A few weeks back I scheduled several guests for future episodes of my podcast. The podcast is something I started late last year and was something I had explored doing for the better part of a full year. I got into it and enjoyed doing it.
It has been hard building up an audience for the podcast. It's been hard getting people to commit to listening to my voice and having me discuss things with people. I've been trying to broaden the horizon of the podcast and talk about a wider variety of subjects with more people.
It's not a good feeling when I ask somebody I respect greatly to listen to my podcast and get back a politely worded version of "I hate it." It's crushing when somebody says to me, "I've never listened to it."
I've been thinking of who I'm doing this for. My idea is to have people learn about something. Things like life as a freelance journalist (episode 3), Concord University's Beckley center (episode 4), what it's like to go to grad school in California after living in West Virginia (episode 6), and most recently roller derby (episode 18), among others.
I scheduled an interview with Concord University's President, Kendra Boggess. Why? I'm not really sure. It just seemed like a good thing to do. She recently became the first female President and CU is one of the only good things in southern West Virginia.
I showed up to her office on Tuesday. We chatted for a few minutes and then got ready to start. She had "liked" several of my podcasts on Facebook, so I figured she had listened to a few or at least knew the format. She told me I had 15 minutes, as she had a meeting coming up. With the exception of episode 01 (which I dubbed the "practice-cast"), I have not had an episode under 20 minutes, and I try to shoot for 40 minutes.
So we decided I would come back on Wednesday. In the day that passed, I began thinking more about why I wanted her on the podcast. I thought about our conversation that we had before I realized I didn't have enough time. She told me three times in the span of 10 minutes or so that she would make sure I graduated from Concord University.
And that's when it hit me. I don't want to graduate from Concord University. I hate Concord University and didn't enjoy a second that I was on campus that day.
I thought more about it. My hatred isn't rational. Why do I hate CU? Because I see my wasted potential. I was a somebody turning into a something. And then I kind of became a joke.
I specifically made a point to ask Wendy Holdren in episode 18 what she thought about Concord because I knew she would have good things to say about it. I wanted Kendra Boggess on the podcast so that she could say good things about Concord and encourage students to attend.
I then began thinking about why I do the podcast. Three reasons, the most important of which was to inform people and maybe help them learn something. The second and third reasons are purely selfish for me: it's fun and easy.
I woke up early on Tuesday and didn't get done what I wanted to accomplish. I felt like shit because I was tired and didn't get anything else accomplished. I woke up early on Wednesday and had a couple thoughts. I don't get paid to do this podcast. Those people I like and respect don't listen to it. This moment in my life is neither fun nor easy. So, I went back to bed.
I really hope that Tuesday morning is the last time I'm ever on Concord's campus. I have no plans to ever go back there.
If anybody's curious, below is what I had planned for the interview: