Tuesday, May 15, 2007

She speaks!

If you ever wanted to know more about poetry writing, or hear me as I do one part of my job, you can click here to go to a podcast that was recorded last week.

You will need to click on the word LISTEN next to the picture of the guy with red hair and beard, and the podcast will download into itunes and play. It might also just play without downloading to itunes...all I know is that is how it works on my computer at home.

During the podcast I'm interviewing a guy who was selected to be our college's Poet Laureate for 2007. It was my idea to have a campus Poet Laureate, so I was asked to interview our Poet David Bell for a podcast link on our campus website.

For those of you who wonder what exactly is a podcast, it is basically like a radio show. David and I were in a small recording studio, where our conversation was captured electronically. The electronic "recording" then was made available over the Internet, and can be listened to any time and any place via a computer, unlike the traditional radio show which can only be heard during a specific broadcast time.

The podcast lasts about 18 minutes. The interview was done on the fly, without any notes after I initially explained the Poet Laureate program and congratulated David for winning.
It is a pity that the engineer didn't edit out all the "um" sounds that we used while thinking aloud. The podcast could have been trimmed down a least a minute or two.
The word "nifty" can go too...as the word fell out of my mouth both David and I gave each other looks of chagrin. Nifty. To describe a poem? Oh my gosh...way to go Jill!

I took radio and television course work in college, way back in the 1970. It was interesting to be in a class with a young woman who later went on to a news broadcasting career. Even then, at tapings at seven in the morning in the dead of winter, it was clear that Ms. Cicile Hand had what it took to make it in television, and it was equally clear that I and the rest of us were unlikely to ever have careers in the field. Somethings can be learned, other things you are just born with.

At best I learned to smile on camera, to use inflection rather than monotone, and to speak slowly and clearly. Later in life I wound up having to be on camera for long periods of time as I worked doing practice interview with students preparing to enter their careers and needing to learn how to interview successfully.

It was my job to interview them, and then go over the recordings with the students, explaining how their body language and responses could be improved. It took a while, but I finally got past just watching and listening to myself, critically, and learned to focus on the students who were equally critical of their on camera appearance and voice.

Few people love the sound of their own voice when they hear it played back because what we naturally hear as we speak is different than what we hear from a recording, which is how others hear us. Each time I hear my recorded voice I'm always amazed at how snobby my voice sounds, and wish that I had worked harder at having more energy and range, instead of a flat monotone in places.

A cousin whom I have only met three times in my life has the same "voice" as mine. She is a few years older than me, and I discovered this fact when I pushed "play" on a recorded phone message and was completely confused why I was hearing myself talk and yet didn't recall leaving a voice message for myself. It was Chris, and it is amazing to think that our voices are as much of our genetic make up as our hair color and mannerisms.

I hope the technology of whatever system you are using will work to hear the podcast if you wish to hear it. It does take a moment to load, and it is possible to hear it though itunes, which is a free program that can readily be added to most computer systems.

This has been Librarian Jill, speaking to you from my laptop, in my home, in beautiful Kingwood Texas. Have a good day!


Lovella said...

Jill, it was just wonderful to hear your voice. I had to do an update to make it work but it was worth it.

You quite reminded me of someone I might hear on CBC radio. You have the perfect radio voice. Soothing and articulate and clear.

Thank you for sharing the interview with us all.

Julie said...

Hi Jill, I listened to your podcast.. and I love your voice!!
It is very professional and confident with warm, friendly undertones.
But I was a little surprised...Where is your Texan drawl???? Or is it like a hat that you can put on and take off? :-)