I grew up listening to talk radio. Every car ride two or from every ballet lesson, martial arts practice, family dinner at my cousins’ in southern Illinois was accessorized by NPR. I was also a natural storyteller with a gift for description and pacing. I understood how to thread a narrative intuitively, before even really being taught about beginning, middle and end. I dove into fiction of all kinds like a glutton for words. Books and stories were my haven.
What have always struck me the most, however, are personal narratives. My favorite public radio segments are the ones that allow me glimpses into other people’s lives and experiences. However, it’s not just the stories themselves but the way the teller chooses to convey them. How do you go about revealing something deeply personal while also making it digestible for a larger audience?
I thought it only natural to choose to use my sound project to tell a story, much as I began my first blog post by sharing an experience in order to introduce the reader to my focal topic. I want to use my personal experiences with technology, education and information in order to support my argument for why information and information technology is so important to the future of education and to the nature of information gathering.
I had considered doing interviews with library technicians or professors here at Miami, but I wasn’t sure I wanted more than one voice in my project. I know that multiple narrators and multiple narratives are what made “Reading Stories” so compelling. In order to convey why it is so difficult to narrate a story, Rosenthal almost necessarily had to include multiple narrators for the sake of comparison. As my creative writing teachers would always preach, “Show, don’t tell.”
The difficult part is going to be “showing” using my voice as well as my writing, especially if I choose to only use my words and my experiences. I’m hoping to approach the script like a good piece of opinion journalism. First, the personal narrative that appeals to the pathos as well as serves to introduce the topic. Then I have to include evidence, both quantitative and qualitative. The qualitative will come from interviews I’ve read from education officials, members of the OET, students, and teachers etc. mixed with my own conclusions about why information technology is so relevant to the future of education. The quantitative will come from data I’ve collected during my research about things like the cost of installing a national broadband network for all public schools. Finally, I have to summarize my topic by again conveying its importance. I want to accompany each factual point with a thread from my own personal narrative about my experience with research, education and technology.