Grad school is filled with many projects that have me pulling my hair out one by one, or banging it’s container on the table as I try to slog to the end. Probably the week 1/4 paper exemplifies that to the highest degree I have yet encountered.
Thankfully though, I followed that extremely challenging literature review, where I was to collect 20 articles and design them into something remotely coherent, with a more fun podcast. This was to be on employee identification within organizations. I had to locate three interviewees, one of whom should be a leader of sorts. I tapped my network and was able to speak with a newspaper reporter (thank you Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan,) a director of Community Relations (thank you Linda Convissor,) and a social media manager (thank you Samantha Allen.) I had to then ask questions that get to ways in which people operate in the ever-changing, now always-on culture.
I recorded the interviews with my iPhone using Voice Memos, and actually got pretty clear audio. Then I used Bossjock to convert them to MP3 so that I could import into Audacity, where things could be edited and moved around. After hours of manual reading and clicking this and that, I finally masted the basic art of adding clips after I spoke. Extraction of my first clip took nearly an hour, but once I fully understood the technique I’d gotten clip removal down to mere seconds.
Is it top-knotch professional? Well I’m not silly enough to think that. First, I still feel my voice is too monotonous, and maybe I need to try and drop it a bit so that I sound more authoritative. Also, obviously I didn’t have the real studio set up that I would need to remove the resonance that comes from being in a relatively hollow room.
But did I enjoy it? Indeed I did. I think if nothing else maybe I can be the one who writes the copy that an anchor/reporter reads. I had fun constructing the narrative and deciding what fits and how. I could probably also improve my audio editing skills fairly quickly, an area into which I plan to look more thoroughly upon completion of my degree. Finally, I’m not entirely sure I’ll ever really have a “radio voice,” but do wonder if there are courses that could help me pursue that goal as well.
I’m stating pre-grade, but whatever the outcome this project was the most desired thing I have done during my time in the program. It obviously comes close to my stated aim to do some kind of work for NPR, and I feel I can grow a lot from that experience.
And with that, another course largely ends. Amazing how quickly these things move! I do have a mini-reflection paper to complete next week, but the “sweaty stuff” is now behind me. Do I want to see what’s coming around the corner? Hmmm, I don’t know… More later.
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