Saturday, November 19, 2005

Samuel Alito? Doesn't he play for the Nashville Predators?

Permit me to summarize my week:

--> I hosted Morning Edition on a couple of mornings. The local version, anyway. Our regular host requested that I note, on air, that she was “on assignment”, so as not to give the impression that she was vacationing mid-week. Someplace, there’s probably a blog where someone keeps track of our local on air personalities. I considered a misdirection play, but in the end, dropped in the term “on assignment” now and then. This kept the number of panicky phone calls from her fans to a minimum.

The odd thing about hosting Morning Edition here in Public Radioland is that it requires the host to do a lot of both on-air work and taped production – concurrently. This means that on the two mornings I hosted the show, I heard fewer stories than on mornings that I’m not on the air. I did, however, learn a lot about the weather forecast, having read it out loud roughly 50,000 times.

--> I spent lots of time with my 17-month old. The following story doesn’t really involve her, except that it took place at a local bookstore, where Sylvi and I were trolling for Sesame Street videos. We overheard the following cell phone conversation between a student (I presume) teacher and her presumed fellow student teacher:

“Well, I thought about buying “The Giving Tree”, by Shel Silverstein, but that’s not really about being nice to other people. I haven’t decided what to get.

I don’t know… how about “The Giving Tree”, by Shel Silverstein? Since it’s basically about, um, being nice to people…

Sylvi and I, by the way, ended up with “Sesame Street Celebrates Around the World”, which is pretty unremarkable, except that it includes scenes with a) Elmo’s “cousin” Pepe, who is actually Elmo with a comical moustache, and b) Cookie Monster as a TV science reporter.

--> I moderated a “forum” about publc education. Or, rather, I “moderated” the forum. It was a somewhat uncontentious affair, since everyone on the panel and everyone in the audience was an adrent public education supporter. (And so was I, I suppose.) The people on the panel were bright and the audience appreciative, but I couldn’t help feeling that it was one part panel discussion and one part infomercial. Had Ron Popeil been on the panel the audience could have shouted “Set it and forget it!” in unison.

On the other hand, it was heartening to see a room full of people who cared enough about educating kids that they got babysitters for a couple hours so they could talk about it.

--> And I listened to too much hockey coverage on XM. They’ve added a 24/7 hockey news channel, which I think is a positive development as a whole, though even I’d have to admit that the material might run a little thin after, say, three or four hours. I thought, for example, that the hour-long feature on hockey hall-of-famers and their breakfast cereal preferences was a bit dry. As opposed to the cereal itself.

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