(You’re welcome.)

Are you still working at that hotel in Indy?

Amanda: No, no, I am not.

So, what are you doing now?

Amanda: I am studying web development through the Flatiron School in New York.

Whatever happened to the girl who wanted to be a creative writing professor?

Amanda: She’s still here. But my perception of academia especially in today’s economy has changed a lot. I have a hard time with the concept of professors advising students on how to get a job in the “real world” when academia is not the “real world.” Ries and I both love writing and we have our own creative aspirations that we hope to achieve outside of our work careers, and we will always breathe our passion for writing and communication into whatever we do, whether that’s programming or design. I’ve actually written more consistently in 2018 than I ever have and continue to send my writing off for publication.

What is Ries studying?

Ries: Human Computer Interaction and Design.

How did you end up at IU?

Ries: I used to visit the IU Bloomington campus when I was an undergraduate at DePauw. I knew that someday I’d end up here. Turns out I was right.

Where do you think you guys will end up?

Amanda: We have a lot of ideas of places we would love to live, and a lot of places in the country (and out of the country) we will apply for work. I think both of us would love to live abroad for a couple years if the opportunity presented itself. A lot of this decision is based on where the tech industry exists and our “goal companies’” locations.

Where are you from?

Amanda: I’m from small town Oregon, but moved around for most of my life.

Ries: I was born in Paraguay, and moved around a lot. I’ve lived on both coasts, in the south, and in the midwest.

How did you guys meet?

Amanda: We both attended DePauw University and met when I was a sophomore and Ries was a senior. Our story beyond that point is pretty long, and best saved for it’s own blog post.

How did you decide on Gus’ name?

Ries: Gus is named after Augustus McCrae, a character from Larry McMurtry’s Pulitzer Prize winning book, Lonesome Dove. You can read more here.

Do you want to have any more kids?

Ries: Oh yes. Three more, in fact.

Amanda: Right now the baby train has been paused until Ries graduates in 2020, but we’re really excited to have more tiny people. We’re also open to adoption because Ries was adopted.

And I’ll just add this because I’ve received a lot of comments and questions about it in the past year—we plan on being a household with two working parents. Having a family depend on one income is something that we’ve done before and it’s not something we want to do again. It just puts too much pressure on one person and job security just isn’t what it used to be. I want both of us to be confident that things will be okay if something unexpected happens.

What’s it like being a grad student and a parent?

Ries: This will end up being its own blog post - but in a word, it’s exhausting. It’s also incredibly isolating, not being able to attend social functions or study groups the way you’d want to. It’s also rewarding, however, getting to live life in such a full expression.

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