The Craft of Podcasts

Coming towards the end of the semester, one of my last projects was to create a small radio/podcast clip covering the elements of a professional podcast/radio station, including: news segments, commercial breaks, sport highlights, and the weather. This podcast forced me to get out of my comfort zone, as I had to repeatedly listen to my own voice and look at myself as an outsider listening to someone else. Most importantly, I had to learn how to critique myself on my pronunciations and speech, which was something I’ve always struggled with. However, because of the previous assignments with working with audio, specifically transitions and volume, as well as editing sentences more smoothly, I was aided greatly when nitpicking my sound.

When I did several trial-and-errors, re-doing different commercials because my voice wasn’t energetic enough, or getting frustrated because I couldn’t say a word correctly, I learned how much work and effort it takes for professional podcast makers and radio hosts to speak clearly and confidently during their segments. Sometimes even on the spot with no script! My appreciation towards these people, and speakers in general, grew immensely, as this project was a great experience for me.

Lasagna

Dyslexia teacher Blanca Gutierrez goes through the steps on how to make an easy lasagna. After working for 39 years, Gutierrez describes her journey into the kitchen and what makes cooking so special for her.

Ingredients:
• 1-pound ground beef
• 1 (32oz) jar spaghetti sauce
• 32oz cottage cheese
• 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
• 2 large eggs
• ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
• 2 teaspoons dried parsley
• Salt to taste
• Ground black pepper to taste
• 9 lasagna noodles
• ½ cup water
• 1 spray can of olive oil

Directions:

In a large skillet over medium heat brown ground meat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drain the grease. Add spaghetti sauce and simmer for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix the cottage cheese, eggs, half of grated Parmesan cheese, dried Parsley, salt ground black pepper. To assemble, spray the bottom and sides of a 9×13 inch baking dish with olive oil. Evenly spread ¾ cup of sauce mixture. Cover with 3 uncooked lasagna noodles, 1 ¾ cup of the cheese mixture and ¼ cup sauce. Repeat layers once more: top with 3 noodles, remaining sauce and sprinkle mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Add ½ cup water to edges of the pan. Cover with aluminum foil that has been sprayed with olive oil.

Bake on preheated 350-degree oven for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes, let it sit for 10 minutes before serving.

To Fly From the Nest

Being a freshman during the start of college is always an anxious transition, especially during a pandemic. Though, one factor that surprised me during my visits to St. Mary’s was the friendly environment. The students there were very kind and open to questions I had about university life, and the teachers I met were compassionate and valued communication with their class. Literature class, specifically, with a teacher focused on reading diverse literature and learning about different cultures, had opened my mind to virtual classes and gave me confidence in my transition to college.

However, having a job and working from home made time difficult to manage and assignments easier to forget. Though, with the planner I received during my freshman tour, I’ll be able to make time for myself by planning ahead each week and writing down any deadlines that are important to remember. Media Production, while not specific to my major, will no doubt, be important to me as a creator. Adding this class with my writing skills enables me to create videos effectively with certain details and a general script already planned in my head, and vice versa. Stories are dependent on the visuals it creates, after all. And while I know it won’t be easy, I know the staff and teachers will make my time at St. Mary’s memorable. This semester, I hope to improve my skills and use this experience to aid me after graduation.