Wrap-Up Roundtable

We did it! All of our stories are finally up, and the inaugural semester of Making Waves Youth Radio Initiative is complete. To celebrate, we sat down with our reporters to discuss their experience with the program, their semester, and their hopes and fears for the future. 

In listening back to their discussion, there were two distinct themes that caught my attention: the students' thoughts on feminism, and their thoughts on success in college. You can listen to their discussions on those topics here. 

I was most intrigued by their discussion about success in college. Every student expressed doubt about her ability to succeed. They all talked about "impostor syndrome," or the idea that they had just fooled everyone into thinking they were competent. This conversation resonated with me because I see the college students I advise use almost the exact same language when they talk about their self-doubt. And I personally use almost the exact same language when I talk about my own self-doubt. It was powerful for me to see how three generations of women (the high school students I work with, the college undergraduate students I work with, and myself and my peers) express almost identical feelings of self-doubt. And I think this is a phenomenon that is specific to women, which is one of the reasons we created Making Waves as an empowering space for women. 

The mission of Making Waves is to create and share stories that have an impact on both the producer and the listener. In sharing their feelings of self-doubt, the Making Waves reporters allowed other women, including myself, to know that they're not alone. 

Thinking Out Loud

Today our students were interviewed on the KBIA-FM show Thinking Out Loud. We had a lot of fun hanging out at KBIA, and once again I was blown away by our students who so eloquently expressed their thoughts. You can listen to their Thinking Out Loud segment here. It's edited pretty heavily, so we recommend you take a look at the full transcript, posted here.  Here are some of our favorite quote nuggets: 

Delaney: I think stories are one of the most compelling forms of media that there is because it really allows you to be empathetic and understand people in a way that other forms of media can't. And that's something I've learned with this project.  just love the way that stories and sharing honestly and vulnerably can really connect people and form a community. Whether it's on the radio where other people can hear or just in your day to day life talking to your friends and your family, I think that we need, as a whole, to be more open and to tell each other more things that are hard for us to talk about. And I think storytelling is a great way to do that.  

Sarah: I decided to talk about my struggle with anorexia, and the reason I decided to talk about that was twofold. One, talking about what I've been through, and what I'm still kind of going through, helps me to deal with it and to process it. Because I think one of the hardest things for me especially going through anorexia is really misunderstood. And so talking about it can help other people understand it, and so then I don't feel as alienated from everyone else. And then, on top of that, I really wanted to share the experience with other people. There are so many people that are going through anorexia or eating disorders worldwide, and it's such an alienating disease. And the problem is that so many people that go through it feel shamed into not talking about it. So even if me telling my story doesn't make them want to talk about it, that's OK, but if it makes them feel like, “Oh, hey, she doesn’t feel ashamed of talking about it, I shouldn’t feel ashamed of talking about mine, there’s nothing to be ashamed of,” then it will have accomplished its goals.

Clarissa: This isn't necessarily related to my story, but as we were working on our stories we would meet every week. And despite the fact that I was already close friends with many of the people there, I felt like I became closer to them and more connected to them because typically, I'm a very chatty person, but I talk about superficial things and I'm kind of reserved emotionally. And so it was nice to have a space where you could just like honestly talk about stories that were meaningful to you. 

Week 11: Production

My excitement about production quickly turned to... well, maybe not quite frustration, but definitely the step right before frustration. 

I'm still a beginner with audio production, and I only sort of know how to use Adobe Audition. Michaela is way more well-versed in Audition than I am, but she is already working down in the Southwest sans internet, so I'm on my own. It took me about a week to finish producing the first four stories. They're not perfect - far from it. But I am happy with the way they turned out. 

When Michaela and I started the semester, we had no idea how it was going to end. We didn't know if the students would buy into our sermons about social justice and vulnerability. We didn't know if they would buy into the coolness of radio. We didn't know if they would buy into us.

Throughout the course of the semester, these five incredible students have gone above and beyond in terms of creating a safe and trusting space to engage in difficult and open dialogues about the things that matter to them. And the incredible thing is that they trust in this model of openness and vulnerability so fully that they're willing to put their trust in an entire community by sharing their stories on the air. They continuously impressed us, and we couldn't have asked for a better group of students to share this first semester with. 

I am amazed, as I have been all semester, at how well every piece of this program has fallen into place. We learned a LOT this semester, and are excited to grow and expand in the future. Our main goals are to diversify our student group, write one more successful grant, and update our curriculum (mainly to include strict first/second/third draft deadlines that we actually stick to). 



Week 10: Voicing!

We made it! Sort of. We made it to Voicing Day, which was honestly not a day I was 100 percent sure we were going to make it to. I met Michele, Clarissa, Sarah and Delaney in the journalism library and we made last-minute edits to their scripts. Jett was out of town, so she wasn't able to voice today. 

There are a few interviews that the reporters had hoped to get that just didn't happen, but overall I'm excited about their stories. When we went upstairs to KBIA it was really busy, so we had to wait for almost an hour to get a chance to voice. During that time, the reporters recorded a roundtable discussion about their experiences with Making Waves and the other storytelling and vulnerability work they've done with Kathryn Weaver this year. I'll get that audio up soon - the reporters had some incredible things to say. 

Now that they've voiced their scripts, we're on to production!