it’s not just about like age, it’s not even about experience, necessarily, but like confidence that the person that you’re working with is being thoughtful about what they’re doing. And they do have a good mind towards this kind of work. And they are going to bring something to the table that we don’t have. And so I think it’s acknowledging, going back to humility, like it’s acknowledging that, like, I don’t have all the answers. And even like, when we were working internally, you know, the menu was a good example of like, what do we want the menu to say? I think that’s a really fundamental thing. I’ve worked on websites before to what is your going to be? What are the most important things you have there? And that changed a few times, even at the very end? And I was like, hey, Emily, and Hannah, can we just like had this one thing? Sorry. Thank you. And so like, we as we went through the process that we kind of understood, oh, yeah, no, this would be better. So our first idea was a good one. But we were able to make it better and make it more useful. And so just that process, like it is a process. And that’s why I tried to help communicate to my team, that it’s okay, it’s okay, that these things change. It’s fluid, and it’s dynamic, and it’s good and healthy. So we don’t have to have to have answer on day one. But it’s gonna go back to like, who are we serving? We’re gonna go back to the basics of those personas, what do they need, not just our own idea of what we want it to be? Because I’m not the target audience. You know, most of the people in that most half of the people on the team weren’t necessarily the target target audience. So, you know, taking a step back is really important in that.
Ryan Freng 38:38
What, let’s see, let’s, let’s go kind of the opposite direction. What was kind of some of your favorite parts of this? You know, it was a lot of work. There were challenges. But I would say just briefly, like, again, the team, like we’ve said that before you, Carolyn, and Hannah, and Emily, you’re all very good communicators, and very organized people. So that, I think was was a really great piece of the product, or process. Especially since I you know, I’m the I don’t know what my time would be
Carolyn Averill 39:09
changes every five days. I think
Ryan Freng 39:11
it does. Yeah, it’s required to update every five days, otherwise, I lose my job. Keep it fresh. Yeah, so you know, I manage the web team. But I also I’m traveling a lot and producing a lot and directing a lot. So I’m not seeing everything day to day, and everyone being able to stay on top of it and communicate, I think was just was just wonderful. And then, you know, your team Carolyn, being engaged, like that was fantastic. Even having ideas that might not be a descriptive way of solving a problem might be prescriptive, like, we were able to work through stuff, you know, and figure out okay, well, what’s at the core of this and how do we solve that core issue? And so, you know, I would say just good people, made it enjoyable. through challenges and you know, made it so that was an experience. It was like, oh, man, I wish every everyone could be like this every every web project, or I guess every project, period. You know, don’t everyone jump at once?
Carolyn Averill 40:19
No, there was silence I started sorry. I tried. I tried to not like take over conversation and like very mindful that but if there’s like too much of a pause, and like, while I might, when it came to like the logo, so even mentioned the logo, but the website itself, I was just so excited that we weren’t going to have that old janky website, like, sorry, to anyone who was a part of it. But it had its life, it lived its life, and then it needed to be refreshed. And so it’s not that it was bad. It was just outdated. It was no longer what people expect to see. Maybe it was bad, though to so I take that back, but it lived its life and the like loose and like having a beer I feel loose. The idea that I was able to help after three years like this was one of the things that I first asked about when I first came on its Hambros. I was like, Hey, you mentioned about the website like is that in the process? Is there are there plans for that? Like, what can we do. And it was just not the right time, the budget wasn’t there, we try working something out. We tried doing something wasn’t there, it wasn’t happening. It wasn’t happening. We have other competing interests, we have a capital campaign to build a new permanent building, we have all these things. So it’s not a bad thing, you can only do so much at one time with limited resources. So finally, I felt so happy that I was able to put this lovely little dream from three years ago into reality. And so like every page that I made, every time I was putting content in it, just thinking like how much better this is going to be how much better it’s going to serve the organization, how much better it’s going to look to a new person. So you have a 30 something year old mom who’s thinking, okay, my child’s in fourth grade, what is he going to do in sixth grade, and she feels Catholic school Madison, and she sees St. Ambrose Academy, when she goes to that website. Now, it looks like the kind of it reflects who the school is. It is a very dynamic, it’s a very fun, it’s a very faithful kind of place. And it’s the kind of place that I think the website now shows, I should check this up. This looks really good. Okay, I’m going to call and then there are all these calls to action. So no matter where you are in the page, you’re gonna see call donate, send us a message, whatever it is. And that’s my favorite part, just like knives. So it’s not even so much about the process, because the process was great. It was fun. But like for me just being able to finally have a website that it’s not like, Yeah, I know. Okay, and it’s so much more functional. It’s so much more descriptive about who the community is. And not just like, oh, it looks kind of outdated or it looks like school outdated? Is it old fashioned? Is it? Do I want my child there? I don’t think you have that impression anymore.
Hannah Hess 43:06
All right, Emily, do you want to go? Yeah, I
Emily Wenman 43:08
can go. Um, I would echo what Ryan said about people. I really love calling Carolyn as never like nervous. She had some great chats, as well. But then another opportunity that this site presented was the ability to be more flexible than our other designs or designs have been always very dynamic and content and images. But so that our clients can’t accidentally break things, some things are set in stone. And so we’re trying to find the balance of let’s add some more flexibility. But I still don’t want them to like be able to break things by just clicking the wrong button. So that was fun. It was a good challenge. And then like Ryan said, we now have a new tool, but it’s definitely a stepping stone to like looking for that new tool, looking for something new and different and always improving our process and what we can offer our clients.
Carolyn Averill 44:06
We even like the Google Translate thing you said this is the first time you’ve really encountered that. So like that’s kind of cool to just another tool in your arsenal of knowing how to help another client that perhaps on the road,
Ryan Freng 44:18
or is this like the WP ml Auto Translate? Yeah. Yeah, cuz we’ve used so WP ML is WordPress, multilingual. We’ve actually used that with the Archdiocese of LA. But they translated everything. So we didn’t have to set up the automatic system. But yeah, it was great to go through that and get that configured for you. And it seems like that was a pretty great solution instead of spending. I don’t remember, like 20,000 $20,000 to get the website translated. Yeah.
Carolyn Averill 44:50
I mean, that’s the thing like what’s the balance like it’s a good it’s a good solution. We can now be more accessible to Spanish speaking families because we do have quite a few Spanish speaking say Emily’s, and not all of them, but some of them. The parents don’t speak English. I mean, they don’t speak English as their primary language, of course, but they’re not as comfortable in English. So their child is often the one who’s, you know, telling, okay, this is what we’re doing. And this is what this is. And that’s not ideal, you know, you want the parent to be able to really derive some of those things and understand what’s going on. So that was a huge step up in functionality for us right there, because we do have, gosh, I don’t even know what the percentage is, but maybe 15% 20% families who are from a, you know, native Spanish speaking background, and that kind of functionality is really important.
