When I first came into learning how to be a reporter, Misty Hawley was the supervisor for Student Media. We talked about her experience as a producer, how she enjoyed her degree, what she planned on doing when she left director of the student media group and went into the library.
Head of communications for the library, Misty was very influential in her beliefs to push students achieve greatness beyond what they may have seen their potential to be.
Remembering Misty Hawley.
Misty Hawley worked with me in developing my skills as a reporter. She wanted unbiased reporting where we gave only facts and allowed the audience to make up their own mind from digesting the news. She would say that the news is not where you have your persuasion. I finally made anchor before she resigned with Student Media and went over to McDermott library to be in communications for the library and events.
She was very involved in telling me how proud of me she was when I made it on NASA TV. She was the first person that congratulated me & she had worked with me through crisis as well on a few occasions throughout my college career. She told me that I was able to play blind chess just like the grandmasters we have.
Of all of the relationships we talked about, Misty was there for me when I ventured out or ended up in danger. She was proud of her paper when she took Tyler Perry down for the roles women played in his shows and we talked frequently about the gender discrimination that occurs in the media where sex sells primarily and it is important to maintain a stance on having a voice.
One of the guys I went out with tried to jump off the balcony at the mansions at turtle creek and he was removed by security. I learned very fast that the rag on his forehead was not like the movie “Son in Law” where he was Pauly Shore going onto the farm wearing gear that we would use on a farm. The guy actually told me he used to be a “Lord King” whatever the hell that meant. I was on disability at the time & lived on whatever grants, loans, and disability checks that came in. Misty listened to me talk about how on one hand I could see myself seeing past this guys troubles wanting to read letters from his dead mother who was writing to him beyond the grave in baby’s blood, you know I mean when he made me laugh and was not in that state of mind. Misty was kind and said that she knew it was hard to leave when they made you laugh. I think in one of the scenarios the guy was humping a kaku machine in real life in one of the labs, so I told Misty that well you know if we ended up doing it in his lab our university police would have to pull us apart in the act and be like WTF is wrong with y’all? One of his lab partners had me return his belongings when they moved labs. He had disappeared for two months and they did not know where he was.
Misty was very strong in her feministic convictions while maintaining her Baptist faith. We talked about what it was like being from a smaller town, myself Round Rock is probably when I was there considered small and her from Gladewater. She would not let me compromise my values of wanting to get my degree for any guy. Misty once asked me to watch her truck because it was parked in the handicapped space in front of the library. She and I talked about her health, I had invited her to fly, she did not want to & I could not believe it has been 3 years since she left UTDTV and the Student Media Director position. I should have already been graduated before her death. I got to see her graduation when she got her masters. We talked a lot about her 12 years as a producer, the media world, me owning citynights-media, I also had wanted to interview some of the girls on campus who had sugar daddies anonomyusly, and I wanted to give a presentation on human traifficking, I had talked to her about inviting survivors who were with me when I was a missing child up to see the campus.
When tragedy struck, I was instructed that Misty Hawley was someone that I could discuss the matter with. I had experienced sexual assault where I was held down and had to be treated medically and she knew how stubborn I was that I would not give anything up or cut back on my hours just because some random stranger thought he was legendary and raped me at his house. We were both drunk and had met at a bar another student had been trying to convince me to visit for about 4 months. The guy caught me taking a photo of his license plate when I got away and so he jumped in my vehicle and told me that I was not going to tell anyone about the matter. He asked me what I was doing when he caught me and I told him that I was going to have looked up his phone number from his license plate to call him later. He told me that I was not going to call him again and I was not going to speak to anyone about it.
During the incident, we talked about wearing protection and he got pissed off because I did not want to have unprotected sex with some guy who dipped tobacco and he started screaming at me and I at him at one point because he said that I must have had something wrong with me because I told him he should at least wear a condom. He told the detective who investigated the case that he did not remember the rape, just that his dick did not work. I was screaming at him no multiple times, he was a pretty heavy guy, he held my arms down mainly, and after that it wrecked part of my experience in school during that time. All of the guys who were close to me had noticed the change. One of them who bantered frequently about marriage told me that since he was conservative, he was worried that if I had been raped that it meant if we ended up having sex that I would accuse him of rape, and Misty made sure that I gave up blaming everything on the incident, on speaking to any man who was undermining my confidence, and she promised to keep an open door no matter where she went and that she would be there and that I could drop by anytime to talk about anything.
