The Mayor, the City Council, schools… and poetry

Sometimes it feels like deja vu all over again here in Chicago.  We’re dealing with those issues today, (well, maybe not poetry), but this program was recorded on July 22, 1971.

On July 21, 1971, Alderman Dick Simpson made the suggestion in a City Council meeting that the councilman the mayor had chosen for the Zoning Board of Appeals had a conflict of interest, and was too closely connected to other influential boards and to the mayor himself.

Mayor Daley responded.  Passionately.  And an unnamed journalist recorded it.

During the first half of this program, Dick Simpson is in the studio recounting the event to Studs.  He remarks, “Somehow, on all of these boards that are appointed, it’s the important firms of the city that get represented; it’s not all of the other elements of the public interest, it’s not the small firms, it’s not the little real estate man.”  After he leaves to teach a class, journalist Mike Royko sits in and dissects the event with Studs.  They read part of Daley’s response aloud and then listen to the recording.

You can read the Chicago Tribune coverage of the event here (it begins on the bottom right of page one), and listen to the program below.

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Who wrote the Greatest Ever Chicago Book?

Have you been following the Chicago Reader’s Greatest Ever Chicago Book Tournament?  We have, and you can guess who we’re rooting for!  The last round pitted Nelson Algren’s City on the Make against Mike Royko’s Boss – what would Studs have made of that?  Jerome Ludwig was tasked with this difficult decision, and even considers what he calls “the Studs Terkel factor” in making his final choice.  If you haven’t already, read about what he chose and why.

And then come back to hear Studs and Nelson talk about their beloved city and Algren’s paean to it.

Speaking of love…

And we couldn’t leave out Mike Royko!

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Using the Studs Terkel Radio Archive in the Classroom (part 1)

Studs Terkel loved to learn (as regular listeners know, sometimes he couldn’t ask his questions fast enough!) – and because his program reached so many listeners, he in turn became an educator.  Those of us at the Studs Terkel Radio Archive love a lot of things about Mr. Terkel, but we’re particularly passionate about continuing his educational legacy by introducing his material to new listeners and seeing it used in new ways.

Last week, we had the opportunity to meet with a group of teachers from public and alternative schools in Chicago to discuss using the Studs Terkel Radio Archive and the Exploring Music Archive in the classroom.  We came in with some specific project goals about teaching critical listening, but we knew that the teachers were the true experts.  After demonstrating some of the digital audio tools that we can provide, we asked for their input and feedback: how can we make our online collections and tools work for you?  We got some great suggestions, including a searchable taxonomy of musical terms, and the possibility of using time-stamped recordings and transcriptions as teaching tools for English-language learners.

You may have noticed that this post is Part 1 of a series; our hope is to have many more posts on this topic in the future.  In fact, our ultimate goal is to develop and curate an online repository of remixes made by students, combining their own recorded oral histories with Studs’ programs.  Imagine hearing Maya Angelou talk about her grandmother’s life in the South, and then hearing a student speak with her own grandmother about her life.  Or hearing Studs’ live footage of the near-riot situation at the Young Lords’ Lincoln Park Fiesta in 1969, and then cutting to a student interviewing a friend or relative who was there, too.  What about splicing Studs’ and Mike Royko’s conversations about journalistic integrity into students’ discussions about a school newspaper or a school blog?  The possibilities are endless and we are very excited to see what students and teachers come up with!

Are you an educator interested in using either of these archives in your classroom?  Please get in touch with Allison Schein, the Archive Manager, at aschein@wfmt.com.  We would love to help you do everything from brainstorming a lesson plan to teaching you the nuts & bolts of our audio remix software.

Special thanks to Bill McGlaughlin of Exploring Music, Rowan Beaird of Project&, Jordan LaSalle of Chicago Public Schools, and Barbara Radner of DePaul University’s School for New Learning!

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