Ryan Freng 45:41
All right, Anna, what do you got?
Hannah Hess 45:44
Yeah, for me, I think my, well, I have a few favorite things that I really liked about this project on top of the logo and how organized you were Carolyn, I really loved the challenge of making that interior page templates super flexible, so that each page could feel unique in its own way. And then I think my like, winner here is actually the Mega Menu. I pushed for that pretty hard in the beginning. And I know there was some back and forth and like, well, this maybe just feels too overwhelming, or you know, people aren’t going to be used to it, because that’s not what they see every day. But this was a really good opportunity to use the Mega Menu, because you guys have so much content, it was a nice way for us to organize the navigation without I don’t know, feeling like you’re switching so abruptly from like, one long list of pages to another to another. And so this allowed a lot of breathing room around each of those links. And then we also created a little feature within the mega menu that allows you to drop in a photo and have a larger sort of call to action for a specific page. So for the patron saint, we’re able to call that page out very distinctly, and the, the M St. Ambrose, like athletic wear, and you know, student gear, we were able to call that out and the guidance counselor corner, some more fun pages that don’t always get clicked on. So I think that was one of my favorites. Yeah. What was that?
Carolyn Averill 47:26
Proposed? Sorry? Was that like, that was my I was like, Yes, this is what we have to do. Because before on the old website, you would click and it would drop down. And sometimes it’d be like 13, deep, or five deep or whatever it was, and your mouse, like, you’re just I have a, I have like an actual like real mouse. But you know, if you’re just scrolling on your trackpad, that can get really wonky if you’re trying to do it. And it just visually, it looks so much better. Because you’re really able to highlight and you’re able to kind of carry forth your voice with that Mega Menu in a way that you wouldn’t if it was just, I forgot what they’re called when they’re stacked. But that kind of thing. Like we have the guidance counselor corner, I changed the college counselor corner, because again, it’s kind of like well, what do people want to know when they come? Is my child going to be ready for college? Are you going to prepare my child well, and now you see under academics? college counselors corner, your journey starts here like yes, the answer the short answer. Yes, we will. And now you can click and you can find out more information why that’s the case. And I love the couch hustlers page. I even sent Mary scamp. She’s Dr. Mary Sam. She’s the Dean of Students. And I actually sent her just a random text out of nowhere when there’s like, I just really love this page so much because I was going through and kind of finessing things. And there’s so much helpful information there. That just thinking about a parent looking at that and finding good information made me so happy. It just made me so delighted that we were doing that and that’s prominently shown in that mega menu. So NDP agree,
Ryan Freng 48:59
I think it might be useful to like, obviously, there’s a shameless plug element to this, but just to take a look and you know, like if you want to show it and share some of those elements, because I’m not super aware you guys can do a huge drive because I’m not super aware of like the flexibility like show me one page and show let’s look at one page and a separate page that’s different but same template or whatever, you know, like a good example of functional flexibility
Carolyn Averill 49:32
my career is getting kind of broken guys. No, I mean you you tried gluing it remember the glue came off it’s
Ryan Freng 49:40
yeah, I didn’t glue very well.
Emily Wenman 49:43
On your computer.
Carolyn Averill 49:44
Yeah. Because the the base of it like the the external nature of the computer is kind of busted. So Ryan took some gorilla glue which
Ryan Freng 49:56
they just got on a dummy and didn’t work. It was
Carolyn Averill 49:58
it was a it was a good attempt. Yeah, so this is the sorry, I’m sharing like the whole window. So you’re seeing like all my tabs. This is, this is delightful. Um, but the this is on here, right? I have a second monitor. So I’m just using my laptop. So next venue, we got tour Sanders Academy. Today, I’m going to try to make it a little bit. Again, find a second monitor, we will be able to work on the veteran here. Yeah, so here’s the college counselors corner, which is great, just to highlight some of these different things. Tour Sanders Academy, again, call to action. If you’re a parent who has a child who you’re thinking about sending there, you go to her Sanders Academy, about our patron saint, this is actually a custom image that our executive director commissioned someone to make. So this image right here of Sam Rose is unique. In that way, it’s not just the stock photo from wherever, student life, get your spirit gear now support, we have our building campaign. So obviously, that’s a really good thing to highlight in this kind of a mega menu. situation here, contact us and then the Hablo Espanol. So this is one of the pages we added kind of at the end, before the whole site translation was up to give some more functionality for people. I love it. This is also you can see here, like a little bit of animation,
Hannah Hess 51:23
I just want to go back to the Mega Menu real quick. So another thing that is really good for you guys is that each of those blocks, I mean, the whole menu itself is customizable, but each of those blocks can be changed out at any point throughout the year, depending on what your campaign is, or, you know, if you have a big event coming up that you’d like to highlight, you know, a lot of people are going to start by, you know, kind of sifting through those nav items. And so it’s a great way to grab people’s attention. Just, you know, from a visual standpoint, right away.
Carolyn Averill 51:56
Yeah. Because texts can be you can kind of like gloss over your mind kind of times, but images it like calls your attention really, really quickly. Yep. Yeah, so then we have kind of this main banner mainstage, we really deliberated over these links right here, the visit upline events, kind of what were the most important things we really want to highlight. So again, making it really action oriented for the people who want to visit prospective families applying that’s obviously a really, we want to make it really easy for people to apply to send their child here. And then events, the things that if you’re a community member, what are the events that are happening? What is your musical, to make that very easy for people? This was something I campaigned for super hard, right here. Because I wanted the ability to really highlight content that was changing regularly. And things that we wanted to invite people to especially so celebrating fonts, a class of 2013 alumnus, Sanders Academy recently ordained priest, what a great thing to celebrate. So you click on this, and then you can see more information about the events, you can RSVP. And that will switch out as soon as you know, Sunday is over. I’m going to switch that to something else. Welcome to plant plants, we moved. So we were in to donated space. And now we have an interim space before our campaign is done. So I want people to know where we are, what is it like, Here are some photos from the first day. So this photo used to be something else as a placeholder. And then on the first day of school, we did a whole blessing around the building. And our chaplain Father Greg came and so is this really beautiful way to start the new year. And so that’s a photo of the blessing. And then there are a couple other photos in the background too. And then your animation, which I think is just really fun and custom. Like, it’s not just a template that you went on some website and you bought it and you like plugged your stuff in. But there’s intentionality to it. And it’s personal. And you know, this was a really key thing that Angela really wanted, especially, I mean, we all did, but I remember her being very passionate about this, like, who are we? What are the most important things for our school, and we need to make sure people know those things, because it’s a selling point for us. And so you can click here and learn more about what makes the numbers unique. So yeah, all these things. They’re just like, really delightful to me. Even after I’ve seen it for so much time from the past four months. I’m still like, yeah, I love this. Like that photo of Heather. It’s kind of like getting blocked. Maybe it’s not broken. I don’t know. Hidden. But I just love that photo of her. It’s like so, I mean, she looks like a professional like just like her face. And it’s so delightful and joyful. And, you know, that’s like what our musicals are like, they’re wonderful. They’re high quality and so it conveys all of that in a simple image
Ryan Freng 54:45
Yeah, that’s that’s weird. Whatever is happening to yours there.
