I recorded a podcast yesterday with some adult learners. This is the second time I’ve been on a podcast, and I have to admit, I find it both excellent and weird. We recorded in what I think of as the “bootleg” way — recording a zoom call, no special microphones or anything. I liked doing the recording on zoom because then we could all see each other, which I think was really helpful for making everyone feel comfortable yesterday. It also helped that the man whose podcast we were recording has been doing this for more than a year and is at ease and adept at the technical and logistic things.
I’m on the board of an organization that focuses on women’s literacy education. We produce a journal of student writing every year, and our 2022 issue will come out this week. The podcast is about the journal, and we invited three adult learners who are in this year’s journal to read and talk about their work. One of those women is far along in her journey and is now on the advisory committee of the organization. We also invited another board member, our organization’s secretary, to be in the podcast because she joined the board when she was in an adult education program, and a piece she wrote several years ago has been used every year since as the introduction of the journal.
I don’t ever need reminders of why I do the work I do. Even on my worst, most exhausted, most frustrating days, I love my work. I am always clear about why I’m in this field, why it’s important to me.
Reminders aren’t necessary, but they’re lovely all the same. I don’t get to spend time with students in my day-to-day (something I want to figure out ways to change as we start to come back to in-person programming), and that’s definitely part of what made yesterday’s recording session so special. I hear about students often. Yesterday I got to hear directly from them.
So, yes: even though I don’t need reminders of my purpose, moments like yesterday are a pure delight. It was so wonderful to listen to the women read their work and to talk with them about their writing. I’d spent some time on the phone with two of the women on Friday night, helping to prepare them for the recording. We hadn’t met before those calls, but by the end of our conversations, I was completely in love with both of them. One woman was immediately comfortable with me, and by the time we hung up, I felt as if I’d known her for years.
I just sent the recording to the learners, and I can’t wait to hear their reactions. I loved it, and I hope they’ll be as pleased as I am. I’m kind of holding my breath in anticipation of final approval from each of them so the episode can be released on Wednesday. I can’t wait!
It’s the 15th annual Slice of Life Story Challenge!
Head on over to Two Writing Teachers
and see what the rest of this year’s slicers are up to!