Getting Personal: Connie Kaiser
Getting Personal is an email Q&A with a local personality. Here, a chat with Connie Kaiser, the superintendent at the Champaign County Juvenile Detension Center.
What time do you typically get up? What do you do the first hour of the morning?
6 a.m.; shower, dress, put on some makeup and put on my wig since I lost my hair this year.
What did you have for lunch today? Where? With whom?
Fruit at the probation office at the courthouse with colleagues.
Best high school memory?
Sitting on our family's front porch on the main drag of town, with a friend, watching for friends to go by.
Tell me about your favorite pair of shoes.
Black furry slippers with silver lining that I am so tempted to sometimes wear in public.
What does a perfect Sunday afternoon include?
Was there one book you read as a child that you still cherish? Own? Read?
I know it's childish and dumb, but I absolutely love "The Night Before Christmas."
Where on Earth are you dying to go? Why?
I am torn between another trip to the Super Bowl and Hawaii, because both are generally once-in-a-lifetime trips.
Tell me about your favorite pet.
Again torn between my childhood dog Toto and my big dog Ginger and my old cat Casper. Oh, and I love a cat named Darla.
Have you discovered that you are becoming like one of your parents? Which one and how?
I look more like my mother and sometimes tend to act more like my father.
What would you order for your last meal?
A little piece of steak and a big lobster.
What can you not live without?
My loved ones and my iPad.
Who do you have on your iPod?
All kinds of music but mostly country.
What's the happiest memory of your life?
Again torn between my wedding, daughter's birth, daughter's wedding and trip to the Super Bowl.
If you could host a dinner party with any three living people in the world, whom would you invite?
My two brothers and sister because we share so many happy, funny childhood memories and still have fun whenever we can all be together.
What's the best advice you've ever been given?
My dad always told me to just say a little prayer for people who were mean to me instead of being mean back or staying mad.
What's your best piece of advice?
Be kind to everyone because you never know what sadness and hardships with which they may be dealing.
What was your first job and how much did you make an hour?
In junior high and high school, I shampooed hair in my parents' beauty salon. They paid well.
What was a pivotal decision in your career and how did you arrive at that decision?
I thought hard about whether to return to work at the detention center after the birth of my child, and decided I would miss the youth and people with whom I work too much to stay at home.
Do you have a bad habit? What is it?
I actually have two that immediately come to mind: Sometimes I say bad words, and I don't think as positively as I should.
How do you handle a stressful situation?
I try to handle it with humor, without being offensive to anyone.