When did you come to Clairbourn? What year did you graduate from Clairbourn? Where did you go after that? Where did you attend high school and then, university?
I was one of three students in my 2008 graduating class considered to be "lifers," who attended Clairbourn from nursery school to 8th grade. I attended La Salle College Prep before going to university at Gonzaga in Spokane, Washington, to study Broadcast.
What do you remember most about your time at Clairbourn? Has Clairbourn stayed within your memory? Why or why not?
Clairbourn has a very special place in my heart. When I think back to my time there, my mind is flooded with memories. Tutoring with Mrs. Knight. Student council with Mrs. Bunt. Science experiments with Mr. Holt. Swimming in the pool for gym. Winning the volleyball championship my 8th grade year. Winning the science fair, and receiving the coveted purple bathtub stopper. Mr. and Mrs. Barker's Shakespeare plays and getting to participate in them. Mrs. Lyzenga and her math lessons on the projector, her hand always inked from the pens. Dr. Nafie's morning greeting everyday at chapel.
The community at Clairbourn is what makes it an incredible place and I experienced its immense love and support when I was ten-years-old. My father passed away from cancer and the faculty, staff and families there all came together to support my family. Meal trains, helpful conversations, cards ... the love was so strong. This is something I will never forget and it taught me how to love others in tough times.
What activities at Clairbourn helped influence your life path and inspired you to help others discovery their journey through storytelling?
Every morning I started my day in chapel at Clairbourn. I listened to stories that taught lessons of moral, character and faith. This was my first exposure to the power of story and how it can be used to teach life lessons. This greatly impacted the way in which I live my life and how I view the world.
Where and when did you develop your passion for storytelling and life coaching?
My passion has developed over time. Clairbourn was one of those places early on that laid the groundwork. Growing up I always watched Oprah at home if I didn't have sports to play after school and I remember being mesmerized by her ability to pull people's most intimate stories out of them in a safe and loving manner. She did this as a way to heal. It inspired me. Then, in college I took a class called Storytelling and leadership. It required all students to write a "Who am I," story. This exercise was deeply personal and profound. It helped me to define myself without titles like "student," "sister," or a job title and discovered a way to find redemption to painful moments of my past. It was incredibly powerful. I knew that this was something that every person could benefit from.
What inspired you to write your book? Provide a short summary of your book and describe how you were interviewed on Portland TV.
When I left my job as a TV news reporter, I noticed a different reaction from people when I was asked the common networking questions "What do you do?" People didn't seem as excited to talk to me as they once had been when they found out I was on TV. It made me start thinking more deeply about the question "Who am I?" I recognized that our culture defines who we are and often our worth as human beings by our job titles. This spurred the desire for me to share my story in hopes of helping people to discover their true identity, beyond their job and the many other labels we place on ourselves.
Our work defines us. After all, it's what you do. But what if there was a more meaningful way to discover who you are? I'm Not My Job is the remarkable story of how author Lindsey Wopschall left her high profile news job in search of something more. Lindsey unpacks how the process she used for telling everyday news stories helped her to find her life's purpose, and how it can help you discover yours. Lindsey will have you laughing and crying as she openly writes about her deepest sufferings and how strangers, both near and far, inspired her journey.
What motivates you to get up in the morning and do what you do?
It's a simple idea of appreciation, that is life is a gift. It's easy to get caught up in the busyness of life. When I find myself in this place I take a step back to be thankful for the little things. The fact that I have an abled body and can run, something that I fell in love with in my early 20's. I have meaningful relationships in my life and a job with work that I love. I live my life with this outlook and in doing so, I hope to inspire others to see the beauty in this life that we all have.
What advice do you have for our Clairbourn students who want to follow a path similar to yours?
Who you become is much more important than what you do. Decide today what type of person you want to be. Do you want to be honest, loyal and caring? Start practicing those behaviors so that they become who you are. Your character will shape your life, the relationships you have and where you go in this world far beyond any career will.
Dr. Amy Patzlaff, whom you remember as Amy Beckstrom, is our current Head of School. Do you have any words for her?
I am so proud to see Dr. Patzlaff as Clairbourn's headmaster. It's a joy to think that her role as my 4th grade teacher was a stepping stone to get her where she is today. Dr. Patzlaff has always been a strong leader and I am confident in the future of Clairbourn's with her leading.