Just Listen: Why Podcasts Should Be More Popular

Grace Ebach Last weekend while I was avoiding taking my dog out for a walk, I decided to clean out the apps on my phone (yes, I still live in the age of 8 gigabytes) to make room for more songs. As I pondered deleting “logo quiz” and the new version of Temple Run, I stumbled upon podcasts. I never really gave much thought to podcasts before –I mean, I’ve had to do them for Spanish and English class, but I never took the time to learn about and listen to more of them. So, in wake of my laziness, I thought, “Why not?” and I plopped down to find if they piqued my interest. And did they ever. Within seconds I found myself scrolling through what seemed to be an endless supply of them, all neatly categorized into mini-sections like “Regional News” and big, umbrella sections like  “Comedy.” Finally, I found something that made me want to listen: a presidential podcast. For 48 beautiful minutes I listened to the life and times of JFK, and even though I received multiple threats of no allowance, those minutes were well worth it. There’s something so soothing about lying back, closing your eyes, and just getting lost in the world of the speaker, as if you’re in a highly intellectual dream.  As I kept scrolling through the sections after I had finished the biography, I found a Spanish podcast dedicated to small talk and conversation, so I gave that a listen and actually learned some slang as opposed to the generally formal expressions my class and I learn. Not only that, but it was genuinely entertaining, with the topic of conversation frequently turning melodramatic and sappy. I know that as a Latin student, our lives are consistently jam-packed with sports or theater, and usually topped with copious amounts of homework and the necessary 30 minutes of reality television. But, if you can cut out that episode of “The Bachelor” or “Pawn Stars” and instead squeeze in a podcast (whether it be in Comedy or the House of Representatives), I promise you’ll learn more—but more importantly— be more entertained than you think. And even more rewarding is using a podcast to improve your own work. I know this sounds silly, but when I was assigned to do a personal essay last year and make a podcast for it, I learned so much about my own writing and how my reading of it in my head doesn’t always play out when I speak. I also learned what kind of a speaker I was, which ended up being too fast with not enough enunciation. Not only can podcasts be useful for the purpose of entertainment, but also for a quick way to edit your own work. So, maybe this rant about podcasts has convinced you of absolutely nothing. It is quite possible that you may never listen to a podcast or give a rat’s pancreas (I just had to take that from Mr. Joyce, it was too good) about editing your own writing. But perhaps you do want to better yourself or simply want a new and fun way to learn and be amused. For those of you, look no further than to the podcast.]]>