“This Grinnellian Life” speaks to all

Jon Sundby, News Editor

sundbyjo17@grinnell.edu

Every Saturday night at 8 p.m., the chaotic sounds of rock and hip hop suddenly stop, and onto the airwaves of Grinnell’s KDIC floats the measured voices of Hannah Lundberg and Emma Roszkowski, both ’18. Reciting poetry and telling quirky stories, Lundberg and Roszkowski host the show “This Grinnellian Life,” a radio story hour loosely based off the National Public Radio (NPR) show “This American Life”.

While admittedly not as polished as their NPR counterpart, Lundberg and Roszkowski have tried to maintain a similar vibe, describing situations that they believe are universal to the Grinnellian experience.

Lundberg and Roszkowski tell stories that they feel will be relatable to all students. Photo by Jun Taek Lee

Lundberg and Roszkowski tell stories that they feel will be relatable to all students. Photo by Jun Taek Lee

“Stories from our lives that we think could be relatable to other Grinnellians … you know, kind of general, trying to be relatable, quirky things,” Lundberg said of the content of the show.

These stories range from roommate difficulties to awkward grocery store encounters. Often the pair will play music and read creative short stories and poems based on whatever topic they’ve chosen for the week.

“A lot of times, since our show is on Saturdays, we will be inspired by whatever event is on that day. So if there is a particular Harris, we will play music that fits within that theme and then tell stories that sort of relate to it,” Lundberg said.

Roszkowski started the show with another friend during her first semester. The pair bonded over their love for radio, especially NPR, which is how they happened upon the idea for “This Grinnellian Life.” Halfway through the year, however, Roszkowski’s original partner left Grinnell and Roszkowski asked Lundberg to join her. Both agreed that the first semester performance had wandered too far from the NPR model, and they made a commitment to try to steer the show towards a more storytelling direction.

“Hannah and I are moving more toward the American Life vision that we kind of strayed from with the original idea,” Roszkowski added.

Despite starting out as novices, since partnering last year both DJ’s have gained some valuable radio experience outside of KDIC. This summer Roszkowski interned at Wisconsin Public Radio and Lundberg took a class on radio storytelling. Through these experiences they learned a lot about both the technical and creative sides of radio and hope to bring their newfound knowledge into the KDIC studio.

“I learned a lot about sound editing and what you want in a show,” Roszkowski said, reflecting on her time this summer.

Lundberg, for her part, worked extensively on editing through the school computers during her class. She is currently trying to utilize this expertise to create more dynamic, polished shows that can not only air on Saturdays but also be put into a podcast form.

“I think it would be really cool if we had one piece that each of us made that’s really well-produced and has music and stuff. But, right now it is the beginnings of that—we tell the stories and read them dramatically, but they’re not super edited,” Lundberg explained.

Although balancing schoolwork and other responsibilities with the show is a struggle for the pair, both Lundberg and Roszkowski hope to carve out more time in their schedules to craft a more finished show.

“I really like the NPR-style radio stuff, and I guess from [radio storytelling] it gave me hope for making a more polished, podcast-style product for next semester,” Lundberg concluded.