Carolyn Averill 54:49
Yeah, it just like jump too far. Yeah. Oh,
Ryan Freng 54:53
I see. When you’re at the end. Yeah, it’ll do that. Yeah. And then it it kind of resets, if you go back to the beginning, yeah. That’s fun.
Carolyn Averill 55:06
Yeah, so these are just, I mean that like just having them the movement, right? There is like such a fun little touch with that image. Yeah, so like, here’s our faculty, we wanted to highlight how awesome our faculty are. We just have some really great people who are super committed there. A lot of our people have PhDs, which is not necessarily, you know, a requirement to be a great teacher. But we have people who are so committed to this, this community to the mission of St. Ambrose, that they could go and get a job somewhere else. They’re qualified for so many things. But we’re able to have them teaching sixth through 12th graders, like your sixth grader can be taught by someone who has a PhD in geology, or geography or history, or whatever it is. So I think that’s just like a really great selling point, again, like what are the things that we want to convey the most, from the get go, when people first kind of show up at the website, our capital campaign, this is very flexible, Hannah mentioned, like the flexibility of things. So the campaign will go on forever. And when the campaign is done, we can take this out of the homepage, or we can use this for some other kind of purpose, which is really, really helpful for a kind of flexibility. Love this. Love the Facebook feed being put into this kind of format, because it just looks I think it looks really compelling. You know, like, it’s a fun environment. There’s a little bit of faith and yeah, some athletics Yeah. Well, Bishop, we love our bishop, the invitation for Father Michael to come. So can I even know, I’m not sure if you know, like, I broke down all the new logo stuff. So yeah, so there’s like a little bit of a description about every element of the logo. And those are posts on Facebook, like once every three days. So there’s a little series of them. So maybe like Same, same if you’re looking at it all at once like this. But basically, people got to see why this was incorporated. What it means the background of it. And just to help people understand again, who we are, because this logo, really, I think who Sanders is, yeah.
Ryan Freng 57:03
Yeah, can you click on one of those, just to pull that up to? You had mentioned earlier, Hannah to just, you know, the logo, I forgot to mention that we we redesign that with you guys as well. Maybe, maybe just talk about that a little because, yeah, I opened it up again. And I’m like, Oh, my gosh, yeah, it’s right. It is nuts. It’s so good.
Hannah Hess 57:20
Yeah, so there were a lot of really good ideas, when we first sat down to talk about the new logo in regards to what they wanted to see. And so we kind of landed on removing the face of the bishop and just kind of focusing on the mitre itself being the prominent element of this. And then for me, it was fun to try to think of who St. Ambrose is what is representative of him in terms of different symbols and finding ways to bring that in. So if you do get a chance to zoom in, and like really look at it, we have the book at the base there for education. He’s called the honey tongue doctor. And so we have the wings from the honeybees. And then we have some scrolls kind of flanking it on either side at the bottom, that helps ground it, and it’s representative of a couple of things. It’s, it speaks to the sort of classical education of everything. And then if you think about the I don’t know what they’re called the the tails on the miter is kind of representative of those almost curled up. And then at the very top, we have a Florida Lee, which is a nod to the Trinity. And a nod to Mary as well.
Unknown Speaker 58:52
Carolyn Averill 58:54
bee wings are one of my favorite. Oh, and the cross. I think you mentioned the cross right here.
Hannah Hess 58:58
Yeah, so the cross, there’s four kind of what looked like little dots around it. I mean, obviously, the cross is a primary symbol of Christianity. And then those little dots are actually hexagons, which, you know, also relate back to the honeycomb. So tying it all back into him being the honey tongue to Doctor
Carolyn Averill 59:26
Yeah, and there was a different I mean, I think that’s a cool evolution of process to that originally, that cross when IDEA was heading a bit more elaborate, and it had, you know, the cross shape and then there’s kind of an outline echoing that cross shape and then you presented this one as an alternative and I really liked this because there’s a lot more happening in the rest of the logo and then this is a bit more simple, and I do really appreciate the kind of balance of it because I thought the other one was just a bit too much. It wasn’t bad, it looks really good. But I did like when we can simplify it especially because like this says, you know the Jerusalem cross, you know There are these five wounds of Christ that are emphasized in the Jerusalem Cross, which is really, really commonly seen in Jerusalem, and the Holy Land and everywhere else. So I like that that’s kind of an homage to this really early symbol, you know, so you think of like classical education being going back to these basic, great works. And some of these time tested methods that people have used for 1000s of years. And so then you also have a cross that is this very ancient symbol, and you’re incorporating all those things together.
Hannah Hess 1:00:31
The other nice thing about the simplicity of how that cross ended up is that it’s an element that we use throughout the site. And it kind of highlights certain sections, and then we use it in the Fabcon for the website. And so once your logo gets really small, or you have to lay it out in a certain way, in a more horizontal format, you can ultimately simplify the logo down to that symbol, and just the word St. Ambrose Academy, and it’s going to become synonymous with the rest of the brand.
Carolyn Averill 1:01:06
We also have the cross right here, too, for the campaign section. Yep. Yeah, that kind of creativity, just like repeating elements was one of my favorite things being able to do that echoing of the, the symbols and the meaning behind things. We have a couple that were you were talking about the templates, or I think Emily was talking about templates. One of the things that we did was, we have a couple of landing pages, essentially. And that’s kind of weird. So like, student life, that was a really big thing for us and showing, again, the life of the student body, and not just, you know, their students, but they’re also normal kids. And there are a lot of really great ways that we’re able like this right here is a good example of, there is a call to action that could be put into this section, but we don’t want it right now. So it’s just text, that’s all it is. But I could change it. And I could put a call to action towards the bottom of that right there. And then we have these great blue bars that we can use, not only on this page, but on other pages too, if we want to. And so there’s the ability to have the links right here, there’s people that have a quote right there, we also have one where it’s more just like icons, and information, like short infographic style kinds of presentations. So that’s another really great feature. And then here’s a good example of like one of those blocks, like, you can have these little posts, and they’re quick little things, and we can swap them out. And, you know, it’s just more things I could add to this page if I wanted to, because it’s in the back end. But this is kind of what we want to start with and just give people something and then reevaluate and periodically swap things out.
