As Dick’s best boyhood friend Kent Hancock famously said, “You’ve gone and done it this time.” In this case, I’ve dipped a toe into the cool pool of podcasts.
Watching my student editors on the Express record a podcast each week made me think that I should try my hand at one. So as the students wrapped up the semester, I asked our Express webmaster, Ben Irwin, if he’d help me record a podcast.
Ben, ever the helpful guy, immediately agreed. “What do you want to do for your podcast?” he asked.
“Good question,” I said. As a longtime (i.e., old) media person, I know that content is everything. “Let me think about that.”
It came to me as I was preparing my annual Christmas poem that I give to friends and family and have in recent years been posting here. I could read some of my Christmas poems, past and present, as a podcast, I thought. Try it out. See how the old vocal cords resonate over the air these days.
I remember a young student broadcaster at the Sac State radio station back in the ’70s (before that station became Sacramento’s public radio station, now Capital Public Radio) who told me, the editor-in-chief of The State Hornet newspaper at the time, that I didn’t have a voice for radio. “It’s kinda high and tinny,” he said after we recorded an interview, which, it occurs to me now, was not unlike what my student editors are doing in their weekly podcasts. In those days I occasionally went on the air to talk about what The Hornet was covering.
That comment stayed with me, obviously, longer than it should have. By that time more and more women were appearing on the radio—particularly on National Public Radio—but I was a committed print journalism gal. Still, every time I’ve been on the radio since (thanks, CPR friends and colleagues!), I wonder how I sound.
Well, one thing I learned doing this podcast is that my voice has lowered over the decades, and that I don’t sound too bad. And after years of watching students practice reading aloud, I’ve gotten better at that, too. “Slower,” I used to coach the students on the literary journal before their public readings. “You’re reading too fast.” It’s advice I still give myself before recording (and I should remember every time I lecture, too).
So, without further ado, here’s my first podcast, a collection of my Christmas poems at the end of a decade, on the brink of a new one.