Comments by Libby Donovan

Comment for "How Can Humans Get Along"

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Review of How Can Humans Get Along

"It's not differences that divide us, it's our judgments about each other that do" is a quote by Margaret Wheatley which is used as the thesis statement for Dolna Smithback's piece about peace. She uses tape from a New Mexico Peaceworks Conference to illustrate her point that people can get along. The majority of the piece uses a light-hearted anecdote from a speech given at the conference that tells a story of trying to communicate with fruit flies. The story is told by Ocean Robbins (a peace activist since age 7), the point of his story is that if he can communicate with fruit flies there's no reason that humans can't communicate with each other.
The piece is a little choppy in the flow; especially when it moves away from the point to ask what some of the conference members want to do to change the world. Despite that, the overall point gets through that humans need to get along. This peace would be good for a show about communication or peace.

Comment for "Students vs. SATs"

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Review of Students vs. SATs

The dreaded SATs, the nightmare of all high school students: a standardized test that can measure your "scholastic achievement" (whatever that means.) In students vs. SATs, Tirhas Kibrzghi examines the benefits and flaws of a standardized test that can be used to decide college admissions and scholarships. I liked the piece because as a high school senior who has taken the SATs not once but twice, I see the relevance of this evil test.
Tirhas Kibrzghi uses audio from her own test, including an example math question, interviews with fellow test takers and the senior director of admission at the University of Maryland. The piece is a good blend that highlights problems with the test and reasons for having it, along with some advice for students who have taken the test and may not love their scores. Students vs. SATs is a good feature for shows about the college admission process, the SATs or high school issues.

Comment for "Fights at school"

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Review of Fights at school

Fights at school happen and most people can't help but watch. That is a truth the Megan Haller doesn't try to deny in her piece, Fights at School. In fact she uses an interview with a school police officer to warn fellow students that everyone involved in the fight (even the watchers) can be suspended. Megan Haller uses layered audio that intros the topic of school fighting by combining different people's observations of fights they saw at school. It was really interesting to listen to and got my attention right away. Fights at School is a good piece for a show about issues at school or weird school rules like getting suspended for watching a fight.

Comment for "Should I Stay or Should I Go (To the Prom)"

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Review of Should I Stay or Should I Go

Should I Stay or Should I Go is a great feature for any prom show. I really loved this piece for it's portrayal of a huge high school dilemma: Should I even go to prom? Whether or not to even attend prom is a common problem in high school that is really underplayed in movies which tend to assume everyone goes to prom. DBC goes about his decision with a very scientific method getting as much input as possible some of which includes surveys, phone interviews and the all important motherly advice. In the end he concludes that "he'd be a fool not to attend" the last high school hoorah. My only issue with this feature lay in the use of "Stairway to Heaven" in the intro and outro which seemed like it didn?t fit the prom theme. Other than that I thought it was really well produced and covered the topic completely (even touching on cost of prom).
You'd be a fool not to give this piece a listen!

Comment for "My Dad's Private Diet"

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Review of My Dad's Private Diet

My Dad's Private Diet is a very interesting piece told in the 2nd
person. It's written like a scene narration with side notes from Berenice Garcia to her dad and I thought it was really cute. This piece is a story told from Berenice?s kitchen with some snatches of her dad eating forbidden ice cream. The audio has a bilingual aspect, since her father talks to her in Spanish and she translates it, which gives the piece some interesting diversity.
My Dad?s Private Diet would perfect for Father's Day which is fast
approaching in June or perhaps show about bad eating habits since her dad eats junk food despite his high cholesterol.

Comment for "An appetizer hunt"

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Review of An appetizer hunt

?Good food + Good people = Satisfaction?.
In this piece Andrew Aquino offers a new and interesting way to spend some spare time: going to restaurants and sampling appetizers with friends. The piece takes you along for the day he spent with his friends trying out, this new activity which includes "eating, eating and more eating".
The organization is a little strange in the piece as a whole and there?s almost a feeling that there are some inside jokes you?re missing since it uses tape from his day out with his friends. Overall it would be a good piece for a show about things to do with friends.

Comment for "Fashion Obsession"

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Review of Fashion Obsession

Fashion Obsession takes a look at the world of a high school girl where fashion means identity. This feature is a really great story about Shakima, who is what I would a fashion snob. After listening to the piece, which explains her reasons for seeing fashion as a status symbol, I could perhaps think of her more as really obsessed with fashion and the attention it brings her.
The narration is really engaging and has plenty of genuine attitude.
It felt like she was talking to me one-on-one and not just reading a script. The piece uses interviews with her family to help give the background of her story and peer interviews to emphasize her point that clothes do matter. This piece would be a good addition to a show about fashion or teen issues.

