Sunday, March 01, 2009

Canceled Trip to Providence

I was supposed to head to Providence this evening to speak with students at my old radio station WBRU.  They're reconnecting with alumni and attempting to tie the station's history and those who worked there with how it helped many in their post-Brown working careers.

I'm very fond of the radio station and how it did indeed help launch my career.  Many of the friends I made at WBRU remain friends and professional colleagues today.

My intent was to discuss the big picture.  Working at WBRU and still trying to make it through Brown's rigorous academics all while figuring out how you'd like to earn a living thereafter, it's easy to miss the forest for the trees (n.b. - that's a phrase I learned in 6th grade from my history teacher Mr. Monaghan, the one man ever to have given me a detention - for all things because I scored a 68 on a test and anyone with scores below 70 had to correct their tests in detention.  I'm still bitter to this day).

Years after leaving WBRU, I totally understand the moving parts of each department, and how, together, they comprise this amazing mostly student-run institution that is weaved into the fabric of Rhode Island and Southern New England.  But while there, I remember being so wrapped up in each on-air break, what songs we played, and more specific details that, while extremely relevant to the success of the product, weren't allowing me to absorb the greater purpose of WBRU and how it benefited me.

I involved myself with the station because I loved music, charts, and the radio.  Looking back, not only did I learn how to perform as an on-air personality, but I learned how to confidently speak in public, how to interview famous people, how to deal with different personality types, what it means to know an audience, and how to appeal to a certain demographic.  I learned how self-deprecating humor can be a virtue.

And after WBRU, upon finding work in the radio industry, I learned that, contrary to my belief, I did not know everything.  In fact, my work experience was viewed more as potential and interest than mastery.  Instead of being considered a seasoned veteran (at the ripe age of 20), I started once again from the bottom.  It was humbling, yet necessary.  It taught me how persistence can pay off, that humility is a virtue, and how whatever I think I know, there's always more to learn.

Nevertheless, we're getting a Nor'easter here tonight, and my fellow residents of Southie have already claimed their parking spots.  As the temperature is forecast for below freezing until Friday, any snow we get isn't going anywhere anytime soon.  I had to cancel my trip out of fear for having to park  the next week in Mattapan.  Perhaps another time.

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