institute for documentary studies

{Week 15: Radio}

Week 15: Radio

Salt is self-selecting. Imagine a group of 20 people who are innately curious, ask probing questions, care about the inner lives of other people and could listen until their ears fall off,  sponges laden with the weight of your words. If this describes you, then coming to Salt is like finding your long lost brothers and sisters. Your people. And it was these people that I had the enormous pleasure of standing alongside during our graduation.
My sister calls them “freeze frame” moments. It’s those moments of suspended time, plucked from the rush of a momentous day, in which you can remember every detail perfectly. Our radio class decided to construct a Soundscape in two parts. We recorded a classmate’s laughter, our multimedia instructor’s favorite phrases, all manner of computer whirring and keyboard clacking and while it played in the background, we lined up in front of the crowd dressed in the uniform of our radio instructor (re: flannel button down + hat). We proceeded to say catch phrases from our class in a medley of sound bites. If you come to Salt, you’ll inevitable have your own inside jokes and loaded phrases, the refuse of days spent together trying to figure out how to tell a good story:

“Where’s the nutgraf?”
“If you’re not on Tweet Deck, you’re really not on Twitter.”
“What do the salmon hear?”
“Okay people, can we take a five minute break and be back in five minutes?”


It sounded like Salt. It felt like Salt. In many ways, standing in that red room where we had first assembled as strangers all those weeks ago, it was a distillation of all I had come to love about Salt—on the high of creating work, sharing with others, standing together, and finding a creative way to make a moment our own. When I first came to Salt, I worried and wondered that it would be cut throat. Competitive. Every man an island.
Like all stories, you don’t know how it’s going to end in the beginning. And if you’re at the beginning of your own Salt experience, trust me when I say that you’re about to go on a journey. Standing on the other side, I can tell you with a full heart and a vote of confidence that the ending is beautiful if you’re willing to take the risk.