Two Interviews, Two Worlds Apart

I had been looking forward to–and dreading–yesterday for some time. you see, I spent all afternoon behind a microphone, first for a deposition I was required to give, and second for an interview with our local NPR radio station about Maryland Voices, our creative nonfiction publication, and the Maryland Writing Project.

First, the deposition. Without going into too much detail, which I believe I cannot do, our school system is being sued by one of our former teachers for teaching in a hostile work environment, among other things (you can read the Washington Post article about the lawsuit here). I am listed as a witness in the lawsuit, and the deposition ran nearly two hours as I was asked many questions about lesson plans, sharing classrooms, and teachable moments. I found the whole event to be an opportunity to tell the truth in the judicial process before the trial begins later next month, and I am glad that I was able to contribute truthfully to this lawsuit, where I could get it on the record that I am proud and honored to teach at my school and in this system. I will say this, though: every word matters, and it is extremely important that the words you choose wisely in such a deposition are not misunderstood or misused later in the depo. I found that, on more than one occasion when a follow-up question was being asked (usually five to ten questions later), I needed to either clarify or correct a misunderstanding of a statement made earlier in the interview. If I had not been so careful with my words or had not listened intently to the interpretations of my original responses, I can see how easily I might have mispoke during those follow-up questions, based on assumptions that I had been understood or clear before.

The second interview was a totally opposite experience. We just released the fifth volume of our publication, Maryland Voices, last weekend, and we’re getting good press about it. One of my student editors had the opportunity to read an excerpt from her story on the air, and I was interviewed about the publication and about the Maryland Writing Project.

I wish I had the power to flip the time spent on each interview. I would have loved to have spent 10 minutes in the depo and two hours talking about writing!

Being in that radio environment, though, thrilled me. I’ve always wanted to own a small radio station. I love editing digital audio, and so I imagine I would enjoy being a producer more than an interviewer. Maybe when my book sells and I sell those million copies, right?
Anyway….If you are interested in hearing the interview with WYPR, just go to their website, WYPR.org, and go here to the Maryland Morning page. If you visit their site any time after today, they’ll archive the show for download, so just make sure you navigate to today’s date, May 30. If you read this post before 9:30, you can log on to the site and listen to the program live. Our segment airs at 9:40 a.m.

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