Interesting Humans

Interesting Humans

There are 350 million Americans. Social scientists tell us we know on average 600 people. All around us are interesting humans. People who in their everyday lives create, solve, move, teach, and love. The Interesting Humans podcast is a deep dive into the mindset, the philosophy and the achievements of the people around us who have fascinating narratives to share. Join me as I explore with people I've met the challenges they've faced and overcome, how creativity drives them and how ordinary people are not so ordinary. I’m Christian Ward and this is the Interesting Humans Podcast.

Episodes

December 5, 2021 104 min

What, really, are the qualities of a good man today?  Toughness? Grit? Courage? The reliability of the one who comes home after a long day at the office, even if that office down the hall or in the basement, and earns the money that pays bills then expects dinner to be on the table? Is it simply the man who takes out the trash? 

What sorts of exchanges are men and women making in the day to day bargaining of marriages and partnershi...

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We’ve all heard about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, often referred to — and even minimized in today’s lexicon  -- as PTSD. It is a psychiatric disorder that sometimes occurs in people who have experienced or witnessed a horrific event, such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act (think 9/11) war or combat or rape, or who have been threatened with sexual violence or serious harm. Our grandfathers and great-gran...

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I've known Lisa Hesse for decades. When you live in a community like Ann Arbor for as long as I have and also are part of a smaller, tighter community--the running community--one is bound to bump into the same people from time to time.
I knew Lisa coached runners, particularly women. And I knew she was a Girls on the Run coach as well. What I didn't know is the depth to this person and the many challenges she's faced.
Lis...

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Abby Rosenbaum is as passionate as any artist about her craft. What I noticed Abby possesses better than some artists is a sense of the practical side of her photography. The opposite of the image of a fantastically talented and engaged artist who is dead broke and starving might emerge for some.
Abby  had a successful photography practice focused on weddings for more than 15 years. Successful in the sense of being in demand and ea...

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August 7, 2021 83 min

We are currently in the throes of August here in North America. The days are lazy, hot and long. Light is plentiful. In fact we still bask in more than 14 hours of daylight. And for some that still is not enough.  

Today's guest, JANE SLADE,  isn't saying we need sunlight less. She says we need to appreciate darkness more. 

The constant barrage of man made light form our devices to how we light our homes, businesses, streets ...

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ALETHA VANDERMAAS is friendly, approachable and funny. She laughs easily. but don't let that easygoing style fool you. Aletha is a significant player in the trend in midcentury interior design, both in her home state of Michigan and in  social media.  I first met Aletha through my wife Elin Walters, curator of Exactly Designs. Aletha and Elin are "design soul sisters" who both have created successful separate interior d...

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I first met today’s guest, Helen Newman, about 10 years ago. I was traveling to Chicago with my wife Elin who was the buyer for a local fitness studio and she was meeting Helen for the to see the fitness lines she represented. Her showroom was in a warehouse in Chicago’s garment district that had been converted to sales offices. I knew the first time meeting her she was special and a class act. 

Years later as I was putting together...

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January 20, 2021 94 min

As New Year’s Eve turned to 2021, for the first time in a while I felt a real energy and excitement for a big period of growth. How about you? Are there things you are looking forward to? And speaking of, how are you doing on those New Year’s resolutions?

Been working out at the gym to lose that extra 20 you’re carrying? Started that side hustle?  Mended those fraught relationships with the Uncle who sits on the other side of the po...

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December 19, 2020 101 min

"I love relationships. I like observing them. I like thinking about them. I like back in the olden days going to the coffee shop and sitting there with my coffee and my laptop pretending to write and  watching people around me," today's guest, Liz Crowe, tells me.

Liz Crowe is a novelist who has published more than 25 books with two more coming soon. Her focus is romance but before you put her in a  box of stereotypical...

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November 27, 2020 106 min

Hey everybody. How‘s it going out there? 

I truly mean that. It’s not just a rhetorical question. How is your health, particularly your mental health? Let’s be honest. These have been times for which there is no context. To date, there are more than 61 million coronavirus cases and more than 1.4 million deaths. In the US alone we’ve seen more than 13 million cases and just under 270,000 deaths.  

We are still in the Thanksgiving week...

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So we had a pretty big event called over this past weekend. The US Presidential election was called on Saturday in favor of former Vice President Joe Biden. I don't know about you but the sense of relief and joy in our home was palpable. It's as if a dark cloud had been lifted on our spirits. Not it's time for the transition to a new administration.

With all the weight of politics in the US the past six or seven months,...

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On the surface, today’s guest, blogger Sandy Riguzzi, seems like  a perfectly ordinary mom and grand mother from suburban New York.  Yet the depth of her experience, which she mines as the source of her writing on Sunday Morning with Sandy, is anything but ordinary.

Sandy is deeply reflective of the challenges she has faced growing up and raising five children. And from what I’ve seen she has faced plenty—abuse, disease, divorce, al...

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Autumn has come alive here in the midwest. It's my favorite time of the year. For most of three months -- from about September 1 to December 1 -- I feel productive and energized by the cooler temps and the color.  I've appreciated the color of fall all my life. 

I love bringing out the sweatshirts and the coats to accommodate the early morning and evening chill. How about you? Do you love fall too?
Sitting recently with my br...

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I have to admit to being a bit bouncy right now. It happens every year around this time. It’s as if I emerge from the doldrums of late summer with a renewed sense of purpose and, yes, even optimism. The change of the calendar from August to September is exciting for me. I always anticipate good things for September and October. E and I were married in September—and yes, I haven’t forgotten our anniversary. There is a change in the ...

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One of the great gifts of curiosity is that it takes you places you can’t foresee. That was the case for Elin and me July 4th when we slid over to downtown Ypsilanti to see the 2nd Annual Black Empowerment Awards. We were not feeling the patriotism associated with the national holiday with the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor by police and Ahmaud Arbery by white men who chased him down in their truck, and then the protest...

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“I was born with a big engine, a big heart and a really bad chassis," Keith Kelly, today's guest tells me in his familiar Irish. 

Keith was the NCAA National Cross Country Champion for Providence College in 2000. He has won dozens of races at the national and international level as he was the Irish National Cross Country Champion in 2009, which would have been a comeback year for Keith after years of battling injury and even...

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Flow. Details. Impact. These are the hallmark words in Elin Walters' world. She is the owner and curator at Exactly Designs, an interior design firm she founded a little more than four years ago.
As Elin says on her website, "I was once asked, “how do you feel when you walk into a room? What do you notice?”I replied, “I just know visually and emotionally if it is exactly right, if the room has realized its full potential. I...

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I call Emily McGuire a Relational Marketer. Not only is she a guru of email marketing but she also is growing her one-person business to include copy writing and even business coaching. Emily and her company, Flourish and Grit, is the perfect person to talk about the coronavirus havoc on business, particularly small businesses. 

It takes grit to be a solopreneur as Emily and so many people are finding,  people who have pivoted their...

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If you saw Kendra Stanley Mills’ photographs you’d be impressed but you would have no idea of the story of how this incredible artist found her place behind a camera lens.

Kendra is a combination of extreme humility and equally big artistic talent. It might have something to with the way she was raised, having spent some time in rural Kentucky as a kid with her “hippie, Mother Earth News” parents living in a one room house with no r...

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interesting humans episode nine
I had the chance recently to sit in a Zoom meeting with one of my two high school senior daughters. It was a zoom call in place of the end of the year banquet for her high school news magazine where seniors are recognized. During normal times it’s filled with awards and speeches from the sponsor teacher (Tracy Anderson, I/H episode six) and sometimes emotional and awkward speeches from the graduating ...

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