Ryan Freng 1:02:54
I like I was gonna say to real quick with the logo, you know, it can be very complex, or it can be very simple. You know, like, you see it up there on the left, it just kind of looks like the miter and it’s nice looking and kind of makes sense with the mariners gamers Academy, but then you get close, you blow it up. It’s got so much more meaning and depth and care. And, you know, hopefully that’s how a lot of this feels like, oh, yeah, it’s a nice website. But then you look at it, and you’re like, wow, look at the care that’s gone in here, because then that reflects on the organization, right? Yes.
Carolyn Averill 1:03:26
Yeah. This is a good example of I was looking at this. So Ryan, we were the thing that you got sent, there was that marketing piece that Monica was sharing with us via text yesterday?
Ryan Freng 1:03:39
Oh, my gosh, yeah. Styles and
Carolyn Averill 1:03:41
everything. And she was showing it to me last night. And I was like this is bothers me for a lot of reasons. One of the reasons is because there are so many stock photos. I know those are fake, like, that’s not your community. And, you know, that’s one of the things I took really, I took to heart when I was doing this website. Like this photo right here is a stock photo. You know, it’s pretty obvious, I think, to people who knows, maybe not everyone does. But I took a lot of care with the stock photos I chose. Because we had a lot of pages on this website, we took a lot of our photos, and we put them onto the website. And then there were some where it was kind of like, Ah, I don’t really have something really perfect for this. And I could make something I could do a little photoshoot, and I could like get something. And then I found you know, Hannah gave me a couple of resources. And she said, okay, here, take a look at these websites. If there’s anything you like, let me know, we can get into the website. So I think it was like six photos overall. And I like that kind of ratio, that you’re not overloading your website with images that are maybe indicative of your community or what you do, but ultimately, they’re not you. But with this, it’s just I mean, it’s probably like 5% 2% of our website photos are the stock photos, something like that. And so you know this one, though, it’s the course of Studying, I felt like I didn’t want to photo I want to just be singing really like evocative of what you’re about to experience, you’re digging into textbooks and you’re learning and you’re engaging with all these subject matters. So that was something I just wanted to point out. Like, I was very proud of that fact that we had so many good photos, and there are some photos that are still placeholders. I will be doing something new now that school is back in session. But I felt really good about what we had. So I think good photos, the more attention you can pay to that. I know you guys also agreed on them better, the more photos you can get, the better your project is going to look.
Hannah Hess 1:05:38
Ryan Freng 1:05:41
And Emily, let’s get you in here. What’s a what’s a fun fun thing in here that you’d love to show?
Emily Wenman 1:05:49
Um, well, actually, I like this. Is this a page that has the little logos that Hannah did? Yeah, I love those, you should share those.
Carolyn Averill 1:05:57
I love these.
Hannah Hess 1:06:00
This, this was fun, because I had some initial ideas that I presented for these icons. And then it was great to get the feedback from the team, in some ways, little challenging taking what they wanted and trying to icon. Yes, they were. Because the way that I think of an icon is like, okay, you know, how can someone on the other side of the world look at this and understand it as the same thing that I understand it to be? So that’s where I was coming from? Whereas the team, they had opinions on like, well, sure, that’s great. But it doesn’t actually mean what I want it to mean for this specific purpose. So we kind of had to find a good balance there. But in the end, I think they all turned out really well. And, you know, it’s they’re all kind of custom to what St. Ambrose needed. And so moving forward, it’s a great base for them to begin with, when it comes to creating additional icons if needed.
Ryan Freng 1:07:12
Sorry, these are all custom. Because what you’re saying, yeah, oh, that’s very fun.
Carolyn Averill 1:07:18
And like a good example. A good example is like the religion one, initially, it was a bit more, it was shorter. And I know Hannah had mentioned even too, that this is kind of like her first pass at it, and she was planning on it. But one of the pieces of feedback that we received was, can you make it look more like an actual Chalice, because it did look a little bit more like a bowl with like a tiny foot. And so you know, she extended that face, and then made it look a little bit more like a challenge. And so I thought that was a really good piece of feedback. You know, it does look more like a challenge that you’d recognize if you went to mass. And I just, yeah, I mean, they’re, like, playful. And I do I really do like the mathematics when initially the idea was like, the plus symbol in the division symbol and minus symbol. So it worked. It worked well. But you know, when the idea was presented that hey, well, this really isn’t necessarily indicative of the kind of math we do. You know, we do like a higher level math. And so, okay, here, how about this, and I thought this was a great evolution of the idea. And it is very custom. Like when I see these, they look really impressive. And even people I’ve shown them to and talk about that they call these out, they asked like, Oh, these are really cool. Did, did they make these? And so that’s something that people have noticed, too.
Ryan Freng 1:08:36
I’m pulling it up on my son. I don’t think I’ve looked that closely again.
Carolyn Averill 1:08:42
You were very, I mean, it was kind of fun. Yeah, something’s gone weird with like the loading of these pages. Do you see that?
Hannah Hess 1:08:49
I think it’s a little bit of slow Wi Fi here at the office. Fair.
Ryan Freng 1:08:54
Fair enough. And the Wi Fi is kind of janky. Unfortunately, gotcha.
Carolyn Averill 1:09:00
So yeah, we have like the junior high. So we have grades six through eight. And then we have grades nine through 12. So we want to separate those two, so that people who really clearly see the difference. Yeah, depending on what they were looking for. And we have these six core subjects that everyone takes. And then there are some other classes like art and music and things like that. So we really wanted to emphasize and I love like that responsiveness. When you click on something, or when you hover over it, you can click on whatever you need. So there’s just a little bit of a kind of overview text. And this is where the faculty really had a large hand in it to talk about what is it that you’re going to do in English six, and you can go more in depth if you want to. So if you just really want a great overview, there you go. And then English seven, and then English eight, so you can see the progression of what’s happening. We didn’t have this before. It was like one of the faculty members told me Oh, yeah, of course of study that was never really intended to go on the website and like I was on the website. Alright, But now we have something that’s, you know, we can really stand behind and we can really be proud of, because it’s what we do. And now pupils asset, they don’t have to ask and into a conversation with us, they can just be going online at 10 o’clock at night when their kids are in bed, and they can see this and my gosh, if I saw this English six, like you’re gonna be reading Aesop’s fables and the Epic of Gilgamesh and Beowulf, and all these different things like sixth graders are gonna be reading this, I would have loved to have this as a kid, I would have just died of happiness. And so I think that’s just really impressive when you see that kind of content. So I’m really very, like, this is one of my favorite parts of website.
