100 days with the “Harvard of the Proletariat”
RPR will never be the same
ROCK PAPER RADIO is a dispatch for misfits & unlikely optimists by your favorite hapa haole, beet-pickling, public radio nerd. It’s a weekly email newsletter and podcast that shares three curiosities every Thursday - something to hold on to (that’s the ‘rock’), something to read (that’s the ‘paper‘), and something to listen to (you guessed it, that’s the ‘radio’). Themes include but are not limited to: rebel violinists, immortal jellyfish, revolution. Thanks for subscribing and spreading the word. Learn more at RockPaperRadio.com.
SOMETHING TO LISTEN TO
This American Life recently re-aired one of my favorite shows of all time: Switched at Birth, produced in 2008 by reporter Jake Halpern. I still remember the car ride where I heard it the first time.
This hour-long deep dive into the astonishing mix-up that shaped and upended two families is not just about family secrets, it’s also about what makes us who we are.
Before I became a parent—before I heard this story—I argued up and down that nurturing was the boss, shaping everything over nature from food preferences to gender presentation. But now, all I’m sure of is that I’m not so sure of anything anymore. Happy listening. Prepare to be stunned.
SOMETHING TO READ
Last fall, with the support of Substack, I had the incredibly good fortune of joining CUNY’s third cohort of Entrepreneurial Journalism Creators as part of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism.
While I was an undergrad at Sarah Lawrence, I interned at The Feminist Press, which is part of CUNY. Sitting in the lobby, I had hoped that someday I’d be a student there, learning alongside people who might also be first gen scholars—I didn’t find too many of us at SLC. Nearly 20 years later, I finally became part of the CUNY community through this experience. So, so grateful.
The program was a 100 day whirlwind that transformed my understanding of what journalism can be, while whipping ROCK PAPER RADIO into shape. The proof? Before those 100 days were up, RPR had a new website, an education plan, and a dream team Board of Advisors. Oh, and I had made at least one major life decision.
I had the opportunity to write about my experience in the program while reflecting on how RPR came to life during our first(!) Covid summer. Here it is, along with links to three other very cool journalism endeavors from my sharp Cohort 3 colleagues: 4 Tips for Solo Creators: I spent 100 days with the “Harvard of the Proletariat.” Here’s what I learned. Thanks for reading and sharing!
SOMETHING TO HOLD ON TO
Netflix is not feeling so chill. Quarterly earnings are the lowest the company has ever reported—which says a lot since 15 years ago they were literally shipping people Shrek the Third DVDs through the mail. Their stock value is plummeting. Their CEO is threatening to reverse his stance against ads. They’re still mad we’re all sharing our login passwords.
Before they raise prices again and you join the 200,000 people who have recently canceled their subscriptions, check out this spectacular “low budget intro” by stop-motion animator Kevin Parry:
Is this a homage to Netflix? A love letter? A eulogy? Parry doesn’t tell us, but this much is clear: People are weird and amazing and possibly at their best when they’re making things for fun and not for profit.
HERE FOR PINK TREE SEASON
That’s a wrap on issue 79, friends. Thanks for listening, reading, holding on. And sharing! Thanks for sharing links and inviting all of your curious friends to join us on this RPR ride. Your recommendations and funny notes are keeping this misfit dispatch afloat.
The cherry blossoms are out, so in case you need a reminder that we live in an absolutely unreal place where pink trees exist along with strawberry cakes and rescue dogs, I highly recommend taking an antihistamine and going outside to soak it all in.
We made it, friends. It’s spring. Here’s to emerging out of our dens, at last.
See you next Thursday.