Jenny Tschudy is the office manager in Communications and Marketing. This week, Terrarium moles Steven Jackson’12 and Beth Hanson’12 sat down with Tschudy to prod her with questions about her personal life.
Round Table: Can you tell us about your family?
Jenny Tschudy: (Laughs) What do you want to know about my family?
RT: Everything. About your kids and your husband.
JT: Okay, well I’m married to Verne Tschudy, who works here in Physical Plant.
RT: Is that how you met him?
JT: Well that’s how we met a second time. Our boys actually used to play little league on the same team for three years, and we never spoke to each other. But then I met him again when I started working here. He actually came in and put in that light fixture over there, and I looked at him and I said “You look familiar,” and he said “Yeah you too,” and I said, “I think our boys played ball together,” and I pull up the pictures [and it turns out that] Nick and Josh were on the same team for three years in a row, and they were the same age, they went to school together…so we had something in common. So we have six kids. Three are mine, three are his. We [also] have three grandkids … So that’s my tribe. I’m one of seven kids. I’m a preacher’s kid.
RT: So were you rebellious as preacher’s kid?
JT: This is tough. Yes and no. Okay, let me just tell you a story real quick. I grew up right across from the jail and the courthouse, and across the street from that was the sheriff, and across the street from the sheriff lived the deputy sheriff. So I was surrounded by ‘the law.’ I wasn’t rebellious, I tested the waters let’s just say. And sometimes I sank and sometimes I swam. One time I drove my parents’ station wagon down the hill when I was about five or six years old. So I drove it down the hill into the neighbors’ fence … and parked it at the bottom of the hill. After I crashed it into the fence, I parked it.
RT: Could you reach the pedals?
JT: Actually yeah, I mean cars … It was an old woody type wagon, you know and the seats, I mean you could reach because the pedals then were like these big … steering wheels were like boats. It was a long time ago.
RT: So what’s the craziest thing you’ve done as a parent?
JT: OH MY GOD, you do have to go there. I mocked a home break-in to teach my kids a lesson. So, in the summer my kids are home and I [would come home every day] and doors were open, garage was open, everything was left open, and one time one of their friends stole the only jewelry I owned. I keep telling them, you need to lock my house, no friends over, blah blah blah, but they didn’t listen.
So I did a drive by one day. I left work early just to go see how many kids were actually in my house when I wasn’t home. The garage door was open, and the back door leading into the house was open and I went into the house and there wasn’t a soul. I called my insurance agent and said, “I need you to go along with me, but I’m gonna rob my own house.” I stole all my kids’ stuff. At the time Ashley had a CD collection—it was huge—and a brand new stereo. I tore things apart, opened drawers, and bagged up all the stuff that meant something to them, because they obviously didn’t care if the stuff that I wanted was stolen. About an hour later I get a phone call from my kids and they’re like, “Mooom?” I’m like, “What?” and I totally knew they were so scared. “What? What’s going on?”
“You need to come home.”
“I can’t come home, what’s going on? Did someone get hurt?”
“Nooo,” and I remember Ashley going, “Not yet,” implying that I was going to beat them. Which I probably would have, had I not done it myself (laughs).
“Mom you have to come home right now.” Well I worked at an insurance agency at the time so they knew what I had done. So I said, “I’ll probably have to leave to follow through with my little plot.” I got home and all three of them were standing outside and they were just pacing and they had already voted who the spokesperson was gonna be to tell me, and it was Lindsay, my oldest.
“Mom, we were robbed.” And I go, “How could we be robbed if you were home? How could we be robbed?”
“Mom we were just gone for a minute and the house was closed up and everything and somebody broke in!” Okay, first lie. So we went in there and they’re showing me all of the damage. “All my CDs are gone, and oh!” Oh, it was traumatic. So I call my insurance agent and I put them on the phone to talk to him, and then I had a fake police report. Then I told you how I got caught right?
My ex-husband took the stereo and the TV to his office, and then I had all these CDs and stuff, and I can’t remember where I hid those. Then a couple years later, I’m working at a retail store and I tell my coworkers the story, and they thought it was fabulous. So the girl I was working with, Kim, says, “I love Fiona Apple!” All these CDs I stole from my daughter, right? I said, “Well here, I don’t need them. You can have them.”