Ryan Freng 1:10:39
Yeah, it’s apparent is fun, too. I’m like, Ooh, I want to read some of that. That looks fantastic. That’s, that’s really cool, though, that all that content is on here. I don’t know who has that.
Carolyn Averill 1:10:52
Yeah, here, like sample reading list. So you’re gonna actually see the specific kinds of texts. And some parents might care more about this. And other parents, you know, if especially I know, for, like homeschooling parents, you’re really creating, or you’re, you know, finding the curriculum that you’re going to be using, and maybe adapting it for your needs, and what your child is really, you know, interested in. And so you’re going to be able to see what the reading list is, and the content course goals, this is what they’re gonna be learning and doing in the course. Or if you have a child at a Catholic school or public school, you’re gonna be able to see this and I think it is a good comparison of what do I want my child to receive? What are they going to get at school, a school B School, see, what are the merits of each what, what do I think is the best for my child. And this is going to be much more helpful in analyzing what that is. And then you know, seeing how this is an option for your children. So, you know, we always want to be as helpful as possible, so people know that we are what we’re doing, and that they can then be empowered, because they are the primary educators of their children. So like, this is what we’re going to do for your child. Do you like this? Do you want this? Is this going to be effective for your child? We hope so we think so. You know, come and see, actually, now that you’ve kind of analyzed our website, come and see, visit us talk with us, that kind of thing?
Ryan Freng 1:12:14
That’s awesome. I love it.
Emily Wenman 1:12:18
Go to the Contact Us page. Contact us. Yes. Yeah. One small thing I liked about Hannah’s design queries, if you scroll to the bottom, the math is full width. And to me, it just like stood out as like it works is both a design element. And it’s informative. And I liked that it was just different than what I’ve seen another website will enjoy that.
Carolyn Averill 1:12:43
Yeah, I didn’t do. Well, even this whole thing, you see how the white pops out, it stands out, you know, that’s the call to action, that we want you to fill this page out. And we want you to hit that button. And you know, get in touch with us. So I thought everything about this page, you have the informative side, on the left here, you have a call to action really on here. And then where are we, especially in this period of flux, we just moved. This is an interim site. We’re going to be building a building in Fitchburg. And so I think it is really important to highlight where we are for parents.
Ryan Freng 1:13:20
Yeah, someone was asking me the other day, actually, are there any official updates on any of that?
Carolyn Averill 1:13:26
It makes them works. So you know, be in touch with us and make a gift. Seven half million dollar project. So that’s what we’re raising, we have almost half of that, which is a great start. And we’re really excited. And it’s just kind of a slow process, the work that you do to SARS, trying to think, can I like Skrill Yes, rollout. So the process of just doing the work and talking with people and getting them engaged. And I think the website is a huge part of that, that you can reach out to a prospective benefactor who doesn’t know as much about you and you’re going to share this with them. And a lot of it is building confidence and a benefactor that this is, you know, everyone loves to be a part of something successful. And so you see something like this and you think all these people are going places they know who they are, they know what they’re doing. This is this looks really great. It’s impressive. And you want to convey that to betters. So the new home of Sandra’s Academy is basically like here where where the hand is where the mouse is. So that’s basically farmland right now. I mean, there’s some housing, you know, Fitchburg kind of is progressing. It used to be like Ramage here and that’s kind of moving south a bit. So the new site is going to be built, basically like right there.
Hannah Hess 1:14:46
We also we do have a campaign page on the website that gives a lot of good information about the project itself, and then it has a space on there to show how much they They need to raise and how much they have raised. I don’t know if it’s been updated in the last month or so since the website went live. But it does have that nice feature. So for people who are interested, all of the information they’re looking for is right there.
Ryan Freng 1:15:14
Yeah. How does one get to that page?
Carolyn Averill 1:15:17
So you got to support there are two ways you have to support building the future right here. That’s the Mega Menu, that kind of extra feature right there. And the other way is from the homepage. So if you go to the homepage, you scroll all the way down. That’s going to be where the campaign section lives.
Ryan Freng 1:15:33
That’s super fun. Again, yeah.
Carolyn Averill 1:15:35
There’s a little bit of animation that came up this case for support, but I love it. It just like slides across from the left, which is really fun. Yeah. What’s that?
Ryan Freng 1:15:47
I said, then then I click on it, like, it’s, that’s great.
Carolyn Averill 1:15:51
Yeah, so like, that’s something that we give out, we print those. And we give those two people. So it goes through who we are, and what we’re doing and what the purpose of this building is, what the scope of the building is, and why you should support you’re making a case for someone to want to support the campaign. So that’s the booklet. It’s hosted by issue. And then you can just flip through and actually see it digitally, not just the physical paper copy of it, have a campaign video that backflip did right before the pandemic shut everything down. So ever. I mean, this is like fairing and then February 2020. And then two weeks later, everything was shut down. So I was very glad that
Ryan Freng 1:16:32
we got it got it in. That’s great.
Carolyn Averill 1:16:35
Yep. Yeah. And then we have a couple campaign newsletters so people can kind of see where things are, we have a ton of photos. Yeah, I mean, that is, there’s a field. It’s at Farm, it’s former farmland. So that’s where the middle is going to be. I know as things go, we’re gonna get more photos, that’s gonna be great to kind of flesh this out a bit more. And then we have campaign supporters. So a really great way to acknowledge the people who have signed on super early, and the levels that they’re giving it, which is so important just to recognize the generosity of these people. So that’s, you know, a great way that we’re able to acknowledge them. And then campaign leadership. So again, you’re kind of building confidence in people that this is something that is thoughtfully done, that there’s good people behind it. Good intentionality, good ideas, and it’s going to be successful. And so you’re conveying that with the kinds of people that you’re putting together on your team. And then you have a couple profiles at the bottom, which is really fun to work with Sarah Don, who’s our campaign co chair, she’s a vice president CG Schmidt, which is the construction company that we’re working with to build the building. Michael Bowden is a benefactor and an alumnus, one of the early alumni from the school. And then Dennis and Jean Brandon, who are benefactors and just like, so sweet, so supportive. So just like your ideal kind of benefactor, you know, they pray for you, they love you, they come to the musical into events, and they are just like, wonderful people. So it’s really nice to kind of show some of the different kinds of people who support this organization.
Ryan Freng 1:18:10
That’s awesome. I like to you guys went with a more simple kind of footer menu, which is nice, because I think like, sometimes you can be like, Oh, just throw everything in there. And there is some functionality to that. But in this case, it’s nice because there’s only a couple items down there. And then if you need anything else, it’s just up at top, which is kind of like a clear usability thing.
