Comments by A. Greene

Comment for "Rock My Foundation"

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Youth Editorial Board Review of "Rock My Foundation"

This story is a very good example of the phrase “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” This is a very sweet piece about the love one girl has for her hometown. It is very poetically written and easy to listen to. The story is also told in a very captivating way. While the main story is something that I’ve heard before, the author did a good job of telling it in a really interesting way. The writing was superb, and the music fit well. I appreciate that the author knew the mood of the story. It seems like a lot of the time, people aim for a specific tone in their stories and end up picking the wrong music, but this piece matches up.

The only complaint I have with this piece is that some of the writing was a little bit cliché. I guess that sounds pretty mean, and I don’t intend it to, I just felt like I had heard some of the phrases and such before. However, there was a lot in the writing that was very far from cliché, and overall the writing was super impressive. I say this only on a supremely nit-picky level. I thoroughly enjoyed this story!

Comment for "Becoming a Goddess - What is Your Name?"

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Youth Editorial Board Review of "Becoming a Goddess- What is Your Name?"

This is a personal essay about one girl’s opinion on the importance of names. It is well organized, and the recording is good quality. Initially, the title was what captured me. I assumed that it would be about a girl trying to live up to her name, but that turned out to be only a small part of it. She discusses a little in the beginning about her name and what it means, and how she pictures herself owning up to that name. But then the piece goes on to talk about how a lot of people don’t like their names, about her family, and about why names are overall very special and important. Like I said before, the organization is very good. I just feel as if the piece is lacking something. I feel like it needs a sharp edge or some sort of twist that would have allowed me to connect with the author more personally. The piece starts out well with a strong introduction, but I found myself losing interest because I couldn’t connect with the story emotionally.

Comment for "Beautiful, Painful Truth"

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Youth Editorial Board Review of "Beautiful, Painful Truth"

This is an intriguing story about one man’s quest to find his own sexuality. I had never heard a story like this one before, and I was truly captivated by it, and all of the things that the man had to say. Technically speaking, though, this piece was well put together. The music chosen was very fitting, particularly at the end when the confusion had passed and all was well. She really captured a lot of the emotions in the story with the music. The sound quality is also very rich. It’s easy to hear what the man is saying, and the way he tells the story is magnificent. His voice is very expressive, which holds your attention. The editor’s narration is also done very efficiently. It moves the piece into scenes, when necessary.

Overall, I really appreciated this piece mostly for the story it told. It is something I wouldn’t think about, really, and it’s nice to hear a good happy ending. Also that the man reflects so much on his first marriage, and that he really recognizes how much it taught him, I think it makes this radio piece wonderful.

Comment for "What Happens When You Die?"

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Youth Editorial Board Review of "What Happens When You Die?"

This piece is a succinct vox pop about life after death. It is rather short and sweet, with a multitude of interesting answers. The producer picked out some very fitting piano music that, in a way, was sort of creepy. I felt like it really set the mood well. There were also a couple places where I thought the editing of the piece was very well done. I liked in the beginning where she put in a montage of people saying, “After death…” It gives you a nice mental image of all of those people, and her standing there with the microphone pointed at them. I really liked how visual that part was.

Some of the sound levels were a bit off. It seemed like not all of the voices were the same volume. Also, I felt like one of the answers she received was sort of unnecessary. It was more or less a repeat of what was said by the person immediately before her, talking about goth kids and gravestone vandalism. I think having both responses in the story was needless. Over all, I enjoyed the piece, there were only a few technical things that bothered me.

Comment for "Voices About Suicide"

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Youth Editorial Board Review of "Voices About Suicide"

This piece is a sad, real and very honest look at suicide through the eyes of young adults. It is very well put together, not only in technical terms but in the story telling aspect as well. The music is well chosen. A bad choice could have ruined the whole story. It would have been easy to pick a really cheesy or stereotypical song, but the one used is quite fitting. The sound quality is great; it is very easy to hear all of the interviewees. There was not a point where I had to go back to catch what someone had said. Most importantly, it is really refreshing to hear such honest dialogue about suicide. So often I feel like the issue is talked about scientifically, as a chemical problem within the brain. That’s so sterile and impersonal. These answers were so honest and real, sometimes it seems as if the interviewees say thing that are truly quite deep without really realizing it. A few of the answers made my chest feel a little tight.

One of the only problems I have concerns the beginning and ending. I felt as though it didn’t really capture my attention. I wanted something powerfully emotional to either take me in to the story or send me out of it really thinking about suicide. Mostly it was just a simple open and close. The only other problem is the length. The story is pretty long at almost eight minutes. I didn’t find myself getting bored, but I do think that it could be shortened a little.

Comment for "An Unexpected Life"

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Youth Editorial Board Review of "An Unexpected Life"

What I really enjoyed about this piece is what a truly sweet, honest and inspiring story it is. It's about Patrick Chavez and his partner discovering that they were going to have a child, and what this did to their lives. The sound quality is very good, and the narration was clear, loud and easy to follow. The writing is powerful and visual. There is a part that describes Patrick climbing a flight of stairs to his house. I could really see him forcing himself up the stairs slowly, one foot in front of the other. It was like he was climbing toward the “turning point” itself. The scenes also move at an engaging pace; the story never lost my interest or attention.

The lack of music in the story was a bit disappointing. I feel as though there are some really raw moments in the story that could be enhanced by a sad piece of music. I also think some of the scene transitions could have been a bit more drawn out. That’s where the music could have really come in handy. It could have been used to build a little more tension. This piece is very sad at parts, but that emotion could have been brought out more with a song. The only other little nit-picky thing that I thought could go was the very first sentence. I think it would be more interesting if the story started with, “It wasn’t exactly good timing when it happened.”

