Melody Kramer

People Not In News Commenting On The News: Meet Andy from Wisconsin

17 Dec 2014 by melodyjoykramer

Andy Schimpf shares a name with someone I went to high school with, but he is not the same Andy Schimpf. This Andy Schimpf grew up lower-middle class in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, the youngest of five kids. “At the time, I wasn’t exposed to much aside from midwestern suburbia, and we never traveled,” he says.

I’m going to let Andy take it from here, because the way he describes himself is really great: “I am a voracious reader (which gets me now that I have precious little time for it), and when I was young, my favorite thing was to pore over maps — my grandmother had a Rand McNally atlas that I loved looking at.

I received a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, which ended up with me working in the Quality Control laboratory of a local (but nationally known) supplement company. I have had notions of going into pharmacology, but I did not have the fire to go to grad school.

My wife and I have been married for 19 (!) years, and we have three children, two daughters (13 and 6) and a son (4). My favorite thing now with my oldest daughter is to troll her with internet memes I’ve picked up, such as things like “Too Many Cooks” and so on. My two youngest compete for my attention constantly, and I like sitting there and talking with them while I cook.

I love to bake, and when I get time for it, I cherish the experience.

When I was younger, I felt self-conscious about liking things that were popular, because I felt that I wasn’t cool enough to like them. As I’ve gotten older, I don’t care about such things, and I like what I like. This has turned into me getting to know a super wide variety of people that I never would’ve known unless I dove in.

As I think you can tell on Twitter, I love replying with a funny (or usually wise-guy) response.

Oh, as for my Twitter handle – I started my account to interact with some of the bloggers I would read for World of Warcraft issues (mainly Druid-based blogs, my favorite class). My older brother and my brother-in-law got me hooked on WoW a year after my Mom died, and I found the game was a nice area of control. Without getting to nerdy (TOO LATE), I find that the healing-style Druid (of which a form you can shift into is an ent-like tree) appealed to me greatly. Some of my guild-members nicknamed me “Papa Tree” due to my fatherly attitude and well, me being a tree in game. So, I liked that, and it’s a cute thing to have. Though, I fear that at times I can’t be taken seriously like this, but then I just keep going. :)”

Andy was kind enough to answer some questions about how he gets his news. If you don’t work in news, live outside of DC/NYC, and would like to participate, let me know. (Rest of series is here)

1. How do you get your news?

When I was younger, I read multiple newspapers, as well as most of the standard news weekly magazines (such as Time, U.S. News and World Report, etc.). Now that I am older (and have three children to help raise), I find it impossible to be able to timely consume all that content.

So, I now consume in small snacks. I don’t want to say that I take all of my news as just headline scanning, or sound-bite listening. I mean that during the day, when I have a few minutes, I can read an article of interest or listen to a program which appeals to me. I haven’t watched local news (as well as national network) for years; I find that I can acquire information at my own pace online.

I listen to NPR when I’m driving, so I catch Morning Edition on the way to work, and All Things Considered and Marketplace on the way home.

This takes me to social media, primarily Twitter. I don’t use Twitter as my news source; I use it as a way to have a broader look at more subjects than just what I get in a 30 minute TV news broadcast, for example. Also, following the content producers helps me feel engaged with the content. It’s a gateway that allows me to take in as much or little information that I want, or can handle at the time.

Not only do I enjoy that consumption method, I enjoy sharing what I have found as well. Nothing makes me feel better when I can turn someone on to something I found really interesting.

2. Please send me a gif or video that captures your attention span

multitasking TOO MANY BALLS



The first gif (multitasking.gif) was me probably 10 or so years ago. I could calmly take everything on without a hitch.
The second one is now. There is so much out there, and I try and try, but eventually it can just overwhelm my brain. I still keep trying, though!

**3. How do you take your coffee? **

A little milk and sugar. I do, at times, take my coffee black. It has to be a spur of the moment thing, I’ve found. If I go, “Today I’ll take my coffee black,” it just isn’t any good.

4. Who’s doing it right in news?

NPR is great, as always. I really enjoy the pacing of stories, as well as the multiple perspectives. I just adore Decode DC; I love how Andrea Seabrook crafts an analysis of an issue. There are other bright spots to be sure, but these are my favorites.

5. What’s the first news event that you remember?

The 1976 Democratic National Convention. I was only seven, but I was fascinated by the process. The speeches, the banners and signs, the mystery of me of how politics worked. It just provided me a peek into something that intrigued me, and made me want to learn how things worked. I’m not a political junkie by no means now, but I have always been interested in understanding the process of anything, so I guess this was my first taste of that.

6. What was the best thing that happened to you this week?

I was recognized at work for an almost year-long project that has been super-interesting, but tiring and thankless. It was great for people to pat me on the back and tell me that I’m doing great. (OK, the monetary prize is pretty nice as well)

7. Where do you live? Region is fine. City is better, but optional.

I reside in De Pere, Wisconsin.

8. What do you absolutely hate about the news?

I hate how most news has evolved into a neon scroll of words, never ending, but never really telling a story. Instead of informing, so much is pandering. I will support any news source that respects me as an individual that can actually think for myself, and use all sides of an issue to come to my own conclusion. Even being pandered with something I agree with is distasteful.

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