Carolyn Averill 1:18:31
Hannah had a strong opinion about that. Hannah could talk about that.
Hannah Hess 1:18:35
I don’t remember what my opinion was. But I think sometimes simple is better when it comes to that. And because the navigation is sticky, that information is always going to be there and easy to find. And so it doesn’t make sense to have the exact same information at the top and the bottom at the same time. So just having kind of those three primary call to actions, a few social media icons and then the ever important contact information.
Carolyn Averill 1:19:04
Yeah, the sticky header was the thing that I was referring okay like you were very supportive of that idea and I was too and even other people in my I was just Yeah, don’t worry. We got your we got your opinion. Yeah, we Emily’s suspiciously quiet maybe she wasn’t she was like bulldoze over
Ryan Freng 1:19:23
she’s honest. Yeah.
Emily Wenman 1:19:26
I also like that the header has the search ability so like sometimes use for alternative words or different key phrases that people might be searching for. But because you can search if even if the mega menu is overwhelming and it’s not in the footer you have a tool to get exactly where you want to go.
Carolyn Averill 1:19:47
Dragon a bit. Site is just type sports like search result for sports to see kind of like what came up yeah, the sticky menu was great because I Hannah was mentioning She was annoyed when going a website and I just scroll back up the fine thing. And I agree, I think it’s very, not user friendly. And I was a big fan of keeping this very simple, too. And so we really echoed like, what are the calls to action, we’re making this really action oriented. And these are the most important things. If it’s a prospective benefactor or prospective family, you want them to be able to schedule a visit, that’s probably a huge portion of our traffic is prospective families applying to the school and then for benefactors? If they’re coming onto a website, and they think, oh, you know what, I’m gonna get a gift to Sandra’s. I want to give them $100 or 5000 5000, we get to 500. But whatever the amount is, you 1000 Yeah, right. You want them to be able to find it quickly. Because it’s, you know, maybe the middle of their lunch hour, and they think, oh, I want to do this, I want to get this done right now. It’s hard for them to find it. You all know this and require, if it’s too hard, they’re going to have to abandon the search. It’s just not going to be worth the effort. And then maybe they remember to come back to it, maybe they don’t remember. So we have it really prominently appear in the corner. That was a good example of like, descriptive or prescriptive, that what do we want, we want our donate button to be prominent so that people can find it quickly. Get to it, get in donate, go back on with their day. And then our family portal is also here, too, so that for the families, they can you know, it’s funny, do you have it saved? That the families because again, they’re gonna be going here regularly, we want to make it really, really easy for them to find it. So I’m mobile is actually a sticky at the bottom, which I think was a really clever thing. I must have updated the password on if I can remember it. And I don’t want to show it on my screen. Be Yeah, so like having the stickiness of the family portal at the bottom for the mobile I think was really great for the user friendliness for our families.
Ryan Freng 1:21:59
Awesome. It is for 22. But I did want to get good. A little bit something left where you have Amanda jumped in. Just wanted to share. I think all of you guys are brilliant. But thanks for sharing that. Amanda. It’s so cool. Because Hannah can come up with these crazy designs. But then Emily can actually implement them which is, you know, like the tag team. Duo, Cagney and Lacey. I don’t know, let’s come up with a tag team. That’s not like criminals.
Carolyn Averill 1:22:38
Criminals like oh,
Ryan Freng 1:22:39
man and Batman. That woman about a woman. But yeah, thanks for that, Amanda. Let’s see I’m vamping as I’m clicking around because you know what time it is.
I’ve got to shorten the end of that so that it just ends. Yeah, don’t wait. So let’s see. It is 423. If Hannah and Emily, if you guys have them. I don’t think we’ve done you guys in a while. So we could do you will skip me. But then we can do Carolyn as well. So I think I can always Vamp and see what we have coming up. So you guys can think I don’t know if you guys prepped at all. In no prepping Good. Did you prep, Carolyn, you know, you knew it was coming? Yeah. What
Carolyn Averill 1:23:35
though? I didn’t. Because sometimes, like we didn’t get to it last time because we were talking. We played our game and the game was longer than we did. Oh, that’s
Ryan Freng 1:23:44
right. Yes. Yeah. Yep.
Carolyn Averill 1:23:47
Um, so I did actually have I was driving back to the site today. So you know, I found a good one earlier today, and I lost it. It was like something I’d never mentioned before. And then I don’t think you know, either, because that’s really the challenge is what do you know?
Ryan Freng 1:24:08
Yeah, for those who don’t know, Carol and I have known each other since like, 2003 or four? Yeah. So longer than people. Oh, no. You’re in an earthquake. What’s happening?
Emily Wenman 1:24:25
Hannah Hess 1:24:26
Yeah. Finally given out from holding my phone for the last hour and a half.
Ryan Freng 1:24:31
Oh, I do. Hey, hang on. Let me run over there. Carolyn Jones thinking so one of you vamp? I’ve got something for you.
Carolyn Averill 1:24:39
Hey, well, if anyone wants to come who’s watching this Sunday 2pm Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish and Nona. We’re having a mass because of Michael wanta. So that was what I was referring to the website. One point in the homepage. We have this wonderful alumnus who graduate in 2013. He was ordained a priest this summer. He’s going to be celebrating the Ask anyone in the community is welcome. And I mean like broad sense community like anyone who wants to come and is welcome to come. We’re going to have a great reception afterwards. So by the playground behind hmm, is going to be, we got chocolate chip ice cream truck, we have carbon for donating beer and Seltzer, which is amazing. Whereas with snacks and a couple other, you know, alcoholic drinks as well, kids who play in the playground, we have a face painter. So we have a lot of really great things just like a simple event, something really nice, fun, family friendly way to just celebrate this great guy who was ordained priests and it’s going to be such an asset to the community. So that’s something people can do.
Ryan Freng 1:25:38
Carolyn Averill 1:25:41
not really sure. Hey, look, he’s back.
Ryan Freng 1:25:45
Now I gotta re add her hang on.
Hannah Hess 1:25:49
For like the 10th time
Carolyn Averill 1:25:51
problems today are
Ryan Freng 1:25:53
endless. So you you ended up vamping. Do you have your stories or do you need somebody else to vamp so you can tell you? Okay, so next week, this will be fun. We’ve got father tape coming on was is it Schroeder? It’s shorter writer, creator. I’m not looking at it. So I don’t know how it’s spelled. We got father’s day trader coming on next week. Inquisition are actually that could be kind of fun. Yeah. Inquisition or the Catholic Church. I think that’s that’s his unofficial title.
Carolyn Averill 1:26:24
I mean, the reason you know him is because of me. Oh, 100%.
