Today a life-long dream was fulfilled. (OK, so maybe I haven't been dreaming about it my whole life, but it has definitely been a life goal for a few years.)
Let me just say that I realize I am a somewhat of a nerd. Or possibly an outright nerd. And I'm completely OK with it.
I LOVE NPR. I love to listen to all the interesting talk shows that come on during the day. I love how they find all kinds of interesting topics and invite experts and have lots of thoughtful commentary. When I was studying for my boards, I listened to NPR excessively. I would listen to our local talk station (as in, this one doesn't play classical music during the day, but news/talk shows) ALL DAY. It was great.
For years now, I have dreamed of calling in to one of these shows and making a comment on the air. I have even tried a few times. But I was never able to get through.
Until today. Today I thought I'd give it another try. The story today was about depression, and this psychotherapist came on and talked about how he doesn't think that depression should be "medicalized" and that calling it an "illness" can be bad. He doesn't have a problem with using medication, but he just doesn't think it should be called an "illness." I disagreed with what he said, and thought I might be able to add something intelligent to the conversation.
So I dialed. And then, when it was busy, I dialed again. But finally, after lots of busy signals, it rang. And this guy said, "Hi. Thanks for calling. What is your name?" After getting my name and location, he asked what I wanted to say, presumably to decide if I was interesting enough to get on the air. Apparently I didn't sound like a total idiot, and was put on hold for another five or ten minutes. Before putting me on hold, the phone answering guy told me not to say "Good Morning" when my call was answered since the show doesn't air everywhere in the morning. He informed me that "Hello" and "Hi, Jane" are both acceptable greetings. After being on hold, another girl came on to tell me that I was "in the queue" and again reminded me that "Good Morning" is forbidden and "Hi, Jane" or "Hello" is a good way to start the conversation. As I was on hold, the radio show was playing as the background music. Suddenly, I hear the host say, "And now we have a caller from Charleston, SC. Hi, you're on the air."
And I replied, "Hello. Uh. Hi, Jane." (Apparently I was listening when they told me what to say.) Then I proceeded with, "Thanks for taking my call." (Being somewhat of a connoisseur of talk radio, I knew this was a good way to start.) Then I began my comment in earnest. I was so nervous during this call, I thought people might be able to tell in my voice. But I made my comment, and was thanked by the host. Then I hung up.
I actually made a comment on air on a nationally broadcast show!! Me!! I would guess at least 50 people heard me.
And while I was doing this, I was sitting inside the locker room in the gym, waiting to go and swim. At least I was dressed, though. I would feel totally wierd making a comment on a national radio show while nude.
I just listened to my comment again from NPR's website. I was worried I might have sounded super nervous or downright stupid, but after listening to my comment, I think it was well said and possibly even thoughtful. I still agree with myself.
You can go and listen here. Play it with the player of your choice, and my comment begins around 39:00. Or you could listen to some at the beginning to get the feel of the show, just so you know what I was reacting to. Although you probably won't care, since you're probably not enough of a dork to enjoy NPR. But that's ok.