Good, Thoughtful Hosts #114: Bonus Episode -- A Chat With Your Host

WAIT! Before closing out the year, we’d like to share a postscript episode with a twist — moderator Sarah Steimer becomes a guest on her own show. A producer spins the mic around and asks a bit about Sarah as a person, her takeaways from season one, and a quick preview of what to expect from next year’s sophomore effort.

About Our Guest

Now unable to go anywhere in the world without being recognized as the beloved moderator of Good, Thoughtful Hosts, Sarah Steimer is also a veteran journalist, editor, and all-around curious human. A resident of Chicago, Sarah spends her off-hours taking care of her new pup, Dottie, seeing live music, and traveling.

Sarah Steimer

Producer 00:06
Well, we made it through season one. And that’s why I just wanted to — Wait. Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. I am not Sarah Steimer. So why am I talking at the beginning of this podcast episode? Plus, hasn’t the season one finale already dropped? What exactly is going on? Well, Good, Thoughtful Hosts fans, we’re trying something a little different today for our postscript episode — a little “extra helping” as Thanksgiving slowly disappears in the rearview mirror. I’m Travis Estvold, a producer for this show. You’ve heard me say “today’s special guest” on every episode thus far, but our special guest this time is our own moderator, Sarah Steimer. I’m gonna lob a few questions at her and see how she felt about season one. And maybe she can give us the tiniest hint of what’s on tap for season two. So strap yourselves in and let’s do one final installment of Good, Thoughtful Hosts for 2022.

Producer 01:17
Today’s special guest:

Sarah Steimer 01:20
It’s Sarah Steimer. I’m your podcast host. I’m the host of Good, Thoughtful Hosts. The Host host.

Producer 01:28
Okay, so Sarah, we’re flipping the script a little bit here today. You are host-as-guest on your own podcast. I don’t know that people who’ve listened before know a ton about you personally.  What can you tell us about … who is Sarah Steimer?

Sarah Steimer 01:44
I’m a nobody. You know, this is what’s fun about this podcast to me is that I am not an expert in this field at all. I am a trained journalist. And, you know, architecture was not ever my beat at any point in time or anything like that. So I really, you know, I get to kind of learn along with I think, at least some of the listeners, I’m sure there are plenty of experts also listening in. I had prior to this done a little bit of writing about architecture, but it’s been really a blast to dig in much deeper and kind of, you know, kind of stick my talons into these topics a little bit more.

Producer 02:20
Totally. Yeah, absolutely. As you have progressed into some of these conversations, what have been some like highlights of season one for you like A-has or exciting moments, or even some sort of disheartening thoughts as you’re hearing. I don’t think we’ve heard any doom prophetizations this season, but certainly some things to deal with as a population and a planet.

Sarah Steimer 02:44
So one of the biggest things that I sort of had to wrap my head around when I started focusing on architecture is that it’s not just these buildings, it’s more the concept of the quote, unquote, built environment. So you know, that can be parks, that can be buildings that can be, you know, not just, you know, the grocery store, but your own home, and just all the different ways it exists in the world, and how what we’re creating has such a massive effect, of course, on the environment, on people’s health, really, and wellness and things like that, you know, one of my favorite episode topics I would say was actually affordable housing, because I hadn’t really thought about it in the way that we sort of jumped in, you know, Randy, of course, is a longtime expert on the topic. And I hadn’t thought about the fact that, you know, if you have good property for people to live in, and by good, that means, you know, it’s accessible to maybe public transit, or there’s parks nearby, or just the building materials themselves are actually healthy, then you’re creating an even healthier environment for people who maybe otherwise don’t have really good opportunities for maybe the best jobs and things like that. So it’s stuff like that, that you don’t think about the built environment having an effect on you know, it’s not just about like, Oh, is it ADA accessible, although that’s certainly extremely important, you know, goes beyond that I can kind of dive into 20 different topics, when it comes to the health and wellness factors of just where you’re sitting all day, or where you get to come home to or whether or not it’s, it feels dangerous to go to your workplace or the grocery store, things like that.

Producer 04:27
You know, I loved your question for Jessica and Elna on that episode where you had kind of said, has this translated to any real-world applications? And so I was thinking of a similar question for you of, has asking and hearing the answers to a lot of these questions that you’ve asked this year, has it changed your perspective on things you’re doing in your own life or things you could do or things you’re experiencing in the real world?