Ryan Freng 1:26:27
Yeah. Yep. So maybe Carolyn’s coming out next week, too. And then we’ll see if if John doesn’t come on. Then we gotta have like, a heart to heart and be like, John, why do you hate Carolyn? I don’t, I don’t understand.
Carolyn Averill 1:26:44
Or maybe I’m just slowly pushing John out.
Ryan Freng 1:26:49
Yes, absolutely. I mean, you created a game. He’s never created a game. I created a game. So happy
Carolyn Averill 1:26:55
hour. That is like, host duties right there.
Ryan Freng 1:26:59
Yeah, absolutely. So you got to stop interacting with me because you’re supposed to be thinking of your stories. Emily had one. Or three.
Emily Wenman 1:27:08
I got three of them.
Ryan Freng 1:27:10
All right. Yeah, let’s I’m gonna go first.
Emily Wenman 1:27:13
Well, I’m not a great storyteller. So I’m gonna go with the facts. Um, so here are my facts. I’m allergic to bananas. I worked out yesterday. In my favorite color is purple.
Ryan Freng 1:27:30
I know the answer to this one.
Carolyn Averill 1:27:34
What was the first one?
Emily Wenman 1:27:37
I’m allergic to banana.
Carolyn Averill 1:27:41
I feel like she could be allergic to something else. Like it could be kiwi.
Ryan Freng 1:27:48
Like Australian people.
Carolyn Averill 1:27:51
Islanders but close
Ryan Freng 1:27:53
to somebody New Zealand or Yeah. Yeah, if you’re if you’re at home, you got to get to use a nation of people. But you know, I know what it is, though. So I want your guys’s guesses first. At least I don’t know. I will be very confused.
Hannah Hess 1:28:14
I I also think I know what it is.
Carolyn Averill 1:28:18
Says me. Um, I mean, I think it could be bananas. Like, that seems like a logical thing you could be allergic to I mean, you could be allergic to anything so. But I don’t really know your preferences for colors. Maybe you really like prints. You’re in Minnesota. You know, maybe
Ryan Freng 1:28:38
that’s true. Yeah. She really got into Princeton that like,
Carolyn Averill 1:28:42
Emily just went like all in on the Minnesota aspects.
Ryan Freng 1:28:46
So what’s the line?
Carolyn Averill 1:28:47
Yeah. Missy, Banana.
Ryan Freng 1:28:50
Banana. What do you got? Hannah?
Hannah Hess 1:28:53
Hang on. I just want to say that. The only reason I know that is because Emily and I shared an office for a while while she was here. And I don’t know how long it was. But it had to been at least a few months before I found out she was allergic to nuts. And I’m like, wait a minute. What? And she’s like, Yeah, I have an epi pen that I carry in my purse. I’m like, well, thank you for telling me because that’s pretty critical if something happened, and I didn’t know. Yeah, I knew that one. And thankfully, she’s never had an allergic reaction. At least while she’s been here. So
Ryan Freng 1:29:27
which one was your guests? Then?
Hannah Hess 1:29:30
The Banana? Banana. All right.
Ryan Freng 1:29:33
And we actually were in Minneapolis this morning and we got breakfast and she got the banana french toast. So I would be very confused if you’re allergic to it. So I also am going to say banana.
Emily Wenman 1:29:47
Well turns out the My favorite color is actually a lie. My favorite color is blue and I am allergic to bananas. Brian when you cook bananas, it gets rid of the pollen allergy. No When
Ryan Freng 1:30:02
I was good, sneaky, she knew that I knew that she had bananas this morning.
Emily Wenman 1:30:08
And I have a more important allergy that you do. Yes. takes precedent over the.
Ryan Freng 1:30:14
Yeah. He was probably around the same time. Yeah, you told him Hannah about it. You told the rest of us. But we don’t have like almond fights or we don’t have you know, peanut fights so? Yeah, usually fine. Well, that was good. You got us. What’s up?
Hannah Hess 1:30:33
Okay, so mine are probably pretty simple, straightforward facts to. So I have been to Japan twice. I am ambidextrous and I have an obsession with post it notes.
Ryan Freng 1:30:49
I’m ambidextrous fan of Japan twice. And have an obsession with post it notes.
Carolyn Averill 1:30:58
I mean, the post as I can see, I feel like she’s very organized. Also the creative aspect like right, move ideas around and adjust. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen Hannah right with both hands. You Yeah. I’m sure this dumb hand anyway, so you probably would use one primarily, regardless.
Ryan Freng 1:31:20
Or it’s like I played baseball with my other hand.
Carolyn Averill 1:31:24
Like Ted lasso. were you shooting the darts? Right.
Ryan Freng 1:31:29
Yes, that’s That’s hilarious. That’s like the first episode, right?
Carolyn Averill 1:31:32
No, it’s like a little Wesen.
Ryan Freng 1:31:35
Okay, I’m way off. Okay. Whatever I guess is here. John says you’re amphibious.
Carolyn Averill 1:31:44
Maybe that too?
Ryan Freng 1:31:47
Yep. You’re masquerading
Carolyn Averill 1:31:48
as a mammal? Yeah.
Ryan Freng 1:31:55
All right, who’s guessing? Let’s go Emily first.
Emily Wenman 1:31:57
Oh, yeah, I can guess. Um, I feel like you’ve been to Japan once. I don’t know if you’ve been twice. I don’t even know it. Can you write with
Ryan Freng 1:32:09
Emily Wenman 1:32:10
Can we guess Japan is the lie and that you are in fact, ambidextrous.
Carolyn Averill 1:32:20
I know I’ve thought about that too. The Japan thing like once or twice. That could be a difference there. I’m gonna say you’re not in the same phase. ambidextrous.
Ryan Freng 1:32:30
Let’s see. Emily, you said Japan. And then Carolyn, you said amphibious or ambidextrous. And I’ll say the third one. Which I’m missing right now. post it notes. Oh, no, that’s you totally have lots of post it notes. So I don’t want that one. Yeah, those are tough. I will say Japan twice.
Hannah Hess 1:33:08
Okay, so the lie is that I am not ambidextrous. I am very much so obsessed with post it notes. I have like eight different colored stacks on my desk right now I have them all over my monitor and my laptop. I love them. I have been to Japan twice. Once when I was really young. Both of my parents went as chaperones for my older brother when he went on a student trip. And so they had to take me along. And then I went once as an exchange student myself. And the only time I’ve ever had to learn how to write with my left hand was when I broke my right wrist and it had surgery on it. So for like eight weeks, I was sitting there trying to actually use a computer with only my left hand and you know, sign my name on multiple medical terms with my left hand writing like a man. Yes, exactly a doctor that that talent never came to fruition and probably never will.
