I’ve recently found myself drawn to listening to podcasts, so I was excited for this assignment of listening to different segments on This I Believe and DALN. I like podcasts because I like to multitask while doing mundane activities like laundry, walking to class, or (when I’m not stuck in a dorm) cooking. Naturally, it is usually considerably more convenient to listen to a podcast for entertainment in these situations as opposed to, say, reading a book. Especially when doing something like walking around in public (I speak from experience).
I like the personality available in audio formats. I like that I can hear excitement and sadness and even the insignificant background noises. When I hear someone telling their own story or sharing their own opinion it stands out from all of the things I read in my own voice and allows me to get out of my own head for a while – or at least away from my voice. It’s like listening to a friend share a story with me. It’s personal.
I read the transcripts for the audio clips that had them available, but a few didn’t so I got to just listen. When I listened to the audio without reading the transcript beforehand, I found it a little harder to pay attention and follow the entire story in just one listen. This probably has something to do with the fact that I am very much a visual learner.
I don’t, however, think it’s particularly a negative aspect of audio to have the ability to let your mind wander. You’ll miss some parts of the story here and there, of course, but you can still grasp the meaning of the piece as a whole. I think it is a good thing to be able to go off on your own personal tangents of thought spurred from someone else’s train of thought. It’s important to let our creative brains work whenever they feel inspired.
About the different programs specifically, I have to say I preferred This I Believe. I liked the DALN stories I listened to, I even liked that they were a little rambley. One I chose on my own, Annie Mendenhall, was longer than the rest and didn’t have a specific point. Josh Kuntzman's story was shorter and had a more focused topic. I liked the insight I got onto their lives, creative processes, and literary backgrounds, but for the sake of my project (and attention span) I prefer This I Believe.
I love that This I Believe exists. I really like that it takes something as simple as Betsy Buchalter’s advice of Walking the Dog during stressful times and I can relate it to myself on some small level and to life in general in a bigger way. I also listened to Andrew Flewelling’s more serious Silence. This I Believe gives you a little glimpse into someone’s life and some aspect of their personal philosophy. Maybe it plays to my journalistic tendencies, but I like to hear people’s stories.
So, I think I can conclude from this that I’ll be doing This I Believe for my audio project, although I’ll have to spend some time thinking about what I want to talk about.