IIF Grant and Future Plans

We're excited to announce Making Waves has received the University of Missouri Information Technology Interdisciplinary Innovations Fund grant. This $25,000 grant will allow us to greatly expand the program. We get to keep doing what we love! During the 2016-2017 school year, Making Waves will transition from working with high school students to primarily working with first year Mizzou students. We'll keep working with KBIA, and we also plan to formalize our partnership with Missouri Audio Project. We also hoping to collaborate with the University of Missouri Honors College, but I won't say any more about that because I don't want to jinx it. Anyway, we're ecstatic to see the program continue, and we can't wait to buy a whole bunch of audio kits. 

Session 11: Final Story Prep

We voice next week! Today we spent the entire session workshopping our stories. We're really impressed with how well the reporters have mastered formatting. We're still struggling with fitting all our big ideas into a four minute story, so we talked about "shooting the puppy." The reporters are a little (a lot?) bogged down by transcribing right now, but they're doing a great job. We also figured out how to access "hidden files" on our SD card, which solved a lot of our major crises. Who knew hidden files were a thing?

Everything looks like it will be in good shape by next week! We're planning to interview the reporters after they voice, and then produce a segment for Thinking Out Loud like we did last semester. Only this time, we'll have a lot more control over the final project, which we're pumped about. We're also planning to record some of their voices to design a Making Waves show intro, which I am SO EXCITED to do, even though it sounds like a really small thing. Cheers to another great semester!

We sent them off on break with the This American Life Holiday Spectacular episode and my favorite Christmas tradition, Santaland Diaries, which was my first ever introduction to radio storytelling and will forever hold a special place in my heart. 

Session 10: Final Edits

Today we reflected on last week and continued our discussion about race relations at RBHS and the University of Missouri. We read the Huffington Post article Does Systemic Oppression Really Exist? by 2014 RBHS alum Humera Lodhi. It was so cool to read her article, not only because she's a badass, and not only because she's a RBHS alum, but because she's only a year older than our reporters, and most of them knew her. 

Then we got down to editing. Our stories are taking shape! This week we focused on script formatting, did peer edits, and reported out on our progress one final time. 

For homework, we're listening to this episode of Reply All. It's called Yik Yak returns, it came out this week, and it is an unbelievably perfect follow up to our discussions on race relations. And they talk about Mizzou throughout the entire episode. 

Session 9: Race Relations at MU (and some tech stuff)

This week was a historic week at the University. Large-scale anti-racism protests, and the subsequent resignations of our chancellor and president, launched Mizzou into the national news. Reports of extreme violence perpetrated by white students had tensions high on campus. People were scared. On Wednesday, campus was a ghost town. On Thursday, the Making Waves reporters asked me if it was safe for them to come to campus. Let me tell you: I have never been more heartbroken by a group text. 

We spent our Friday night meeting discussing the situation on campus, and the status of race relations at Rock Bridge. Our conversation was incredible. We have spent the semester talking about the social implications of identity, about validating experiences, about truth-telling as a radical act of courage and about listening as a radical act of empathy, and this discussion put it all into practice. We talked a lot about white allyship. I left feeling like, with young people like them, we were all going to be OK. 

We ended the lesson going over a few technical details, which I'm going to list here for posterity: 

  • Get that microphone up close and personal - about 6 inches away from the side of their mouth.
  • You want your decibels (dB) to be between -12 and -6. Your interviews from last week were a little too quiet. 
  • Remember to be gathering nat sound (pool splashing, students in the hallway) and room sound (record 1 minute of "silence" in the room that you're doing your interview in. This lets you pick up sounds like air conditioners, etc. that will help make sound transitions easier during production). 
  • Upload your .wav files (if you can) and transcribe your interviews on the google drive. 

For homework, we're listening to the Radio Rookies series on teen dating violence. It's pretty heavy but beautifully done. Right now we're listening to Why Do I Stay (20 min).