Over the course of 8 weeks, groups of 4-5 students worked on creating podcasts for 2 out of 17 different ballot measures that California would be voting on on November 8th, 2016. The two ballot measures that my class focused on were Proposition 57 and Proposition 64. While learning about the two propositions, we developed skills on Audacity, learned how to record using a Yeti mic, and learned how to create a podcast.
Before we finally settled on this pitch, we had several other burning questions. The first burning question we came up was, "What makes a felony violent or non-violent?". It turns out that another group in our Voltron squad already chose that as their burning question so we were forced to choose another one. Another burning question we came up with was, "Are California jails more crowded than they were 20 years ago?". We decided not to do this burning question since we didn't know who we could've interviewed. Since both burning questions we came up with didn't turn out as planned, we were stuck for quite some time until Dr. P suggested that we interview a person that has gone to prison and let them tell their story. So that is what lead us to come up with the burning question we settled with which was, "How does prison affect your life?". In order to come up with our pitch, we had to do some research. The research we conducted were how many people are currently in prison in the U.S., how many kid's parents are in prison, and how prisons in the U.S. are overcrowded. When coming up with our "magic formula", it was pretty easy since our burning question was straight forward.
When we finally found the person we were going to interview, we had to come up with a set of questions that guided us while we interviewed the person. We categorized the questions by different sections and then came up with questions that fit in each section. We first wanted to ask Reginald how he was before he committed his crime. From there, we worked our way into asking him more questions that would let him tell his story. Personally, I didn't contribute as much to the interview map mainly because I was focused on other worksheets that needed to get done.
After every interview that we had done, we had to do this thing which was called Logging Tape. Logging tape is like a transcript except it's not exactly word for word. Instead, you listen to an interview without ever stopping it and take notes. In order to become familiar with logging tape, our teacher made us log tape when we went to Balboa Park and interviewed strangers about our proposition. Since none of my group members knew anyone who has been to prison, our teacher introduced us to a man named Reginald Washington. We found out that he runs a program called Project A.W.A.R.E. It's a program that educates at-risk youths and prepare them to take responsibilities for their thoughts and actions. When we interviewed Reginald, only one group member was able to talk since we interviewed him through a phone call. We recorded the interview by connecting a headphone with a microphone to a small recorder. Even though the rest of the group members couldn't talk, we plugged in a headphone splitter into the small recorder so that the rest of us were able to hear what Reginald was saying. We interviewed Reginald in our teacher's office. Since we recorded in our teacher's office there were many times when students would walk in and out of the classroom, so we'd constantly hear the door opening and closing. Also, the other class was playing music when our interview was taking place, so that was quite unfortunate. Even though I didn't get to talk to Reginald, I really enjoyed learning about his experiences and what he had to say about prison.
SCRIPT OUTLINE & SCRIPT
Before we created our script, we made a script outline to help us see what points we wanted to get across. With our script outline, it helped us add more narration to our podcast so the entire podcast wasn't just Reginald talking about his experience. Our script had many drafts. For the first draft, I contributed a lot and just added small parts of narration. But as we put our podcast together and listened to it, we realized that more narration was needed. So, we had to make several drafts. Draft after draft, we kept on adding more narration so that our podcast didn't sound boring. As we kept on revising our script, I contributed and tried to see what narration would fit well.
"Prop 57: Reginald's Story"
We recorded our narration in several places. For some parts, we recorded in our teacher's office, and for other parts, we recorded in an empty room so that our narration would be clear and not have any background noise. At first, we recorded the main parts of our narration in our teacher's office. But after listening to it, we realized that it wasn't as clear as we wanted it to be. So, in order to fix that, we went into an empty classroom to re-record all of our narration. When putting our entire podcast together, I was in charge of that. I edited the podcast and we ended up having several drafts. After we recorded our narration, I would listen to the narration and see where I needed to place it. When I had finished the first draft of our podcast, we had a critique session with editors from Gimlet Media. They told us what things we should keep in mind when editing and taught us some new things that we didn't know. The most frustrating part when editing our podcast was listening to our interview with Reginald and seeing what parts we needed to include. That was frustrating for me because sometimes I would listen to it over and over, and because I had a hard time trying to cut out certain parts that were important. Although I was frustrated with editing most of the time, recording narration was very fun for me. It was fun for me because whenever my group and I would record narration, we would mess around and record us singing or just laughing. That is what I would like to call my "golden moment" from this entire project.
I vividly remember walking into Onstage Playhouse and seeing all of the seats taken. There were students sitting on the couches that were on the stage and they were in the middle of a Q&A session with the audience. When it was my turn to go up to the stage and sit on the couches, it was very nerve-wracking. I've never liked being in the spotlight and just seeing a lot of people looking at me, made me nervous. If it's one thing that I've learned from this project, it's that communication is key. My group struggled for most of the project and this was because we didn't communicate with one another. It got to the point where we had to meet with our teacher to discuss why our group wasn't being successful. After that little discussion, we started to communicate with each other more and ended up striving as a group.
3 Handouts I'm proud of
I'm proud of this worksheet because it shows my understanding of the different propositions. From this worksheet, it was able to deepen my understanding of the propositions and be able to explain them in my own words.
I'm proud of this worksheet because it shows how invested I was in a podcast. From listening to this podcast, I was able to learn what to and what not to include when creating our podcast.
I'm proud of this worksheet because it really made me think about who will be affected and how they'll be affected just for a certain proposition. From this worksheet, I was able to think deep about how people are being affected by all the different propositions.