ROC Spotlight Series - Jaime Saunders

What are you reading? 
I tend to have a stack of books, all partially read, by my bedside or downloaded and waiting on my kindle. I mostly read non-fiction – always have, with a little Harry Potter sprinkled in for good measure.

Right now my nightstand has:

· Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When the Stakes are High (I like to find common ground and win-win situations whenever possible)

· But He Never Hit Me: the Devastating Cost of Non-Physical Abuse to Girls and Women (Dr. Jill Murray is our keynote for Willow’s May 10 luncheon – I hope to read as many of her books before then.)

· Hamilton (a recent gift filled with the lyrics, behind the scenes images and stories of how it came to be)

· Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the 7 Transitions to Adulthood (as my 8 year old daughter often says things like a 20 year old, I need all the help I can get)

· 5 Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable (I pretty much adore all things by Patrick Lencioni. He is very insightful about the human dynamic and is very pragmatic in his advice to get so many divergent interests, skills and approaches to row in the same direction).  

Recently I have fallen in love with the Apple News feature on my ipad which aggregates news from all major news and smaller publications and tailors it to your interests. Mine is filled with the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Vanity Fair, Guardian, HGTV, PBS, Vogue, Food Network, and Entrepreneur. This has become a daily ritual to get the latest from a variety of sources and perspectives. Not to mention inspiration for new meals to try.

What are you listening to?

Our house is filled with music – from my kids practicing cello or recorder to the portable Bluetooth speakers that travel with us inside and out. My husband always has music on and I enjoy listening to what he discovers. Lately it has been psychedelic West African funk from the 1970s – the Hygrades, P.R.O., and Witch. My own Spotify account is filled with Bjork, Blonde Readhead, David Grey and Bill Evans. 

Right now on my way to work, although I am very late in the game, I am listening to Hamilton the Musical for the first time. I am enjoying it immensely with such talent, fast prose, and the full pride of the birth of our nation 240 years ago as the great experiment of democracy. I hope the production travels to Rochester!

What is the last album or song that you downloaded?

Giant by The The for my 10 year old son.  

Do you have a favorite podcast(s)?

I haven’t really explored podcasts. I do watch various Tedtalks and postings through Apple News that I enjoy. A TedTalk that changed my way of thinking is Dr. Nadine Burke Harris who speaks so engagingly about how our early childhood experiences impact our lifetime of health. This is revolutionary in how we engage with others, what services we provide and how we as a community approach collective solutions through this lens.

What are you currently watching on TV?

My mind is always going so I enjoy a little brain candy TV as a distraction. After making decisions all day long, I tend to find a series on Netflix or Amazon Prime and just keep watching all the episodes straight through over a month so I do not have to make a decision of what to watch when I want to relax. Right now I am rewatching the entire 30 Rock series which just gets better each season. I am almost done watching The Crown on Netflix which has been opulent and fun to see past world events (especially the Great Fog episode).

My classic go-to favorite will always be any episode from West Wing and I am waiting for the next season of House of Cards. Unfortunately I finished the Danish political drama series Borgen – as I didn’t want it to end! I like watching Anthony Bourdain’s food travels to nontraditional places. The most recent Jim Gaffigan TV special was hysterical.

What is the last movie you saw?

For family night we are watching movies from the 1980s which has been fun to relive. We just watched the sweet film, Batteries Not Included (1987) and last month we watched all 3 of the Back to the Future films.

Of note - it seems that “PG” ratings in the 1980s are the modern day “PG 13” or “R”. Watching these movies with my kids has opened up interesting conversations to say the least.

Who are you following on Twitter?

I mostly use Twitter as another way to get news and information. I follow most media outlets and news reporters, domestic violence advocacy groups, Willow Center, our elected officials and friends. Locally, I do find Bob Duffy’s posts quite entertaining and of course Mark Siwiec is always posting interesting tidbits and images of lovely dream homes.

How do you spend your Sundays?

Putting this in writing sounds so boring (!), but for the first few hours I am cleaning out my work emails and do any writing I need for the upcoming week. I find my mind is best first thing in the morning no matter the day and I enjoy getting my ideas down on paper to clear it out so I can then focus on other things. When you love what you do – this doesn’t seem like work.

By 9am we are having pancakes and veggie sausages – a Sunday tradition. Giving my husband John a griddle two years ago was one of my better life decisions.  

Then the usual life activities of cleaning the house and soccer practice. Sundays will include much crafting with my daughter who is so creative with the bits and pieces of materials we have around the house. The best Sundays with my son are when we grab a sandwich and go ‘train hunting’ and end up parked in one of our favorite train watching spots. Car conversations with your kids are simply priceless and I try to soak them up. I never knew there were so many trains running on Sundays, but the tracks are always busy and full – just like life.