Listening to Stories

While choosing which story/ stories to listen to I realized why it’s important to have a good title. That’s the first thing I see when I’m choosing which stories I want to listen to by which title gets my attention. I decided to open a few of them and see the length and what they were about. However several would not load or the pages had to be killed. Some needed to be bought, but would let you download it, but for some reason it wasn’t working. I also wasn’t sure if we were to listen to one or three, the directions say to do both. So I got ” ‘Why This Compulsion To Run Long Distances?’ A Runner’s Beautiful Confession”  to pull up, but it opened as a transcript. I’m not sure if it being something to read or not ruins the project a little, but I read it, because 1. I was interested and 2. It was pulling up unlike other pages and 3. It had so many pictures so I figured it was suppose to be read. I was interested in this, because I started running this summer. Semi-long distances, about 3 miles, which is very long to me, but short to my running friends who run 12 on a semi-hard day.

While reading I tried to keep in mind what I learned about audio storytelling and how you need to have an antidote and a moment of reflection. The project opens up with a story and somewhat of a short mystery. It makes you ask yourself within the first couple sentence what did this biologist find in these ancient caves. I related to the question of “Why am I doing this? Why do I want to make myself hurt so?” I feel this while running, waking up early to go running, during grueling volleyball practices, and I often ask myself “Why am I doing this?” regarding school, classes, and even this online course.

I like how this audio story encompasses a visual story in the painting on the caves. The man an the ends triumphant stance answers the question in the previous paragraph. He represents “You beat your demons. You overcome yourself; that feels good.” The author of this also includes a comic strip from Matt Inman on why people run. I likes how certain words in this cartoon were bigger or written differently to emphasize certain points.

The end of the comic strip has a very clear message to take away. And the beginning tells a thrilling story that catches your attention. So even in a comment strip the two parts that make up an audio story are present. The author end the talk with the comic strip. I think he might have benefited by adding his own writing and view to the end, but the comic strip does encompass his view and answer what he set off to answer. However this was not something I listened to, it was more of a digital story.


I then listened to an hour podcast, by Ira Glass, entitled “How I Got Into College.” A podcast asking kids at Columbus University “What got you into this school?” Most students have no idea how they got in, the podcast uses the actual interview responses, which switches up the audio. They then talk to an admission officer at Georgia Institute of Technology about how they get emails and phone calls from parents who pretend to be their kids. Ira reads some of the emails from “kids.” They talk about the language that the parents use while interpreting their kids such as “awesome” and “cool,” which are words most kids would not use while talking to someone who holds their fate in their hands. Most of the podcast is the reading of applications and then reviewing what they did wrong. With comments by both the main speaker in the podcast and the admission counselor.

There are several examples of background music in this piece. Which I wrote about as I listened, however for some reason when I came back to finish and publish my post I was missing information. I’m having some pretty bad luck with this. So I’m going to recall what I remember and then try to review some parts of the audio recording. When the Act of the video change there is a upbeat, poppy music. At first I thought the music was to correlate with what they were talking about, but it didn’t really make sense, then the topics changed and I realized it was just started very early. I wonder why they started it so early. In Act 2 he tells a story with a writer, Micheal Lewis, and during the story they jointly tell the story and music plays during certain parts. Elevator like music plays as the author talks about his opinion on getting in trouble and what his punishment was. Some upbeat piano music starts playing as Micheal discusses why he likes the story and the two story tellers speak on the meaning of the story to him. The music seems to point out the moment of reflection. So now Micheal and Amir/Emer (Not sure which one, so I’m going with Amir) begin telling Amir life story. While Amir tells what is happening in his perspective, Micheal gives the setting and adds other details that Amir would not have known at the time. The music during this portion plays at very viable times. Some guitar like, mariachi music plays as Micheal talks about the positive perspective that Amir has on all this misfortune that is happening around him. The musics stops and somewhat polka type music starts playing while Micheal talks about the struggles that the family had at there new home. Some very loud music plays as Amir speaks of reading, which might be pointing out his learning since this should be about getting into college. So I guess the music is illuminating this. Upbeat and fast pace music plays when Amir goes with his teacher to apply to a new school, this section of music makes sense and correlates to what is happening. This music then plays on and off again while Amir speaks of asking to go to this private school. The music does not seem to correlate to any specific timing when playing and not playing.

I’m listening to this and I’m thinking what is the connection between Micheal’s story of plagiarism and Amir’s story of hardships through his life. And then Amir plagiarizes a passage from a book and this is what starts his education.

Personally I don’t think that the music fits the story all that well and I son’t see how it helps the story. I understand putting sad music to SPCA commercials but I didn’t feel like the music choice correlated with the feelings all that well. For example while Amir speaks about a bunny being kicked around and abused there is happy, upbeat music playing. When Amir translates a passage that is beautiful and sad there is no music in the background and I feel like there should be and that that would be a good time to put music in. The music does not correlate with the story/ what is going on. When the moment of reflection happens in Amir’s story there is no music which leads me to the question why is there music during Micheal’s story and not Amir’s. However, at the end when Ira speaks of his Moment of Reflection there is jazz like music. The majority of the music throughout this audio recording is to show transitions and possibly lapses in the story. Such as Amir’s story is not fully told, instead music is played.

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5 thoughts on “Listening to Stories

  1. Great job! I liked how there was upbeat music when deciding on which college he was going to. This relates to how I felt when I decided too. These audio stories definitely go hand in hand to our emotions, and thats how they help us listen. Alos, I’m glad you pointed out you didn’t like that there wasn’t sad music at certain sad parts. I agree with you, I think that is a part which really evokes people’s emotions at length and can get people to be intrigued. #talkingPolack106 ps. I noticed in your about me that you are a marine conservation major here at UMW! That’s so cool! I didn’t know you could do that, I’d love to hear more about that.

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    • Wow! I’m happy someone read my about me haha I didn’t really think people would. I made a special major so you make a major we don’t have here and then pick out all the classes, electives, criteria, etc. and then submit it to a committee who can either accept it, deny it, or ask you to make changes.

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  2. After last week’s controversy, I decided to do an about-face for these reviews, starting with this one. The straightforward method, of reviewing the stories you heard, does suit you, but before everything gets turned in tomorrow, I would recommend reading over your previous entries, and making sure that your sentences were properly constructed. All in all, though, this was a good piece. #talkingpolack106

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    • I’m not really sure what you’re taking about with “last week’s controversy”. I will be sure to look and make sure my sentences are “properly constructed”. I think these #talkingpolack106 comments are suppose to be more focused on content and reviewing that more that sentence structure, but I will be sure to review what I wrote. Thank you

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