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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Big Red Wagon

This post is an accumulation of events that have occurred in the past week.

Friday, September 5th: I left The Battle on 64 and went back to my apartment with all the intentions of doing homework. Somehow, I managed to convince myself that my homework and photo editing could wait until the morning. Without the knowledge of How I Met Your Mother being on Netflix, I turned to my Amazon Prime account and purchased what I would soon discover to be the best movie I've seen in a long time. The Fault in Our Stars was incredible! I haven't cried that much during a movie since My Girl. For those of you that don't know.... The movie is about a cancer patient and her struggles with a love story twist.

Tuesday, September 9th: For my Backpack Journalism class we were asked to create a "character-driven story" and I was completely blank. I couldn't think of any good ideas until I got on Facebook and saw a status that stood out among the others. It was a status written by April Townsend, a wonderful student at the University of the Ozarks. She has a disability called Spina Bifida. This disability may put her in a wheelchair, but it in no way limits her abilities to be the amazing character that she is. 

Thursday, September 11th: This day will always be remembered as 9/11 in the hearts of many Americans, but for me it will be known as the day that I finally realized the most important thing a human could realize. I wanted to get a head start on my story for Backpack Journalism so I made an appointment with the Program Coordinator for the Spina Bifida Clinic at the Arkansas Children's Hospital. I did what any good student would do and left way before the appointment to make sure that I would arrive on time. Not only did I arrive on time, but I arrived an hour early. I sat in the parking lot looking at that building and brainstorming  a few more questions that I might have for the interview. With about 30 more minutes left, I got out of my car, locked the door and went to get my gear out of trunk. It was the moment that I was standing in front of my trunk when I realized that my keys were locked in my car. I looked at the wet ground and my beautiful tan shorts and I knew what I had to do. I, Becca Phillips had to find the spare car keys magnetized underneath my car. Luckily, it was found in the nick of time and I was successfully 20 minutes early for the interview. 

I sat on a bench in the lobby of the hospital watching the patients go in a out of the hospital. Some were wearing face masks, others with IV's, and then... I saw it. A big red wagon. I thought to myself that that particular parent was smart for bring fun to this child's appointment until I saw another one and another one and yet another one. The big red wagons were everywhere! They were carrying sick children, gifts, clothes, belongings, and more. I saw one family leaving with a wagon full of gifts and suitcases only to realize that for a short period of time this child's address was 1 Children's Way in Little Rock, Arkansas.

With about 15 minutes left before the interview started, I headed to the front counter. The lady called the PR worker that was going to direct me to my interview and I stood there at the counter waiting. I looked to my left and saw a girl in a wheelchair wrapped in a blanket coming around the corner and approaching the counter. I smiled at her as I noticed her hair was completely gone and she had a big red wagon full of suitcases and belongings. The first thing that I thought about was the movie that I recently watched. I kept repeating to myself, "That wasn't just a movie" over and over in my head until it finally sunk into my head. That wasn't just a movie.

Saturday, September 13th: I'm still thinking about that girl and wondering what her story is. "How long has she been fighting? Are her appointments going well? Does she have friends that she's going back home to?" My brain can't stop thinking about how shallow my thoughts have been over the past few years. Most of you know that I love a good movie and that I love to create videos any chance that I get, but there's something about being behind the camera that separates the story from the Editor. I'm always thinking about the best shot, sound bite, angle, anything! Every single time I become a little more proud of the product that I create, but not right now. I'm not proud of who I've become over the past few years. I'm not proud of the person that I've turned into a well-oiled production. How long was it going to take for me to realize that I have made real life people into well developed stories. Was I really getting a message out there? 

Yesterday I was having a conversation with a fellow producer-canidate when I said something that I've never said out loud before. I've worked on some productions over the years and even got to meet some pretty incredible people along the way. When I was younger working at some of the church productions I would stand behind my boss and watch over his shoulder as he worked his production genius. I went to college with this idea in my mind that I could continue living my life standing behind someone's shoulder watching them work their production magic. I never expected I could be the person in the chair. I get so nervous and I know that I'm going to do something wrong or even worse, I'll break something. So I did something about that last year and decided to become a producer. This year, we are expected to do so much more before we get our producer status again. Who would have thought that more responsibility would come with getting older?! Crazy, right?! 

This Wednesday I will be exercising my knowledge of KUOZ by being a producer for the Walton Arts and Ideas Series event. Granted, this should be a fairly easy production, but I'm super nervous about being the one sitting in the chair. I mean, give me a youth group event or a Bible study and I'll prepare for it in record time, but this... I kinda thought I could avoid being the person in charge for as long as possible. Guess it's time for me to step up and unload my Big Red Wagon of knowledge from all those years of watching. Let's see what Becca can do! 

Wish me Luck!

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