Thursday, December 22, 2016

A look back through the Window of the past year!

It's hard to believe that another year has come and is almost gone.  What has never left, though, is the love I have of interviewing, meeting new people, hearing their stories and bringing them to you... It truly never gets old or boring!  If my Grandpa Applegate could see me now... he would be beaming with pride!  He was my mom's dad.  He was always such a stable, caring man in my life! I was proud to call him one of my grandparents!  He was the one I was sitting with in my living room the day I decided I was going to be in news. When I looked back at him and said: "Grandpa, I want to be a news anchor", I knew that I would have his support.  He's been gone for 22 years and still to this very day, I wish I could call him or sit with him and celebrate the achievement of the goal of doing what I love!  He was my loudest cheerleader and my most sought after support...just like my mom is....her daddy taught her well!  How I was raised and how my family treated me and others around them, really shaped not only myself as a person, but also the kind of anchor I have become.  I was always included in family activities, never excluded, but loved, and very much embraced.  In all the interviews I do, that is the mindset I come in with, striving to make the person feel at ease.  An interview style that allows the the person's voice and story to shine through, showing them dignity and empathy, as the story takes shape and starts to unfold.  Reflecting over this past year, my emotions and heart are always touched to see the resilience of the human spirit and the determination of those whom I have the pleasure of meeting.  I want you to know that all the interviews I've done this year and for the past 7 years, have all had a great impact on me.

Another major milestone of the Arc of Indiana, was the opening of the Erskine Green Training Institute and Teaching Hotel in Muncie.  It's been the first year for the training program to teach students a variety of skills in the hospitality industry.  It's been amazing to see what this institute has done for all those who have taken the leap to climb out of their comfort zone and realize what they are truly capable of.  It's been incredible to see!

THANK you so much to all of you who have listened to the podcast over these last seven years.  I'm truly grateful for all of you!  Thank you for allowing me to bring you the important issues and inspiring stories that the podcast covers.  Thank you for taking the time to meet me and telling me why you listen to the podcast and how it has brought a smile to your face!!

Thank you to ALL of the Arc staff and especially my team... my producer Sally Morris and my sound engineer Bryce Dickerson.  Thank you for making my work so rewarding...we are truly a team!  I can't imagine this podcast without you!  You bring stability to me when I'm nervous and a pat on the back when I'm unsure of myself (which happens more often than not..right? haha!!) The best medicine we throw in though, is laughter!!  Thank you as always...The Arc is VERY special to me!!

To my Mom: You had the hardest job: raising me!  Your love, confidence and hilarious humor has always gotten us though!  I will always be forever grateful for your support!

Here's to more podcasts and much more in 2017!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Behind the Mic at the Movies: Finding Dory

"Hi, I'm Dory and I suffer from short term memory loss!" Oh, Dory, sweet, lovable Dory...yes you do!  Despite her disability, she has an excitement and zest for life that is undeniable!  The Disney crew has done it again with this vividly colorful aquarium world that draws you into the adventure to come.  One day, while she was being a helper to Mr. Ray, (who is always in the mood to break into song and happens to be Nemo's teacher), someone asks Dory if she has a family.  She looks puzzled, and with a hault to her voice, answered that she didn't know, but then saying that she must have a family because she had to come from somewhere! That triggers her memory and you are taken back into a dreamlike sequence where her mom and dad tell her she can do anything because she's smart and she will remember things.  They lovingly told her that they would help her by leaving a trail of shells for her to get home.  So, the adventure begins to find her family!  As with any endeavor, there are those who try to dissuade her by planting seeds of doubt.  Enter, Hank the Octopus. Hank is just trying to get to Cleveland to make his home there and get out of the Marine Life Institute.  He has bad memories of the ocean so he doesn't want to go back there. All Hank needs is Dory's ID tag and he'll help her find her parents.  He has a grumpy disposition, but he ends up helping Dory get one step closer to her parents.  Marlin, whom she helped find Nemo in "Finding Nemo", starts out being very supportive, but at one point, with his irritation at a breaking point as he's dealing with her short term memory, says: Go over there and just's what you're good at!  Would Dory just throw up her fins and say, "I'm done!" Nope!! Her motto is always, "just keeping swimming!"  Because she never wavered from her positivity, all those who were roped into her journey, came around and actually wanted to help her accomplish her goal.  There are several more dream sequences that show mom and dad instilling in Dory confidence to do whatever she wanted.  The things that her parents patiently and lovingly reminded her of throughout her life sustained her!  This is a must see for anyone who feels like they can't accomplish what they want because their obstacles are just too tall to overcome!  NONSENSE, I say!  Remembering to focus and be grateful for those who choose to go with you on a journey will give you the motivation to NEVER give up...No matter what obstacles come your way!!  I could go on and on in this review, but I promise, I won't.  I do HIGHLY recommend this movie though!  You'll meet many more characters that through helping Dory, help themselves.  The one huge lesson I went away with is: JUST KEEP SWIMMING!! I intend to keep at it with all my goals and endeavors and I really hope you do too!!

Michelle Fischer is host of A View from My Window, a podcast produced by The Arc of Indiana

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Cleared for take off! - Nathan's Story

Nathan Mackey was a wonderful interview and a great guy all around!  I met him virtually when he sent me a message on my podcast Facebook page and told me he was a pilot, a newlywed and oh, he just happens to have cerebral palsy.  There was a point in his life where he found it difficult to find his voice.  As he started to become more confident in himself, though, he saw that he could take charge of how he felt about his condition and what effect or how much control he let it have.  Once he made the decision to be in charge of the things he wanted in life, doors started to open!  He was able to achieve the goal of getting his pilots' license!  I found out in the interview that he failed the test once, but he got back up, tried again, and passed the test!  Another special goal he achieved was marrying his wife, Karen... Aren't they just the cutest couple?? 

Nathan's story is proof that not giving up is a choice that each of of have.  He knew that if he gave in to the challenges he faced with cerebral palsy, he wouldn't be happy.  His happiness came from not giving up!  Life is a bumpy ride, but it's all in how you look at it, that sets you up to be cleared for take off!

Listen into Nathan's interview here:

Michelle Fischer is host of A View from My Window a podcast produced, by The Arc of Indiana