Podcast & Operation Brightside

As the semester starts to wind down, there are still two major projects hanging precariously over our heads in History 612.  The most pressing is the creation of a podcast using the Main Street Association oral history interviews–most of which were conducted 6 or 8 years ago by Susan Foley.  I can’t say I necessarily knew what a podcast was going into the class, even though I had heard several of them.  As I’m thinking about tackling the project, I just keep trying to imagine myself to be Ira Glass.  I can see it.  I think it’ll work. 

For this project we (we being the graduate students in the class) have each been paired with an undergraduate student.  I think I got pretty lucky, in that my partner is a thoughtful and dedicated student of history, though she is also extremely busy as of now.  The biggest challenge will be our communication and the delegation of the work.  The theme of our project is the impact of the Jewish community on the development of the Main Street business district.  It’s really her pet project, and one that is relatively foreign to me, so I imagine I may have to take a backseat in the research department and handle more of the script and assemblage of the pieces.  I’m interested in the form, though, and may consider putting together another podcast of my own in the near future.

In fact, I’ve arranged my first oral history interview (this for my internship project), and I’m a bit nervous about it, but excited about what information it may bring. 

Lastly, I volunteered with my neighborhood association and Operation: Brightside on Saturday to clean up Limerick.  It was a friendly, easygoing group of people, and I’m glad to have met them.  I spent most of the morning clearing brush from an overgrown lot in an alley.  Two abandoned garages were behind the overgrowth and the area had become an ideal spot for litterbugs and illegal dumping.  After clearing it away and pitching the garbage (including some clothes, broken dishes, roof shingles, and a whole lot of beer cans), I felt accomplished in that the properties are now more accessible and noticeable.  It’s amazing what a few hours, a bow saw, and a machete can accomplish.  Thanks, Limerick.


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