Overall, I think this is a very moving narrative. It’s truly amazing what a child can do to people and the way they live. This child brought about a complete 180 for this couple, and it is very inspiring. It’s nice to hear about a real life happy ending for once.

Comment for "Summer on 64th"

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Youth Editorial Board Review of "Summer on 64th"

This is a great short and sweet audio postcard from 64th Street in Chicago, Illinois. My favorite part about listening to it was the great mood that it has throughout. This piece really makes me long for summer vacation. She does a great job of conveying the lazy, laid-back vibe of summer through what she describes. Her writing is also very sweet and quite visual. The story behind this postcard is very appealing.

It seemed as though the ambi was a bit quiet in a lot of the places, though. The part where she talks about the guys standing on the corner was great, but I couldn’t hear what they were talking about. She also introduces Ms. P, and says hello to her, but I can’t hear a response. I feel like if these characters were given more of a role, even a small one or two word role, this piece would be a little more interesting. I really like the idea of it, and I think it paints a great picture, and I really, really love the way she was able to set the mood so well!

Comment for "A Softer Voice"

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Youth Editorial Board Review of "A Softer Voice"

Even on a just the most basic level, this story intrigued me with only the name and short description. I was quickly hooked into what Charlotte and her composer cousin Hillary were saying. The piece is about gender ratios and inequalities in the composing world. It is a very unique concept, something that I’ve never really given any thought to, but it was made very interesting to me in a matter of seconds. First and foremost, the sound quality is great; there were absolutely no sound oddities that distracted me. The editing was also flawless. I felt as though the pace of the story was just right and I didn’t find myself losing interest.

The one problem I had with the piece was that it didn’t include any piano music. I feel as though if there had been even a short segment of Hillary playing the piano, the whole story could have been more cohesive and powerful. There was power present in many other parts of the story, though. The anecdote given in the beginning did not only make Hillary a very likeable character in the piece, but also really reflected what the whole thing was really about; gender equality in music.

Overall, very nice work!

Comment for "What's Divorce Like for You?"

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Youth Editorial Board Review of "What's Divorce Like for You?"

The story “What’s Divorce Like for You?” is a very contemplative and honest vox pop about some of the emotional effects divorce has on kids. The narration and editing are both top notch. The timing is superb, particularly the montage of all the voices in the beginning.

I was thrown off a bit by the piece not starting with his narration immediately, I would have preferred to hear an introduction before I heard the girl talking about her specific situation. Also, while the music does add to the mood of the story, I think the words are a little distracting. Not in that they don’t fit with what the story is about, but I feel like the piece would have been more emotionally moving with an instrumental song.

Overall, I really enjoyed this piece and I think it is well-edited and the sound quality is great. Jeremiah Kaczynski brought up the issue of divorce in a clean and simple way, and produced a fine piece.

Comment for "What Is Straight Edge?"

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Youth Editorial Board Review of "What is Straight Edge?"

This piece is a very well-written personal report on the straight edge movement. Zoe Cordes Selbin discusses the meaning, history, and subculture of straight edge, and clears up some common misconceptions. Her voice is sweet and her inflection keeps the narration from being dry. However, it sounds as though she is speaking a bit quickly. I felt like I wanted a couple seconds to catch up. Despite that, I was not confused or lost at any point.

The writing was excellent and she backed up her opinions well. This piece also does a good job of explaining how large and diverse the movement is; there are so many different types of straight edge, and I think it’s really great that she is letting people know that not everyone involved with straight edge wants to be violent about it. It includes three short interviews that really added a lot to the piece, by giving us more voices and perspectives to hear from than just her own. Overall, a great radio piece!

Comment for "Corn Maze"

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Youth Editorial Board Review

This piece is about some friends going to a corn maze in Portland, Oregon and having a lot of spooky fun. It was very cute, silly and made me smile within the first ten seconds. I really enjoyed the witty narration and use of ambient sound. In fact, the sound in this was “dead on” (spooky pun totally intended). They really know their editing, and were able to make everything fit and flow perfectly. The scenes in this piece are fun and lighthearted and made me wish I was there! The creepy organ music outro was a smooth ending as well.

The only thing I was thrown off by was the length of the screaming in the beginning, when they first enter the maze. I felt as though it went on for just a little bit too long. Other than that, I loved this story! It’s great for any Halloween special, because it really puts you in the Halloween mood. I commend you, KBOO youth collective!

Comment for "Tattoos are the new lockets"

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Youth Editorial Board Review

Ariel Gustafson’s piece began with a clear, concise intro. She believes that lockets have been usurped by the tattoo as a way of keeping memories and loved ones close to you. She interviews her mother about a commemorative tattoo that she had done, and the reason why. Ariel also discusses tattoos that she would like to have done, including one of her mother.

Ariel’s voice is very understandable and she speaks at an excellent pace. I was initially interested in the idea of dedicatory tattoos and how they are superior to lockets, but was disappointed that this piece seemed only to scratch the very surface. It felt to me as though there was a truly emotional core to this story that didn’t make it out all the way. The lack of music in the piece also didn’t give the story much of a tone. The one interview was a little dry, and I was hoping that Ariel would ask more probing questions about her mother’s tattoo and get the real story. A few more interviews could have helped out a lot, as well. It was so close to saying something very beautiful, but the answers to the questions were just a bit too timid.