Comment for "Will You Go To Prom With Me?"

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Review of Will You Go To Prom With Me?

Will You Go To Prom With Me? is an adorable piece about the trials and tribulations of acquiring that all-important prom date. The piece is a personal narrative from Phillip Baggett and I loved it. I especially liked the unique perspective of a guy looking for a prom date which I thought was interesting, since as a girl I always assumed that guys had no trouble finding a date. Throughout the piece Phil asks multiple girls not only if they'll go to prom with him, but also how he should ask the next girl. It becomes humorous as he asks advice from three different girls and gets three different responses. The piece has a great blend of audio from interviews to music that helps to take you through this difficult journey with Phil.
Will You Go To Prom With Me? is truly fitting for any show about prom (which happens to be this month) or even a show about teen dating.

Comment for "Teen reporter recounts 1918 Alaska shipwreck"

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Review of Teen reporter recounts 1918 Alaska shipwreck

Teen reporter recounts 1918 Alaska shipwreck is a very informative piece about the worst shipwreck in the Pacific Northwest. Sam Holley-Kline tells the story of the Princess Sophia by using an interesting combination of reenacted historical letters and messages from the ship, and an interview with a man whose father worked for the Canadian Pacific railway at the time of the shipwreck. The feature actually has the elements often used in a History Channel special but it?s condensed into just over 5 minutes. The narration and production were so professional sounding I was surprised to find upon reading the description that the author is 17.
This piece would be good for anyone wanting a brief history of The Princess Sophia's crash on October 24, 1918. It could also be more broadly applied to show about shipwrecks, accidents or a show with a nautical theme.

Comment for "Greetings from the Interior"

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Review of Greetings from the Interior

I have to admit I was intrigued by the idea of a radio tour of the boy's bathroom but I was disappointed by the borderline immaturity of the piece. There really was no reason to actually have the sound effect of going to the bathroom (we all know what you do in the bathroom). I was relived that he at least washed his hands. Inappropriateness aside, the piece was interesting for its sheer originality and use of sound clips. Unfortunately, I don't really see a high demand for this particular piece.

Comment for "Short Wave: Dealing With Loss"

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Review of Dealing With Loss

While looking for an answer to one of life's great questions "Why do people have to die?" Krystle Murray ends up talking to her mother, a funeral home director and a teacher to try to make sense of the death of her cousin. I liked the piece because it was real. It made me remember the pain of losing people and how it doesn't ever really make sense. The topic of death and grief is an always relevant topic since people die every minute.
The feature itself could use some tweaking on the reading of her commentary, though there weren't any major issues. She had audio from a funeral home which I thought was a very original place to look for answers when talking about death. She also used a great combination of personal narration, interviews and music to bring the listener though her journey to find answers.
The piece is overall worth a listen for anyone wanting to hear about dealing with loss.

Comment for "Letter to My Mom: You Haven't Lost Me"

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Review of Letter to My Mom: You Haven't Lost Me

Letter to Mom: You Haven't Lost Me was really enjoyable to listen to and the context was easy to understand. Despite the fact that it's only 2 minutes long it tells a whole story about the memory of personal time spent with her mom at Chuck E. Cheese.
It is a great piece to hear from the teen perspective because teens don't spend a lot of time with their parents anymore. Though, that doesn't necessarily mean that they don't miss the time they used to spend with them.
The piece uses a narrative to tell a story that most people can probably relate to (especially older siblings) about the coveted alone time with a parent. It uses sound from a Chuck E. Cheese which really helps illustrate the story and bring the listener in.
The piece is well produced and would be good for a show about family time or Mother's day, which is right around the corner.

Comment for "If I could talk to a presidential candidate"

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Review of If I could talk to a presidential candidate

If I could talk to a presidential candidate is a great example of a youth radio piece and show that teens want a voice in politics as well. Living in Maine I have an idea of what it's like to live in a not-so-hot-spot politically.
It was short, sweet and informative. I liked this piece because it was an honest evaluation of how the country and political parties view Alaska and youth's opinion.
The piece was humorous but got the point across: presidential candidates don't really focus their campaigns on what teens want in a candidate (especially in Alaska).
With the upcoming presidential elections this is a good piece for a show about Election '08 especially for a youth perspective. As this election does more than ever depend on the youth vote Tonei's piece is a very relevant piece and worth a listen.