With Amanda gone yesterday, the show’s theme switched from Women/Feminism to a non-denominational free-flow show titled: “Juliana and John rock!” Of course it quickly became, “Juliana, John, Nory, Jade and ( if I may say so) Kristine rock!”
April being poetry month, several poems were read, including an all time classic “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll, read with whimsical passion by John. Other poems included two youth pieces: “Almost Perfect” by 16 year old Gavin Admire, a student at Silver Creek Alternative School in Haily, ID; and “I Wish” by Pablo Alfaro, a 10th grader at Manual Arts High School in L.A. Both of these pieces exhibited a sense of individuality, thoughtfulness, and strength that some students at this age struggle to grasp because they’re consumed, or overcome, by the pressures of trying to fit in. To be honest, it’s a pressure that never completely disappears; but the fact that they’re aware of the pressures—and they don’t allow the pressures to control their life, and deplete it of uniqueness and joy—is admirable and worthy of respect.
These poems tied in appropriately with other pieces shared on the show, which dealt with issues of finding, retaining and asserting individuality with in a greater context of community, whether it is family or school.
The first piece was, “The All-American Cambodian”, by Chandra Touch. “Chandra, a Portland teen, talks to her mom, a Cambodian immigrant, about why she does not support some of Chandra’s extracurricular activities, such as cheerleading. Chandra understands the cultural differences between American High School and the environment her mother grew up in, but she also wants to make a life of her own”. Chandra, an ambitious student involved in a plethora of clubs, Honors classes, sports, etc, is destined to be the first in her family to graduate High School, and inevitably College. Even so, her proud mother doesn’t want Chandra to forget about quality time spent with family, and honoring their family values. Striking a balance is always difficult, as Chandra is learning.
For the In-Studio Discussion, Nory read an article from Time Kids about Standardized Testing. The article pointed out how American kids are more stressed-out than ever over testing. Test scores have been shifting away from revealing student strengths and weaknesses (so as to alter lesson plans in order to address student needs), to a means of assessing schools’ success or failure. The general consensus from us at Radio Uprising was that bubble tests (like the SAT) only measure one kind of intelligence, and overlook other important qualities that would be better tested through essay writing, art projects and science labs.
Another recorded piece was “Finding Laughter in Iraq”, from War News Radio (Hansi Wang). “In the years since the American invasion, Iraqis have struggled through sectarian violence, lack of electricity, and widespreas unemployment. But somehow, they’ve found things to laugh about. War News Radio’s Hansi Lo Wang explores a lighter side of Iraqi life, taking a look at what makes Iraq smile”.
After the recordings, Nory made an announcement about Day of Silence, which will be this Friday, April 16. "On the National Day of Silence hundreds of thousands of students nationwide take a vow of silence to bring attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in their schools" (www.dayofsilence.org). Along with the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), Nory has also been involved with the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN). Along with another girl, she will be receiving a leadership award for her involvement! Congratulations Nory! For more information visit www.glsen.org.
On another lighter note, John and I presented two fun facts. John informed us that woodpeckers eat insects from living and dead trees, along with fruit, nuts, and sap. Thus, their ecological role consists of protecting trees from mass infestation! My fact, although unrelated, was also fun. Topeka means “to dig potatoes” in Kansa and Ioway (Native American languages). And Topeka became a place name in 1826, and was chosen because it, “was novel, of Indian origin, and euphonious of sound”. Also, Topeka, Kansas became a city in 1857, founded by Eastern anti-slavery men.
For this week’s Book Recommendation, John shared Warriors by Erin Hunter with us. Warriors is a series about cats who can talk, build forts, fight and seem to be an overall adventurous bunch. Each cat has a first and last name; and the last name changes to signify their stage in life, and their position as a warrior (ex. Claw) or a leader (ex. Star). Another series by Hunter is Seeke, a series about bears.
PSA’s this week included:
1) 1) Young People’s Poetry Week: Open Mic. Celebrate Poetry Month and Young People’s Poetry Week at the Adriance Memorial Library Teen Room! Bring a favorite poem to share—written by you or a favorite poet. A short program of videos (made by youth video makers!) will also be screened. ALL are WELCOME to this FREE event! We ask that poems be appropriate for all ages. LOCATION: Adriance Memorial Library, Teen room, Market St., Poughkeepsie. DATE: April 15, 6-8pm. Co-sponsored by the Poughkeepsie Public Library District and Children’s Media Project.
2) 2) Autism Awareness and Education Day at Vassar Brothers Medical Center. Date: Saturday, April 10. Time: 9:30am-3pm. April is Autism Awareness month and Vassar Brothers Chronically Ill Children’s Support Group will be hosting this event. Families can learn more about programs, services, and skills they can utilize. Lunch will be provided, along with activities for kids. For more information or to RSVP, call Katie Rapp at 845-454-8500 ext. 72384
And we can’t forget the MUSIC!
Prince, “Purple Rain”
Talking Heads, “This Must Be the Place”
Wilco, “Please Be Patient With Me”
Davide Byrne and Brian Eno, “One Fine Day
This is Kristine Olson, a Vassar freshman interning for CMP this semester; and I'm excited to be of service to Radio Uprising productions and to the upkeep of this blog.
Since today, April 1, was April Fools Day, the theme followed suit. To honor this day of jokesters, pranksters and unsuspecting, often gullible, victims Radio Uprising (Amanda, Juliana, Jade, and myself) hosted Vassar students and comedians, Madeline '10 and Elana '12. These funny ladies are members of the Vassar College comedy troupe called Happily Ever Laughter, or HEL.
As music was being played, and poetry was being read, the ladies joked that they had come unprepared, and that it might actually be a very serious show: "there might be tears," joked Elana. Tears of joy, maybe. From Betty Backpack, a Centaur coming to dinner, making boring topics funny by using a Minnesotan accent, to the overall absurdity of HEL's humor, Elana and Madeline kept us laughing.
Dispersed throughout jokes and witticisms, tidbits of comedic wisdom and advice were imparted on all who listened. Both ladies noted that they were class clowns in school; and as young students, they had a lot of fun ideas; but it wasn't until college that they realized they could write these ideas down and make something out of them, that they could make groups of people laugh simultaneously! Even if the sketches they write aren't performed, they still find value in recording their ideas--if only to look back on them and laugh by themselves, or amongst friends.
But what happens if the audience doesn't find these things funny? What if they don't laugh?, we ask. "We still have fun, and that's what counts," say Madeline and Elana. Different people find different things funny. Sometimes you're funny, and sometimes you're not. Happily Ever Laughter, however, (verified by Amanda who's seen a show) is generally very funny.