I grew up with brothers, four of them actually, and no sisters. But instead of knowing all the ins and outs of American Football, from living in a house of boys, I knew next to nothing of the game. I think it stemmed from seeing the guys and their friends watching a game, sitting down with them, and then trying to understand by asking tooooo many questions. Their aggression and “Shut Up” that they threw my way turned me off from learning much.

I never played football, so I didn’t learn it all at practice! The immature boys that they were didn’t have patience to help get me into the game and from elementary school till middle school, I don’t think I ever watched a full game.

I remember to this day, a conversation I had with a friend in third grade. I asked her, “Do you ever watch football?” “Yeah sometimes with my Dad.” “How do you know who to cheer for?” “I don’t know, I usually just cheer for whoever is losing because I feel bad for them.” I tried to take her advice, but I still didn’t get the perfect formations of men facing each other, charging into chaotic dog piles seconds later!

The first football game I watched the whole way through was the Patriots vs. Eagles Super Bowl game in February 2005. I was with my Dad traveling out of the country; that whole day he scouted out places and talked to locals about where to watch the game and to be honest I thought it was fun! I’ve made it a point to take part in whatever super bowl parties I could crash with friends through the years, but only because I’m an American and the Super Bowl is like a religion in the US.

But I still didn’t ask questions through all those years of Super Bowl parties.

I learned my lesson years before; you don’t get between a man and his game, unless you want to be yelled at.

Sad, but true.

Until recently.

After a year of networking to get my foot in the door for TV Production, I finally “settled” to look locally in the small town I’m from, State College, PA. Through friendly connections, I got an interview at WPSU for Sports Production. During the interview, the Producer asked me two questions I for sure thought would get me kicked off the site in a hot second.

“Wow, you have a lot of experience in production, we have students that come here with nothing. How much do you know about football?”

“Ha ha. Ummm. I know what a touch down is!”

“So not much?”

I shook my head, smiling, hoping to win him over still. “But I can learn! See, I have four brothers, I could sit down with any one of them and go over game stuff!” Really though, I was dubious with the flash backs from all the traumatic times I tried getting my football questions answered by the boys in the past.

But he didn’t have to know that.

“It really just comes down to vocabulary!” I persisted. “I’ve grown up around sports.” (True) “I’ve watched enough to know what’s important in a game. It’s all about vocabulary, and I’ll learn.”

He smiled at me. The interview continued. I left concerned.

That night I sat down to watch the episodes he emailed to me, from three sports shows that WPSU produces. After watching, I figured I didn’t have anything to lose and I emailed him exactly what I think of the shows and football… That there’s a lot more to the game (football, basketball, soccer, you name the sport) than just being on the field playing; there are players, coaches, and other aspects of their lives that are more important than just being an athlete.

The next day, the Producer emailed me to let me know I would be brought into WPSU as a Sports Production Intern to work on the show Unrivaled: The Penn State Football Story.


I’ve watched more games this season than the previous 6 years combined. At Beaver Stadium, I’ve stood on the field with players, coaches, and ESPN and BTN press. On my down time, I study the Penn State football players, and watch the shows we produce. I get a little bit tickled each game to watch the boys play and see how they do. And as I promised in that interview, I’m learning my vocabulary.

It’s all paying off, as 6 weeks into the internship I found out some pretty great news about my status of “Intern.”

But that story is for another time.

I’m putting the work in, seeing the results, and quite honestly, I’m proud of how I’ve embraced my time at WPSU. By working there, I see State College through a whole new lens, and this football season, I’m actually into it! The disdain for the school and people that obsess over their Blue and White team has ebbed away to appreciate the culture of college football everywhere, and to be proud to be a part of a certain PSU football show.

I’m learning that if you give something enough time, you might surprise yourself with what you come to appreciate… For too long I held the sport and Penn State at arms length, creating a very effective wedge between the people in this town and myself. My tastes buds are changing so that a game and a beer sound appealing. Except minus the beer. My taste buds aren’t changing that much, let’s not get crazy.

What was originally a last resort and shot in the dark, application and production interview, has turned into a new perspective, relationships, and way of life for me in State College… Oh, and I’m no longer afraid to ask questions.

What have you pushed away, that you could practice being open to, which might further your career, or simply create bonds with others?

Episode 6 from this season:


{October} Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Paula Biggs for Frog Prince Paperie

Photo Cred: Paula Biggs for Frog Prince Paperie

*I originally wrote this post for Wonderfully Made’s blog “Know Your Value” in October.

Have you ever been sick? Have you ever dealt with pain in your body or mind? Have you ever seen a loved one suffer, or maybe even die?

This might sound heavy, but take a deep breath and hang in there with me, because sometimes it is important to talk about heavy things.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Around the nation, people raise awareness about breast cancer, helping to erase stigma for the disease, and encourage early detection of the disease for treatment.

A study and article posted on the American Cancer Society website says that “an estimated 60,290 new cases” of breast cancer in women will be detected in 2015.

As we move through the year and find ourselves in October, it is important that we at Wonderfully Made address the pain and fear that women (and men too) find themselves in when diagnosed with cancer, disease, and illness.

Taking a step back, I want to shift your attention from our world today to go back in time about 2,000 years. Let’s look at one woman who struggled with disease for 12 years before finally finding healing through faith in one Man…

“A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding. She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse. She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. For she thought to herself, ‘if I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.’” (Mark 5: 25-28)

Now I want to take a moment to explain a bit about the culture of Bible times. Women were not considered equal to men, but deferred to them in the patriarchal society that fathers ruled their households, including their wives.

This woman was single, which already puts her in a vulnerable place, and on top of that, for 12 years she sought medical help for a blood hemorrhage. That meant that she spent her entire wealth on doctors to try to get healing, which left her in a worse spot. When this woman met Jesus, she was penniless, sick, and no one was on her side.

She didn’t have medical insurance. She didn’t have a husband to support her. She didn’t have people raising awareness for her. No one started a campaign to helping with the stigma of bleeding for 12 years. She didn’t have specialists she could travel to all over the world, when the doctors she consulted didn’t have an answer.

She was destitute and desperate. And when it came to meeting the most important, popular, and reputable Rabbi of her time, she couldn’t even approach him to tell her story.

She only had one thing, and that was her faith to just touch him. And now, her story is not forgotten.

“Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition. Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, ‘Who touched my robe?’ His disciples said to him, ‘Look at this crowd pressing around you. How can you ask, “Who touched me?” ’ But he kept on looking around to see who had done it. Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. And he said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.’” (Mark 5: 29- 34)

Jesus never changes, and to this day He wants to heal our bodies, minds, and souls. He wants us to know Him as our Savior and Healer. He wants to call us daughters and for us to seek Him when we need help, medical or otherwise.

As you think about Breast Cancer Awareness this month, and the many who have suffered breast cancer, are seeking help now, or might be diagnosed later, know that their stories matter. Their stories are important to the Father who sees and knows suffering to the point of healing a penniless, unnamed woman of the Bible so long ago. He calls these women His daughters, and He is ready and able to grant peace and healing.

So have hope, my friends, like this sick woman from the Bible. Keep the faith to look up and out. To not give up getting help. To just grasp on the fringe of His robes that He will save.

Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well. ~Mathew 9:22~

If you want to learn more about Breast Cancer Awareness Month, or get involved in a deeper way, Komen is a national non-profit, with other great resources, centered on breast cancer.