A Quick Rant About ‘Serial’

So, to those of you who hypothetically know me, you know that I’m super into my podcasts. I’m an avid doodler in my spare time, and it really helps the creative juices flow if I can have something to listen to during all that.

For a recent class assignment, I’ve been listening to ‘Serial’, a podcast centered around the dramatic investigation of high school student Hae Min Lee’s murder, and the potentially incorrect conviction of her then boyfriend, Adnan Syed.

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Really, it was a nice podcast, and I super enjoyed it! I really like the idea of putting investigative journalism into a format that feels a lot like talking on the phone with someone. The casualness of the narrator’s dictation and tone brings about familiarity and really adds to the odd kind of comfort I felt listening to her go on about the case. The only issue is that I doubt the family of the victim would feel too happy about the relaxed feel of a podcast documenting the murder of their daughter.

I would have added a gif after that last paragraph, but I don’t think you could apply any tone of humor to that last sentence without being insensitive.

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The first thing that struck me was the narrator discussing how difficult it is to remember specific days without the aid of social media. This is true. If you were to ask me what I did last Saturday at 4:15 PM, I wouldn’t be able to tell you unless I could look at a snippet of a conversation I had with someone.

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Alright, I did just that. Apparently, that was the day I finished a book I was reading, so that means it was also the day I went out to dinner with my friends and ate an entire bowl of mac ‘n’ cheese for lunch. That’s what weirds me out about specific parts of this podcast. There’s no way that the ‘Jay’ guy could have remembered all that stuff Adnan allegedly said to him throughout the day. Unless he has a super memory, of course. Same with the Asia girl, all that’s a really specific thing to remember, isn’t it?

I don’t know. Maybe I’m just being dumb.

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Moving on, I’ve always enjoyed podcasts like this, or maybe it’s just podcasts in general. I had a period of three or four years where I just stopped reading, and I don’t know why. In that time, narrative podcasts kind of filled the void. I love the creativity that goes into them, and the fact that they allow me to multitask and still grasp what’s going on. They’re also really great to listen to on road trips. Seriously. Though I liked this one, I’m still on the fence if I’m going to keep listening to it. The podcasts I enjoy need to have a certain degree of fantastical fiction, and this one is a little too real for me.

Anyway, this is Katie signing off. Have a good day, y’all.

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thoughts on rap/hip-hop

So I won’t lie, I’ve been listening to nothing but the Hamilton soundtrack lately. I’ve realized that I’ve kind of always really loved rap and hip-hop?? I don’t really know how to explain it.

Lin-Manuel Miranda is probably my favourite songwriter right now, and hip-hop is such an interesting medium to bring to Broadway. I feel like it’s kind of shoved aside by most lovers of language and dismissed as a genre that’s only about drugs and sex.

But let’s take a look at ‘My Shot’, a song that took Lin four years to write. I swear it’s so much better if you hear it to the rhythm, so I’ll link it here.

“Laurens, I like you a lot
Let’s hatch a plot blacker than the kettle callin’ the pot…
What are the odds the gods would put us all in one spot
Poppin’ a squat on conventional wisdom, like it or not
A bunch of revolutionary manumission abolitionists?
Give me a position, show me where the ammunition is!”

Look at that! There’s practically rhymes within rhymes. This isn’t so much music as it is kind of a work of art, not gonna lie.

I only picked that short part because it’s just that; short. This is the real masterpiece of the song in my opinion.

Okay, rant over. Sorry ’bout that.

English Requirements: A Struggle

A question is often asked: Why is grade 12 university level English so important? It’s a class that teaches critical and analytical thinking towards literature and promotes good note-taking and essay-writing skills. So should it be required for entry into all university programs?

As for my opinion, I’m going to go with a soft ‘no’ in answer to that question.

If I’m being perfectly honest I don’t really know a lot about university courses and why certain things are required and why others aren’t (this is really bad considering I’m in 12th grade, I don’t recommend it). It just feels weird to form an opinion on something I’m not really informed of in the first place. At the same time, it feels kind of silly for twelfth grade English to be a requirement for all university courses.

At my school, math or sciences aren’t required beyond 11th grade unless you intend to take post-secondary courses to do with those subjects, and I feel like English should be the same. You learn to write essays in a lot of different classes, and MLA format is pretty much drilled into your head from day one. If you intend to be an engineer or programmer after graduating high-school, I don’t think that an extra English course would really help you much.

I’m not writing this long post because I dislike the extra English. I’m taking this class specifically because I enjoy it, but on some level, I don’t think it should be a requirement and instead just an available option.

Signing off,

Katie