Ryan Freng 1:34:12
Not with an attitude like that. All right. Carolyn, are you ready? Yet? There
Carolyn Averill 1:34:20
was a lie. All right. had been an honor of father Tate, your future, our future guest on next week’s show. I’ve been to Rome nine times. I once in Rome, went to a concert with my friend Pedro. We happen to be in town and there was a big concert of the Colosseum. And it was Billy Joel and Bryan Adams. And while we were walking to get down to the stage, we actually were able to like randomly run into Billy Joel and we were able to like meet him and say hi really briefly. No Um, and then my third is when I was probably like 1012, something like that. My brothers really well like baseball and they really got a lot of autographs from the Brewers because we live close to kind of stadium. And Brian had a baseball card collection that was autographed. And he did something. I don’t know what he might remember. I remember, he made me very mad. And I cut up some of his autographed baseball cards in retribution.
Ryan Freng 1:35:28
Oh, nice. Let’s see. I missed the first one. Monica. I’ve been to Rome nine times. Rome nine times. Yeah. And then the second one is you met Billy Joel? In Rome? Not Bryan Adams. No. Okay. And then the third one is you got the opener, Billy Joel the second and then you got really mad and you cut up Bryan?
Carolyn Averill 1:35:57
Ryan Freng 1:35:59
Brian, your brothers. Okay. Let’s see. I haven’t gone first. Um, I feel like it’d be very cheap. If you hadn’t been to Rome nine times. And it was like eight. That’d be really, I’d be disappointed. So I’m gonna say that’s true. Um, let’s see Billy Joel, did you meet Billy Joel? I feel like that’d be a significant story that I would know. I’m gonna say Billy Joel. You probably went to the concert, but I don’t think you met him. That’s my guess. All right, Emily. Also gonna go with Billy Joel is I believe that the baseball cards actually happened. Um,
Hannah Hess 1:36:44
I want to go with the Billy Joel one. But I’m gonna go if you haven’t been to Rome, nine times. It’s either more or just like maybe a little less. I know, You’ve been there a lot. But that’s what I’m going with. All right.
Carolyn Averill 1:37:01
On October 6 2006, my friend Pedro and I did go to Billy Joel and Bryan Adams at the Coliseum. We did not meet Billy Joel. Yes. It would have been so great if we had.
Ryan Freng 1:37:17
Oh my gosh, yeah. Well, and I feel like I would have heard that then.
Carolyn Averill 1:37:20
You know, well, yeah, we ran into so there’s some guys in the train that I taken down for puja. And they were like obnoxious English guys. And I didn’t talk to them. Because I remember, because there’s like a vibe you get from some people were like, Hey, you seem really fun and nice and normal. I’m gonna like, there’s like a code among travelers where you can just talk to each other. And it’s like, funny. Yeah. And I remember because obviously, I could hear they were speaking English. And they were, in fact, English men. And I was like, we know you guys are kind of noxious. I’m just going to like mine, my office here, you know. And so then my friend and I paid her we were walking and they were like, Hey, you are their trainer. I was like, Yep. Hi. Why? Why are you talking to me? So we were talking to him. So we did run into people on the way to the concert, but they were less preferable than
Ryan Freng 1:38:08
some, yeah, some English folk. Yeah, I don’t know if you saw Lynn’s chat from a couple of weeks ago. She was in Scotland with her husband and I think her mom had come with, and her first day in Scotland and she met the Queen of England, who happened to be passing by. Like, crazy. So if you haven’t yet, go back and check out that episode,
Carolyn Averill 1:38:34
it didn’t watch it. When I was doing the website, there was a period of time where I could not watch any of the happy hours, I was like, so diligently working, I couldn’t even have an on in the background listening to it. So I missed a whole series. I also was like this close to being John CUSEC. And I’m like, still sad about it. He went to the Holy Land with his dad in 2010. And I was in the Holy Land. And so I was like, at the front of the pack. And I was just like, moving through or whatever. And we’re at the church in Bethlehem, like the church and the Nativity. And then the rest of the group is like really far behind. Like, where are you guys? Like we’re waiting. And whenever they come up, like, oh, my gosh, you’ll never guess we were just walking in there. And then we saw John Q seconds that I was like, wait, what, what? Like, I don’t normally get like, I don’t really care much about celebrity, but I’ve always loved on CUSEC and in the kind of way that like, I would love to be like Hey, hi. Thank you so much. Thank you so much for like, providing me this like a source of entertainment and like escape during my childhood when I should not have been watching your movies, but I was just like, say hi in a non weird way. And I remember looking at the doorway and every the whole group was leaving and we’re gonna go on a bus and go somewhere and I was like decision point. Do I abandon the group and just get back myself? I should. I should go back to that door like randomly casually bumped into junk. I didn’t I didn’t Do I still regret it?
Ryan Freng 1:40:01
Oh, hopefully you’ve learned your lesson. Yeah. That seems like a thing you would do. I would expect you to definitely go back.
Carolyn Averill 1:40:08
The practical side of me was like, I don’t really want to get stuck in Jerusalem by myself. Right?
Ryan Freng 1:40:12
That’s hilarious. I love it. All right, well, we’re at about 440. So that’s, we’re gonna call that our show. Thanks so much, Carolyn, for coming on. And Emily and Hannah for CO hosting. I need a button for clapping. That’d be great. Let’s see. I thrown up the website for people to look at if they want Amber’s academy.org. Check it out. Anything else that we want to promote right now?
Carolyn Averill 1:40:43
While you were helping Hannah, I already talked about the event this Sunday. So people want to come to pm Sunday. It’s gonna be rockin beer and ice cream. And if you’re Catholic mass, what was
Ryan Freng 1:40:58
awesome. Like I said, we have father take next week. And apparently, Carolyn, she’ll be on as well. She’ll just find her way on.
Carolyn Averill 1:41:07
It’ll be great to have access to restream.
Ryan Freng 1:41:10
I know exactly. You have my account. So yeah. Yeah, that’d be great. You should just come in when I least expect it. You should come in like, you know, if we have a shared friend and just don’t don’t even say anything. Just show up. That’d be amazing. I love that so much. So that’ll be next week. Check out other videos on Facebook and YouTube. You can see this past episodes like Lin’s episode from several weeks ago. You can also subscribe to our podcast, wherever podcasts are sold. You can go to Apple, Google, Stitcher, Spotify, we’re on all the things. It’s pretty awesome. And we got those coming out. So check those out. They’re coming out weekly, usually and we’re going to try to get a couple more coming out every week because we have like 50 in the backlog. It’s amazing. Check that out. Thanks for tuning in. Thanks, you guys for hanging out with us. And thanks, everyone for watching. We’ll see you next time. Bye