Challenge Post #3: When to do the time

So, now it begins. Now is the time where I put my money where my mouth is, and start actually creating a podcast series.

Don’t get me wrong; I love the project that I have planned. I am actually looking forward to sitting down with the people I plan to interview, my friends and peers, and hearing their thoughts on competition here at the University of Michigan and how it affected them. Despite the serious topic, I think it will be an overall fun experience, one where I learn more about the culture here at the University of Michigan and where I place myself in it, as an individual and as part of a collective whole.

I’ve also never created a podcast before, so I am really interested in fiddling around with the medium and playing with its capabilities. I think the end product is going to turn out to be something that I am proud of, and will be a phenomenal way to conclude everything that I have learned as a student in the minor in writing program. It will be rewarding and fruitful, I have no doubt about that.

But the research…

Yeah. Not exactly that thrilled about it (Also been re-binging Breaking Bad, so this felt apt).

The thing is, I decided upon this particular project for two reasons: it is a topic that I am very much interested in but have not done much research on, and it is going to be created through a medium that I have never done before. It was the novelty of these two aspects that drew me to decide upon this project, so it makes sense that I should do some research on the subjects. Yet, I don’t want to be bored of podcasts by the time I have to record them; otherwise, then the project loses the flare that drew me in and the ultimate product will be less than stellar in nature.

But we all have to do the time. At the end of the day, there has to be at least a modicum of academic merit with the piece in order to make it substantive, to make it be more meaningful than my own random thoughts and ramblings. The question is how to go learning about podcasts without having my interest in them wane.

To that end, I am going to take a page out of a project I did in the gateway course (I believe it was the repurposing project?), where I decided upon creating a satirical video for a topic that was dear to my heart. With that project, there was certainly an element of research involved with it as well. But rather than bog myself down in the dry literature of television shows and satire, I decided to watch some examples. The next few days I was roaring with laughter from The Daily Show and Last Week Tonight, and jotted down notes of what I found to be captivating with the shows for the script. I did basic research into how to record a video and eventually filmed the piece at the recording station on North Campus. It was only during the editing process of the video that I started to dive into the technical and dry literature of video production and satire. With this method, the passion was still very much a part of the project, and could be seen with the video I recorded. As for the editing, it was done over the course of a few days, so I could have time to distance myself from the dull parts of research and return to it reinvigorated with the initial passion I had.

So I’ll just do that with this project. I’ll listen to a couple of podcasts while walking to class or cleaning the apartment, and scribble down what I find to be fascinating with them. I’ll use the notes I have to craft questions for the interviews and, before I start the more mundane research, interview and record the people for the podcasts. If I do this early enough, then I’ll have plenty of time to go through the less than lively literature on podcasts and still retain the passion I have while editing the project.

Am I pushing off the necessary work and hardship for future me that should probably be done earlier so I can enjoy the rest of my senior year? Probably. But I’d much rather push off the research and have fun starting the project than do the research now and dread my final project for the minor in writing. It’s all about having fun at the end of the day, so let’s have fun throughout the project’s entirety.

Robert Molnar

Just someone who enjoys Netflix, music, and tennis. I also write a little.

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