Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Email, The Times, and Reactions

The title "The New York Times" rings of authority, creativity, the very pinnacle of American newspapers. At least it does to me. So when Grace emailed me on Mar. 8 and said her friend Tara Parker-Pope wanted to publish my story on her blog, I was ecstatic. I didn't even know that Grace had sent her my article, so it was a complete surprise. Of course I replied immediately that I would love to have my article published in the Times. I didn't even try to be cool or aloof. I didn't think about all the strangers who would be reading my personal story, I was focused on the idea of having a byline in this respected newspaper that I had read and aspired to for years.
Tara and I emailed back and forth, and ended up doing all the edits for the story over email. I had cut some parts with description earlier, and Tara didn't change too much in the text, but the changes we made helped to tighten and clarify the message of my story.
I was getting excited about being published, told my friends and family, but I was a little uncomfortable. I felt, and still feel, like such a novice when it comes to the world of professional journalism. I still have so much to learn about the field, and being so close to it now made me think that maybe I'm not prepared. I know it comes with experience, and I am confident in my abilities, but I guess I was intimidated. But since then I have been learning a lot every day.
When my essay was finally published online on Tues., Mar. 24, I was actually on spring break, camping on the coast of Georgia, so I didn't get to see it until two days later.
On Wednesday, I was laying on the beach on Cumberland Island reading while my boyfriend Scotty was out running. His phone rang. I figured it was his parents and didn't bother to get up. When he checked his message it was my little brother. His message said, "Hey, um, the Today show called. They want to talk to Becky so she should probably turn her phone on...Oh, they said to call them back..." and gave a number. My response was just, 'What?' Why would NBC want to talk to me? I was curious, so I called them back right away. I talked to a producer there who said they read my story and they're doing a spot on tall women and short men, the advantages and disadvantages, etc. They wanted me to be on the show. "So does that sound like something you'd be interested in?" the producer asked. "Um, Yes!" It was very surreal to be sitting on this gorgeous beach talking to the Today show. This was like nothing that had ever happened to me, and I didn't even know what to think, but I was excited to see what would happen.


Asia said...

Just saw you on the Today show! Good work! :)

Em Kay El said...

One of my friends sent me the link to your New York Times article and I found your blog as a result. I am a 6'5" female and completely sympathize with your journey. I appreciate the positive attitude you have embraced but I can only guess it's taken some time to reach it. I never know if it will be a good day or bad day. Thanks so much for your blog and honesty! Best of luck to you.