App-etizer: This American Life

During my sabbatical, when I was working as “the 40-year-old intern” at Unboundary, Alex asked me if I listened to This American Life on NPR. Even as a big fan of NPR, I had never heard of This American Life. Alex sent me a link to an episode, and I stored the link in a note-taking app.

Months later, I am now a regular listener and huge fan of This American Life. On November 5, 2011, my family adopted a rescue dog from Lookout Mountain, TN. As best as we can tell, Lucy is a cross between some kind of hound and some kind of pointer – maybe a German Short Hair. On November 6, my morning routine changed appreciably, as Lucy likes to walk near 5:30 a.m. each day.

I love walking with Lucy. Nevertheless, I was a bit reticent to give up the time that I use in the morning to read and write. So, Lucy and I walk with Ira Glass many mornings. After hooking up Lucy to her leash, I use the This American Life app to select an episode to which to listen during our walk.

The show has become a great “school” for me, and I am learning a great deal about P.I. Moms, Amusement Parks, Middle Schools, etc. What’s more, I am connecting a great deal of what I hear to other things about which I am thinking. For example, in a recent listen about a library program that puts students through a simulation of Reagan’s decision to invade Grenada, I was able to think considerably about the spectrum of project-based learning that exists. Additionally, I am also thinking a lot about the communication format of podcasting. That might be my next creative communication venture. How interesting it could be for a tribe of reporters at our school newspaper to post a series of podcasts…This Wildcat Life.

On to walk. Lucy and Ira are calling.