Yah! So great to have unexpected events that add so much to your work!
This past Thursday, I had an interview lined up with, Darren, a teacher from A.S.E. 1 alternative school in Scarborough (ON). I asked for an hour of his time and I was prompt about finishing exactly within one hour. Just as I finished packing away the audio equipment and leaving his office, he said “hey, why don’t you speak to these guys” –he was referring to two students who had just walked into the office/admin area. Cool! So, I began asking these two guys what their experience with education has been and shortly thereafter, Lynda, the office administrator interjected and said “oh, you must interview Cassy!!”… whom she directed my way.
I offered the guys to control some of the audio equipment and a Flip cam while I continued on asking Cassy a few questions. Wow, she had a lot to say about how ASE helped her to believe in herself and enjoy school again. Prior to ASE, Cassy dealt with emotional struggles which added to her lack of motivation to attend school. Now, she’s pumped!
The three students led me over to a ‘chill’n’ room where a group of students sat. Some shared some of their own thoughts about the benefits for them of alt. ed. over industrial school too; in reference to those industrial schools, one young man said “…they just pump [students] out like hamburgers!” as oppose to ASE where the teachers actually care about their students.
So, lots of unanticipated media recorded, and, I’m lov’n the experience of documenting with audio rather than video… although it’s a bit hard to get use to as I’m often aching to have everything I’m experiencing recorded visually. That intimidation factor that can happen with a camera, however (especially when you are a newbie in the space), is so drastically reduced.
Now, I’m all about investing in a less intrusive device than the Marantz PMD 660, which might seem rediculous. I know it’s a reliable product but I’d like to have something I can keep with me at all times. Also, a mistake I have made thus far is not consistently taking out the same mic from the ‘cage’ (school equip. depo) for ever recording. The problem is, the same equip is not always available. Some of my sound is great while other recordings have too much noise… this is where needing your own, reliable equipment is so helpful and will probably save a lot of time in post-production.
Not sure it will do the trick so I’m keeping it in the box until I’ve tested one other similar device, the Zoom H4N with XLR inputs. I’m not convinced that the product will really produce radically improved sound over the LS-10 but we’ll have to see (even though I spent hours listening to tests others have online to listen to).
Next Tuesday, a young man named Freddy has invited me into his music studio for an interview. He chuckled when I asked him about his experiences in school. Can’t wait to discover his extra-curricular hang-out and talents!