I had been working the whole Monday night. Barely got two hours of sleep. Had to take my final exam for the radio class, JMC 315. As my eyes opened, my watch showed 7: 40 a.m which meant I was almost ten minutes late for the class. But I knew it was still not “too late” as it would take me three to five minutes to walk to the Cronkite School. I rushed without remembering to take my glasses. I have kind of grown used to of my glasses now. Without the glasses, I feel uncomfortable in seeing things from a long distance.
The exam went well. I enjoyed my radio class like anything. The instructor was NPR’s Mark Brodie. I enjoyed every bit of this class, feeling that I was continuously improving by the virtue of Mark’s useful guidance. The best thing about this class was how it helped me improve my editing skills. While starting the class, I was sort of a soft editor who believed a lot of information in a text was all equally important. After taking the class with Mark, I learned how to aggressively edit stories by discarding the unimportant information and retaining the jest of ideas.
One of the other things which I gradually improved was the pace of delivery of stories.
Commenting on my last assignment, Mark said the technical and delivery parts of my assignment were “better than your past… you’ve done a better job.”
The class ended with the blink of an eye. I wish it had lasted longer so that I could learn more. By and large, it was a fabulous experience learning radio skills.
Throughout the semester, every student was required to do six reports. Let me recall briefly the stories that I did for my class.
First, a report on the release of a movie called The Tillman Story which was about American football hero Pat Tillman who had been killed in Afghanistan in friendly firing.
Second, Arizona’s largest festival for gays and lesbians which was called Rainbow Festival.
Third, new US aide package for Pakistan.
Fourth, international journalists’ coverage of US mid-term elections.
Fifth, Scottsdale Fashion Week.
Sixth, increase of water fees in Chandler because of excessive consumption by chip manufacturing companies.
One thing which I loved about this class was how the teacher developed an atmosphere of professional critique of class fellows’ works. Mark said on the very first day that our individual works would be shared with the rest of the class for comments and suggestions.
“Don’t take it personal,” he said, ” its all professional.”
At the beginning, it was very very hard to pass comments on each others’ stories as we feared offending our fellows but soon the class developed a wonderful atmosphere of positively criticizing work done by the others. Hence, every work would be dissected, discussed and analyzed in the class discussions. The critique session was in fact one of the best features of this class where everyone’s work would get significant attention. I learned a lot from the comments my friends made about my work. Of course, there is always room for improvement.What I didn’t realize was how our own fellow students or co-workers can be helpful if we share our work with them.
Furthermore, Mark re-introduced the habit of reading aloud in the class. I had given up reading my work loudly but he said we could catch our mistakes in a much better way if we read out things aloud. When I tried that, it truly worked a great deal.
Lastly, I must confess didn’t fully master the in-cues and out-cues in ENPS. So if my blog outcue is wrong, bear with me. But that is how I, like everyone else, used to end our radio stories.
Malik Siraj The Balze 13:30 a.m