Sara-Beth O’Connor is the advisor of The Comets’ Tale from Grand Ledge High School and now the yearbook advisor as well. Students would recognize her as the pregnant woman showing up throughout the MIPA days-but only on the main floors, because at five days OVERDUE to have her first child, she is still at MIPA 2012 and avoiding challenge of climbing a flight of stairs.
Q: What is it like being very pregnant at this MIPA conference?
A: It is disappointing that I can’t walk to my students classes because I get too hot. I obviously have them coming down to me as opposed to going up to their dorms so I can work on any projects with them. I don’t like that I’m not spending the night either…I enjoy hanging out with all the instructors. My old newspaper teacher instructs here so we co-teach an InDesign class, but I didn’t do that this year because I thought i was having my baby this week, but he’s staying up there.But I feel like everyone is staring at me, like I’m some sort of “Sixteen and Pregnant” even though I do not look like I’m 16. I actually went to camp here when I was 17, I was in the Editors-In-Chief class for newspaper. but there were a lot of the same instructors here, so I remember like Julie Price, Pam Bunka, and Bobby Hawthorne. It used to be that you took a class and you got to take an elective class, so I took Bobby’s column writing elective class.
Q: Is there one thing you hope your students take away from MIPA 2012?
A: Besides being fired up for scholastic journalism? I hope they all take this into use in their future endeavors whether it be journalism or not, so that this wasn’t a complete waste of their summer.
Q: How many days overdue are you?
A: 5 days.
Q: Are you scared every waking moment that you’re going to go into labor?
A: I wish every waking moment I was in labor. I don’t know why they even give you a due date…they should just say, ‘oh, sometime at the end of the summer you’ll have a baby.’ That’s what they should say.
Q: What was the biggest change as an advisor you had to adjust to from being pregnant?
A: The hardest part was not telling the kids when I first found out. I was fortunate enough to have a student teacher, so she was teaching at times I could hide things better. But towards the end I really did not want to stand up anymore, so I ended up sitting down. That was the hardest part. And my belly would hit people and that’s gross. Like I’d always hit students when I was trying to use the board to highlight stuff.
And then I broke up a fight..and I went into labor. But then I had to take a week off of school, it was really stressful. But we got a lot of work done via Google Docs.
Q: And you’re having a boy…so do you have a name picked out?
A: Yes we are. But we can’t tell.
Q: How has your relationship changed because of pregnancy?
A: We can’t just go play tennis or go for runs or ride bikes. We usually play tennis all summer and are really active, but we do go for walks three times a day to try to get the baby out.
Q: What are you most excited about for after you have the baby?
A: I’m excited to see who he looks like. I hope he looks like me.
The most disappointing part of our life right now, is we based part of our day around a sale on diapers (Buy 3 packs get $10 back on purchase).
I’m really excited to see what he says to me. And to wear regular clothes again.
SAMANTHA VANHOEF / THE UPSTART