Week 2: Creativity in Isolation

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Date: 3/27/2020

Closed in a room, my imagination becomes the universe…

Criss Jami in Diotima, Battery, Electric Personality

Students are back in classes. For the most part, Georgia’s weather is beautiful. Sunshine wraps itself around buildings and warms our skin… 

If we dare go outside. 

Right around now, students, staff, and faculty should be catching each other up on what they did for Spring Break, but instead, we have no travel stories to tell. All we can talk about is COVID-19 and its effect on our lives. 

Since my last post, the U.S. has claimed the top spot in known COVID-19 cases. The isolation this virus has brought upon us continues, but in the midst of its effect, I found clarity. This clarity allowed me to finish editing and to post the first episode of The Digital Breakdown

Productivity in Isolation

With no one to talk in person, I thought my reliance upon digital communication for connection would increase, but it hasn’t. What has happened instead is a creative spark. Ideas dance around my head. Visions that I doubted could become a reality now seemed tangible. 

One of these visions pertained to the first episode of The Digital Breakdown, entitled “The Digital Get Down.” I had recordings of three interviews for the podcast, two of which were student interviews captured by Eve and the expert interview captured by me. I could have easily posted the and called it a day, but I knew better than that. 

As I read in So You Want to Start a Podcast, each episode must have a narrative. Just posting the interviews wouldn’t do, especially since each interviewee was asked the same set of questions. Listeners would have to drudge through the same question three times. There was the potential of listeners losing interest because of the repetition. The repetition existed as unnecessary fat and podcasts are a lean narrative format. While envisioning this episode, I asked myself “How do I trim the fat?”

My answer: record one instance of a question being asked followed each interviewee’s answer.

Little did I know how much work that would be.

The Process

To make my vision come true, I opened up Audacity and recorded myself asking the questions. I then split that recording into segments. After this, I went into each interview recording, split the audio into 6 sections dictated by the questions and their related answers, then deleted audio of the questions being asked in the track. At first this process took a while, but as I went on, I got a hang of the process. 

Soon it became apparent that I needed to ground the interviews in an opening statement. Plus, the podcast didn’t have an intro/outro song nor a general introduction and ending.

I quickly scripted everything out and recorded it, once again splitting my audio in segments to be put in the proper arrangement in Anchor.fm, the hosting and distribution platform we are using for the podcast. 

Finally, I was ready for the rest of my department to hear it.

The Reaction

They loved it. My supervisor suggested a few edits, and once I made those in Audacity, I uploaded the final version to Anchor. 

Two more episodes need to be edited and one needs to recorded before the school year ends. I’m fearful of obtaining student interviews in this climate but I remain hopeful. 

And in times like these, hope is vital.

If you would like to check out “The Digital Get Down,” the first episode of the CDVL’s podcast, click here.