So I gave them to Kim and then my daughter gets hired at Aeropostale which is right across from my store. And I couldn’t give her a ride home one night, and Kim gives her a ride.
Well, Lindsay gets in the car, and all of the sudden she looks at the console thing, and she sees all the CDs with Ashley’s name on them. She’s sitting in the car just frozen with fear. And Kim looks at her and she goes “Oh, my God. I don’t believe this.” Lindsay didn’t say a word. She doesn’t say a word, darts out of the car and runs into the house saying “Mom, I know who robbed us, it was Kim, Kim robbed us.”
So I got busted four years later because I gave the CDs to some unsuspecting friend who had given my daughter a ride home who never knew I mocked that theft thing. She bolts into the house, like she was gonna kill her or something. “You have to tell her that I did not steal these.” So I had to confess to Lindsay. And my daughter Ashley and my son Josh—you know Josh—do not know what I did.
RT: How did you get Lindsay to keep it to herself?
JT: I bribed her totally.
RT: With what?
JT: Oh, I bought her some CDs and some stuff that she wanted. Believe, there was a ransom for her silence. Just leave it at that. But, really, to be honest with you, most of the stuff I stole was Ashley’s. I didn’t even really steal anything of Josh’s, he was just like 10. He didn’t have anything, what am I going to steal from him? Lindsay had forgotten what was stolen so we came to a negotiation of what I could do to redeem myself. She wouldn’t tell her sister, or so I think. I don’t know, Ashley’s got three kids. It might come in handy for her to know that someday. But for now, I’m not saying a word! So, that was my crowning parental moment, except for the time I busted them for the party and the vacuum cleaner lines. Or the baby monitor. I got great parent stories but that’s for a whole ‘nother time.
RT: Do you have any other ideas for other parenting schemes or maybe grandparent schemes?
JT: I don’t need to have grandparent schemes. I’m totally — that’s my daughter’s responsibility, I’m done. I get to spoil and send them back and teach them how to get around parents’ deals, you know. Do I have advice for Ashley? No, I want her to go through what I went through.
RT: What do you like to do in your time off?
JT: I love Zumba. I love to decorate, so I go to thrift stores to see if I can find good deals on junk and make them look cool. Up until recently, I really didn’t have free time. But in the last four months, since I’m not working two jobs, I sleep in, I get to do a lot of things, I’m actually having a blast. I’ve been checking things off my bucket list.
RT: What’s the last thing you checked off your bucket list?
JT: I just said that the other day to someone. Crap. I don’t remember. I forgot already. Couldn’t have been too exciting.
RT: So what’s the next thing you want to check off?
JT: Hot air balloon. I’m hoping to plan a hot air balloon ride for Vern and I. We’ll see … that’s one thing I want to do. No skydiving or anything like that though. Not that exciting.
RT: Do you have a favorite meal?
JT: I love food. Anything that isn’t healthy. I never eat healthy. I’m a junk food junkie. One thing I love is macaroni and cheese with chicken from Noodles and Company, that’s my comfort food. When I’m feeling down or Vern’s gone, I go to Noodles and Company and order that every time.
RT: Talk about your love of high heels.
JT: Oh, I love high heels. I wear them all the time. I aerate. It’s my new part-time job. I use my heels to aerate the lawn, and a feedbag with seed and water. So when I’m walking across campus or anywhere, I can just aerate seed or water at the same time. They have a purpose okay. High heels are not just for walking, they’re for aerating. I could totally make that work. That’s my new invention. Only $9.99, but buy two, free shipping.
RT: What’s a good joke that someone told you recently?
JT: Hold on, I’ve got to look it up. It’s hilarious. You may not find it funny though because you’re a guy [to Steven], but I thought it was awesome. Where is it? Hold on. It’s funny. Oh, I totally can’t find it. It was hilarious. Something to do with why the earth was round, but nevermind. I guess I don’t have one.
RT: What was your favorite article in the parody issue?
JT: Oh, my god, I was trying to figure out whose butts were whose.
RT: Did you figure it out?
JT: I did figure out boy versus girl butt, didn’t I? So I have that down. I was so focused on that … I labored on them.