Sarah Steimer 04:54
Yeah. So kind of to bounce off of what I was just mentioning something that I have written about a little bit, but dove into a bit more thanks to some of the conversations that I’ve had on this podcast, is seasonal affective disorder and the built environment, because that’s something that a lot of us who live in, you know, the northern hemisphere, and especially the northern part of the US, we don’t get quite as much sunshine as we need in the winter. And to think about the fact that just window placement can have an effect on that. Or, you know, the ability to comfortably go outside, if you build architecture in a way that creates more wind tunnels in the winter, like you’re not helping anyone out, really, you know, you don’t want to then go outside, and that affects your mental health. It’s stuff like that, that’s really I’ve become much more conscious of so if I’m deciding where to put my desk in my little apartment, I’m going to make sure it’s facing windows, I’m going to make sure I get that hit of sunshine, even though the sun’s going down at like 4 pm right now, you know, so it’s, it’s that kind of thing, where it’s like, as soon as you kind of get those little tricks in a way it’s like, okay, well, I’m, I’m going to implement this now. And it’s going to make hopefully a difference. I think it makes a difference.

Producer 06:06
Yeah, right. How could it not? Yeah, you’re hearing from all these experts chiming in on such subjects? Yeah. So congratulations on a really great season one. I’m a quote-unquote, producer on this podcast. (I’m using air quotes; boy, I don’t know how to podcast.) You know, as a producer, and somebody who gets to do some editing on this podcast, I’ve been really fascinated listening to all the conversations you’ve been having. What could we expect from season two? Are you able to give us a preview of anything you think’s coming our way?

Sarah Steimer 06:34
Well, before I jump into that, I actually should be thanking you for the masterful editing that you do. And you’ve been able to take out I think, like, a couple of like, mistakes that I’ve made as far as like, cameras are off, and I’m not sure. But, yeah, so So for the next season. First of all, more of the great content, I hope, you know, like, well, we’ll be talking to more experts, but we’re gonna go a little bit deeper into some topics, you know, I think we really skimmed the surface of certain things. And we could definitely spend some more time digging a little bit deeper, you know, we’re going to try to be a little bit more reactionary to what’s happening in the world. You know, there’s certainly topics that are we call them evergreen topics that are always going to be in season per se. But we’re really going to try to use the expertise that we have in house to talk about things as they’re happening in real time, for the most part. So as much as we can be with the podcast, you know, we’re, we’re going to try to do that a bit more. So that’s what I’m excited about. Because, as we just mentioned, architecture touches everything, the built environment touches everything, and everything affects the built environment. So it goes both ways. So why not? Why not respond to things like that?

Producer 07:44
Yeah, absolutely. Okay, so to borrow from your sort of trademark: Is there anything we haven’t talked about? I’m gonna give you, one, an open floor, but also challenge you to give a quick pitch to anybody who might listen to this and think, you know, should I should I be a longtime subscriber to this? Yes. What’s your what’s your pitch? What’s your pitch for, for listening to the show going forward?

Sarah Steimer 08:11
You know, honestly, I would give a pitch that’s the same reason I want to listen to it, in the same reason I enjoy doing it, which is that you learn so much from people who have such extreme expertise in a topic. You know, like, I’m a broad strokes baby. Like, I know a little bit about a lot of stuff. But it is so exciting when you get to sit down and really hear from someone who spends so much, like at least 40 hours a week, thinking about this type of stuff, you know, it’s just, you get it’s like listening to a master, you know, you don’t want to necessarily like, listen to someone who just picked up an instrument, you want to listen to the person who’s been practicing it forever. So I mean, that to me, there’s a reason why you get this real depth of knowledge.

Producer 08:51
Outstanding. Yeah. Well, on behalf of listeners, and producers, and everybody, thank you for your work on this podcast. It’s been super enlightening, and a ton of fun to listen to. And you’re really, like really good at it. So. So congratulations. And thank you, and thank you for your time and chatting today.

Sarah Steimer 09:08
Well, thank you so much. And hopefully you guys didn’t pick up on my puppy whining because she’s ready to get out of my bedroom and go outside and see her little tiny built environment.

Producer 09:19
If we did, then that’s just life.

Sarah Steimer 09:21
Right, right. Well, thank you, Travis. I’m so excited about season two. And I’m so glad that you know we were able to wrap up this first season in a way that I think we’re all pretty pleased with.

Producer 09:30
Absolutely. Thanks a lot, Sarah.

Sarah Steimer 09:32
Thank you.

Producer 09:41
Music for Good, Thoughtful Hosts was written, produced, and performed by Sam Clapp. Our moderator is Sarah Steimer. Editing by Travis Estvold and a special thanks to our content development team, Amanda Herzberg and Marni Moore. For more information about the podcast, visit Thanks for listening!

For more information about Good, Thoughtful Hosts,
visit our podcast homepage.