Getting Personal is an email Q&A with a local personality. Here, Melissa Merli chats with Donna Hyland Giertz of Champaign. She is a retired marketing/management professor from Parkland College. She serves on the school´s board of trustees and is a volunteer at the Krannert Art Museum. Getting Personal appears first in print, in Sunday editions of The News-Gazette. Coming on Sept. 18: Paul Curtis of Curtis Orchard.
What time do you typically get up? What do you do the first hour of the morning?
WDWS wakes me about 7:30. I lie there for a few minutes to hear what is going on in the world. I eat breakfast almost every morning at the Original Pancake House with my News-Gazette and The Wall Street Journal.
What did you have for lunch today? Where? With whom?
I don't eat lunch.
Best high school memory.
A few lasting friendships.
Tell me about your favorite pair of shoes.
My Reef flip-flops that I wear around the house.
What does a perfect Sunday afternoon include?
I love every day, so a Sunday isn't any different from any other. But I like to lie on the couch and read.
Was there one book you read as a child that you still cherish? Own? Read?
Irving Stone's "Love is Eternal," a romantic novel about Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln. I have a signed first edition. Also, "The Fountainhead" by Ayn Rand had a profound effect of me.
Where on earth are you dying to go? Why?
I would like to go to Greenland, but I can't sell my husband on the idea.
Tell me about your favorite pet.
I am not a pet person. We had two cocker spaniels while our kids were growing up: Matisse and Sunshine. But I do like Geoffrey and Cicero, my children's dogs.
Have you discovered as you matured that you are becoming like one of your parents? Which one and how?
I am like my mother. I hear myself saying exactly the same phrases.
What would you order for your last meal?
Spaghetti and meatballs, salad, French bread and Chianti.
What can you not live without?
Who do you have on your iPod?
Frank Sinatra, Mamas and Papas, Billy Joel, Elton John. But I never listen to it.
What's the happiest memory of your life?
I have had many happy memories. One is when my son sunk a free throw in high school to win the game and another when my daughter won the Lawrence, Kan., city championship in tennis.
If you could host a dinner party with any three living people in the world, whom would you invite?
Federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, Christopher Hitchens and Peggy Noonan.
What's the best advice you've ever been given?
From my mother: Go out to people and stand up straight.
What's your best piece of advice?
To my kids: Never cheat on your line calls.
What was your first job, and how much did you make an hour?
I worked at a soda parlor dipping ice cream cones. My mother made me quit after a month because I gained 10 pounds. I don't remember how much I made.
What was a pivotal decision in your career, and how did you arrive at that decision?
When I got married 42 years ago. We got lucky as we have gone down the same road together.
Do you have a bad habit? What is it?
I beat myself up when I make a mistake at bridge.
How do you handle a stressful situation?
I always say, "This too shall pass," I cook and I look at my art books.