I have recently been re-introduced to the wonderful world of NPR. (That’s National Public Radio). My dad was known for listening to NPR whenever he was in the car (my grandpa actually listened to country). Just like normal teenagers, I thought it was boring and how could anyone ever listen to something other than music?
As I got older I started to listen to Morning shows on the way to work and realized that I liked that better than the music. Don’t get me wrong, I love music; I just don’t like that songs can get stuck in your head so easily and make you think of little else.
While at work one day my co-worker was listening to This American Life on NPR.org. The crew of This American Life sent their reporters to cover different shifts at a 24 hour diner in Chicago and interview the people who were in there. Once that was over I found one where they interviewed people at a mall around Christmas.
Not all of the episodes are about interviews though. Many are stories; and surprisingly, these people are really great at telling stories. The reason I say surprisingly is because of my old thinking of NPR being boring and only about economical or political subjects. They do those programs too, but I feel I get enough of that on TV, Internet and Facebook that I don’t want to listen to more. So I find the stories (as you know I love stories!)
Yesterday while at work I listened to 6 programs (all being close to an hour-long) and most of them were really interesting. It’s kind of hard to describe but each program has multiple Acts, like a play. They introduce the subject that they’re going to be talking about then go into the first story (which is usually an interview about the subject), go into Act 2 (usually a story-an excerpt from a book, etc) then go into Act 3 which, I’ve found, is usually something ‘funny’ or something completely off of the original subject (I’m sure they think it fits but sometimes it’s just too off the wall).
My favorite ones so far have been episode 420: Neighborhood Watch and episode 414: Right to Remain Silent. I also liked that first one I mentioned172: 24 Hours at the Golden Apple. It may seem like I don’t have a lot that I’ve liked but I’ve only listened to maybe 15 so far and I have 80 still on my ‘To Watch” list (and that’s just from This American Life).
There are tons of other programs and This American Life archives go back to the 90’s.
I can just see it now…after searching the podcasts for a subject you’re interested in, you get the family together and you all sit around the computer, listening to your favorite program. Is it Little Orphan Annie? Nope. It’s This American Life. Be sure you have your Ovaltine!
On a side note, I want to say a BIG congratulations to my brother-in-law and soon to be sister-in-law on their engagement! We love you both and are so excited for you!