I am pretty open about my thoughts and ideals on sexuality. Sexual Assault does not change that about me & I went through counseling and therapies. There was a few times, when she would listen to me talk about a former colleague that I had used as a test subject somewhat and most likely vice versa, I had probably written down about 714 positions that I could have sex with him in my 365 position days from a Nerve book someone gave me when I was studying something, and I would not go into details with her about specifics with the study, but as far as venting about him, or one particular time that I remember most is when she called me and I think I told her not to leave me fundraising with my dick in my hand. I have an anatomically correct object you can teach protected and safe sex with, it was requested of me to reach out to some of the students in that regard who were slow at development for their disability and did not know basics about hygiene care with condoms until I demonstrated because it was their first times being in a dorm apartment away from home and most of them had only been there during their entire college experience, some of them required 24/7 care, they were not allowed to be alone, & Misty laughed when I told her that and quickly changed the subject. I am pretty sure I had 2 guys out of the bunch freak out and tell me they did not want me to use the device on them and I had to reassure them that I had no desires to put that in their buttocks. Due to privacy, I am not going to go into which communication disorder the guys had, guys I was actually dating throughout the years knew about it and had talked to some of them as well as a safety precaution.
I would say that if I was really angry and wanted to go kick in the drug lord’s layer, Misty would be calming me down. He had home invasion on his record. Gave up his kids because of drugs. She would not let me throw away everything I had worked for whether I was being bullied by wigger that I could not figure out what his tattoos meant, or be in any kind of demeaning relationship that affected my work. When I wanted to go back to the residence of the rapist to do something about it while the police were investigating Misty would consult me to let it go. It was a week after my 31st birthday. Her and I were not too far apart in age. We talked a lot about the music industry, how vicious it can actually be in the media world, how to maintain close partnerships and confidence in people as well as keeping their secrets should it be to protect their identity. I had always imagined that if I was to break a really important news event in real life, Misty would always be there for me to call and tell her because she had trained me to write coherently.
When I was attacked by a family member, Misty was there for me. She got to meet my son and spoke to him for about an hour and a half in her office when we had just come in from San Antonio. She was who I went to first when I had a contusion on my head from an assault.
When I interviewed Mae Jemison, or had written story lines for television productions to be able to broadcast one of my characters, she always wanted me to be able to write my storyboard, put everything on paper for review, and we went over techniques, a variety of issues in the production world, & I even spoke with her about taking equipment with me when I went to listen to the New York symphony play live during a screening at Wolf Trap in the park and Buzz Aldrin came and we did a NASA social. When I found out that she died from a stroke, I immediately did not believe the caller who was also a former person I worked with on the student media with UTDTV. I told her, oh yeah well I am going to go get pregnant in someone’s office and name her Misty. Then I called the funeral parlor, I had gotten it from the city of Gladewater. They confirmed that they would be holding a service at 2:00PM Saturday May 7th. So I called the pastor, and Pastor Bailey Lewis is who I spoke with. I told him that Misty had talked to me about how she thought she might die of a stroke from stress & that when someone tells you that you hope that it is not true.
I did not want to walk down and view the body. In fact I probably stopped my car about 6 times before we got to the First Baptist Church of Gladewater, Texas and said I will just drive by, I won’t go in, maybe I should not be here.
Whenever I talked with Misty Hawley about my mother and her about hers, I never thought I would meet her mother.
I told her mother when we had her memorial service at McDermott library that she spoke frequently about how much she loved her mother. I wanted to speak at the event we had in her honor but I felt it was more important to only speak to her mother afterwards and just listen to everyone else. I probably knew Misty for about 4 or 5 years. I talked to her about wanting to become a neurosurgeon. Her family told us that even after her stroke, she said that nothing was wrong with her and she wanted to go to work at UTD. When I had taken the Student Media position, I had told her that I wanted to learn some new skills and also to be able to recruit members to work on media for one of my companies. Her mother looks like a replica of her. The last time I spoke with her she thanked me for updating her on my son. I remember when she played bumper cars with us, when she encouraged me to ask another colleague out for coffee or something just as my mother had, and while I never listened to them and am focusing on balancing grieving with deadlines & where to go next, I did think about leaving my chess books that I wrote a paper that was never accepted for the library in her honor for wanting me to play.
Misty was very proud of me when I applied for the astronaut program. She really encouraged me to live up to my potential and live my dreams and let no one stand in my way. Her presence will be missed & I cannot imagine how her family is getting through this. I did call some of her former students she worked with to talk them through it because some of them were not in Texas and could not attend and felt horrible and could not believed she died so young. There is a scholarship the first of its kind in her name at the University of Texas at Dallas.
Whenever I am able to do my fundraiser that I have planned that benefits education, hers will be one of the benefactors that I contribute to. Crying and being paralyzed from shock temporarily will never be replaced by dollars, but carrying on someone's memory when you are able, is what matters when their teachings live forever within you.