A Childhood Full of Radio – Lili

This first week of school has been a whirlwind. I realize a few more things about this school that I never saw before. First, even your favorite foods can seem unappetizing when you have chocolate waiting upstairs. Second, I am horribly afraid of sending emails. Third, you get strange looks when recording the sound of construction equipment. And last, I hate the sound of my own voice.

That’s one of the strange things you notice when you have to record yourself. Most people know this feeling. Their voices seem foreign or at least slightly odd. My family has had the same answering machine since we moved into our current house eleven years ago and has kept every message I’ve left on it. Whenever we have a new message my mother has to go through the archives of my voice, starting at five and going until thirteen when I got too impatient to leave messages. She thinks they’re adorable, I just think I sound extremely annoying.

After the initial email was sent out, I received a lot of support from teachers and students. Honestly, that was one of the most nerve-wracking thing I’ve done since applying for an independent seminar. Most people don’t know how much anxiety I suffer from. A passing stranger would see me as boisterous and social, but that is far from true. I spent two hours writing the email, trying to make it sound perfect, and reading it now I can’t believe I sent it out. I can’t believe I’m actually going to have to create a podcast and I’m so afraid to have anyone hear it.

via Google Images

via Google Images

What has kept me going is this quote from Ira Glass, the creator of This American Life, and NPR show out of Chicago. TAL has been my favorite podcast since 2009 when I learned what a podcast was. After that I started downloading my other favorites, Planet Money, Marketplace and, Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me. Soon after coming to Westtown I found Commonplace Books’ Welcome to Night Vale with the help of some friends. When I can’t sleep I listen to my favorite episodes and make sure everything is properly downloaded every morning when I wake up. Some may call me obsessed, I just call it finding something you love. While most children grow up on Disney cartoons, lunchables, and playdates, I was raised on NPR, Melissa Ethridge, and quinoa. To put my childhood in perspective, I was named after a women’s music festival. At seven I wondered why anyone would want a TV in their car. We had Car Talk on the way to soccer and Fresh Air on the way to Karate. Why would anyone ever want anything else?

So that’s why I want to do this. I know what I want to do with my life, or at least I think so. I know that in the future there will be another 10-year-old kid telling their mother to switch back the radio station to NPR and filling up their computer with hundreds of episodes by the time they leave middle school. I want to create something they love like the people I listen to today. I want to teach the world something the only way I know how.

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