International Podcast Day

Yesterday was International Podcast Day today. I’ve always been a bit slow in appreciating podcasts, (and obviously slow in uploading this post) as I don’t have a natural tendency towards audiobooks or the spoken word. As a writer, I’ve always been partial to the written word.

Yet over the past year, I’ve been slowly listening to more and more podcasts. I started with economics, and several “German for beginners” (for teaching purposes), but over the past month I’ve asked for podcast recommendations (because you need variety right?) and my podcast selection has expanded.

The joy with podcasts is the transportable nature of little information. The learner in me is always keen to turn a podcast on and jump into that little world for either the 30 minutes or 60 minutes length of the podcast. I read on a Slate article and it described podcasts being a snippet, a pocket of happiness within the large world that is the internet.

So to belatedly celebrate International Podcast Day, here’s a list of podcasts I’ve been listening. Okay, it’s more like a mini-review because the journalist within me couldn’t help itself.

So here we go – 5 podcasts I think you should listen to:

From Our Correspondents (BBC)

From Our Correspondents is, to me, is a podcast version of SBS’ Insights and the ABC’s Four Corners. Differing from the typical journalistic structure of telling stories, each episode (whose length is around 30 minutes long) is made up of short 5 minute stories from various correspondents who delve into the stories behind the headlines using wit, insight and analysis. If you’re interested in wanting to know more about what is happening in the world, but wanting something different than the 24/7 news cycle, this podcast (or if you’re Australian, “Correspondents Report”) is the one for you.

Historical Figures

I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a history nerd. So a podcast telling the stories of historical figures is definitely on my list of podcasts that I listen to. The bio of the podcast describes the podcast as “Big lives. Little-known Facts.” and as “audio biographies”. The podcast does live up to this, however, the narration seems, at times, too scripted and wooden. Despite this, the podcast is well researched and worth a listen to learn more about historical figures.

Harry Potter and the Sacred Text

One of the things I love about reading novels is that through the format of the written form, we learn more about what makes us human – emotions, feelings, universal themes. What I love about Harry Potter and the Sacred Text podcast, is that it explores the different themes and nuances that make us human. You can listen to it chronologically or you can listen to in a “Choose your own adventure” style if you’re looking to explore a particular theme using the Harry Potter books. Do note that it is in the Religion & Spirituality category of podcasts because it does use methods within different faiths to explore texts and applies it to Harry Potter. If that doesn’t bother you (and it isn’t much of a deterrent for me), then exploring Harry Potter through this podcast may be for you.

The Money

I’m an economics teacher and do quite enjoy economics (duh!), so it’s no surprise that an economics-related podcast will make this list. The Money is produced by the ABC Radio National and explains neatly how the Australian economy and everything in it works, and vitally for any economics students, how this all connects to the global economy. It is a favourite podcast of mine because of the rehashing the same old dry economics theory, it looks at how the economy works using a real-world application. Just look at the recent podcasts – the drone technology economy, the rise of Comic-Con, fraud and the workings of the world. It’s definitely going to make an appearance in my economics teaching because of the real world application of economic understanding and I think you should add this to your podcast library.

The Dollop

The Dollop is a comedic take to history storytelling, and can be summed up like this: think American history, told by a comedian to a clueless comedian, and you’ve got a hilarious take on history. With each episode length at around 1.5 hours long, it seems too long at times, but it’s the chemistry between Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds makes listening to it for that length of time worth it.

These are my five podcasts I think you should be listening to. What podcasts have you been listening to recently? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

 

Are you okay?

It’s R U Okay? Day today.

You will probably see people talking about whether or not they’re okay on social media. Having conversations about whether or not we’re okay is important. It starts a conversation, a moment of time to help people feel that they belong.

Let’s start conversations about mental health, let’s build connections with each other.

I once read somewhere that a problem shared is a problem halved. Sharing a problem starts with a conversation, a question, “Are you okay?”, that we shouldn’t be afraid to ask every day.

I know it’s hard to open up – sometimes it is because we don’t want to burden anyone with our troubles, other times it’s because we aren’t ready to communicate what is wrong.

In the murky days of my depression, that was how I felt. But my journey dealing with depression, and now anxiety, taught me this: I would never know what to say until I started to say “I’m not okay”.

Because I didn’t know all the answers, but by having conversations with people, letting them in, that’s when I started to have answers for dealing with what was wrong.

So, let people know you’re there for them. You may not need to say “are you okay?” It might be a simple “let me know if you need anything. I’m here for you”.

Let’s build a world, a community where a connection is strong among us. Let’s start conversations about how we truly are.

We are not alone in fighting our fights.

Yours,

Sophia

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PS: Project Rockit released a really got resource in how to start a conversation. I will add it below, but before I do, I just wanted to say:

If you are struggling, feeling down or alone, know that you can just leave me a message and that I am here for you. You can also contact Lifeline (13 11 14), Beyond Blue (1300 22 4636) or Headspace (1800 650 890).

Please open up to people. You are valuable, you are loved, and you are important.

To my grandparents,

 

It is hard to count the number of life lessons I’ve learnt from my grandparents on a single hand. Both my maternal and paternal grandparents taught me the value and importance of family, as well as the benefits of a good work ethic. My grandmothers instilled in me a love of the craft (regardless of how terrible I am) and an appreciation for strong matriarchs.

My grandfathers instilled in me a quiet love of family history. My maternal grandfather shared his love of pear schnapps, the comedian Loriot and the joy of a simple Kartoffelsalat with me. My paternal grandfather taught me the joy of words, how to play chess and instilled in me a quiet pride in my Dutch heritage and where I’ve come from.

My maternal grandmother and I share a love of cooking and baking. My paternal grandmother taught me how to knit, and how to create a warm and loving home filled with happy memories. She taught me how to love others in all their eccentricities.

Today’s “National Grandparents Day” is tinged with slight bittersweetness as I’ve had to say goodbye to my maternal grandfather 7 years ago. But amongst the bittersweetness, lies a fierce pride and love for my grandparents, who have taught me so much.

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To my grandparents,

Thank you for making me smile and laugh, and passing on your wisdom and knowledge. 

Thank you for being the quiet, loving support whenever I’ve needed it. Thank you for the words of advice over countless cups of tea and biscuits. But most of all, thank you for loving me.

Yours,

Sophia
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