During the Great Recession I was living in a small, one-bedroom apartment in an out-of-the-way location that didn’t have high-speed internet—only dial-up. (This is relevant, believe me.)
I had been working as a substitute teacher after going back to college to renew my teaching certificate. During the school year, I was able to work as a substitute teacher, which just barely paid the bills. (I was hoping to eventually find work as a teacher.) It helped that my rent was only $400 a month.
Schools aren’t open in the summer, though. It was almost impossible to find work and I had no savings. I was signed up with every temp agency around, but jobs simply weren’t there. I was eventually promised work at an aluminum plant, for which I was very grateful because not only did they pay slightly more than minimum wage, they also offered 12-hour workdays, which meant lots of overtime. If I could only get in there quickly enough, I could make enough money to pay off my back rent and save my home.
I eventually did get that position. I had just discovered podcasting, thanks to Will Wheaton’s Radio Free Burrito and had made a few podcasts of my own. That’s not an easy thing to do over a dial-up internet connection. (I told you that would become relevant.)
Because I was busy and tired (coming off a twelve-hour shift, I would often just sleep for an hour or two in my car before I went in the house), I didn’t really have time to write or podcast about the experience. But I knew that I would want a record of these experiences, so I made recordings, generally on the way to work or the way home. I at first recorded on my portable mp3 player (remember those?) which had a record function, but later found that my digital camera could also record audio, and made slightly better recordings. I eventually
shoplifted* saved up enough money to purchase an actual Olympus voice recorder, which I still have and use to this day.
I came up with the name “Great Recession Archive” pretty easily, actually.
Fast forward to the present day and we are again facing another global crisis. So I decided to pull out those old files, clean them up as best as I can, add whatever relevant information I have to them, and podcast them. This will take some time, but it will take my mind off the current crisis.
A couple of things to note:
- The sound quality of these is terrible. I was recording on instruments that weren’t designed to make podcast-quality recordings. I’ve cleaned them up as much as possible on Audacity, but they still sound terrible.
- I was tired all the time and probably swore a lot, so these are NSFW/NSFS.
- I’ve kept these intact, with all the “um”s and dead air that was originally there. I’ve bleeped out any names, though.
- Most importantly, I can’t guarantee that any of these are in any way interesting. Caveat emptor.
That’s all, for now.
*Let’s just say that was Plan A.This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.Permalink for this article: