Column: Learning from one another


Marriage is all about learning.

Every day brings new challenges, and you learn something new about your mate almost every day.

One area where my wife (of almost two years) and I have learned from each other and, in turn, are able to understand each other better is our work language.

Other than the fact my wife and I are married, our lives beyond the comforts of home are very different. Jennifer is a nail technician for a local beauty salon, and I am a sports writer who has been a college student our entire relationship.

As you can probably imagine, when we talk about work, there is not a lot of common ground between our two chosen professions.

Although I would never claim to know how to do her job or even want to do her job, I have noticed she has taught me a thing or two about women’s beauty needs. For instance, when I am sitting around, pretending to work, I will occasionally overhear the female-folk talking about hair, nails and other beauty things. As frightening as it is, I normally have a general understanding of what they are talking about and could probably jump into the conversation.

On the other hand, Jennifer gets asked the obvious sports questions by her clients and from time-to-time has told me that she surprises herself with her abilities to talk sports with people.

When I went to Texas to meet the coaches, athletic directors and other sports-related people for my new job last week, my wife eagerly came along to meet the people with whom I will be working.

In learning each other’s work language, we are both able to understand what kind of people, stresses and general crap with which we each have to deal. So, when we do talk about work, we can help each other get through tough days or celebrate when something good happens.

On a more serious note, I would like to use my final words as a Collegianite and a K-State student to say thank you to my wonderful wife. She has been there through it all and is the most caring, understanding and loving person that I know.

It’s been a crazy ride so far, and its about to get crazier.

Thanks babe, and I love you.

Matthew Girard will be an official alumnus of Kansas State University as of May 13. You can e-mail him at