Nov 29 2012

Slice of Life

Published by at 8:01 PM under Comm 300

It’s Friday night and you’re four hours away. It isn’t the distance that matters, you’re right here in town. The sun just set over Sioux City’s historic Fourth Street, so the bar-lights at Buffalo Alice and Chesterfield’s have just started buzzing. It won’t be until around nine they’ll be completely drunk. It’s everything you’ve always wanted, but like an idiot you’re scared not really knowing what to do. Doc’s taught you everything you need to know already, several times over. It’s up to you. You feel that one last big breath, turn on the microphone and begin to feel the glow.

It’s four hours until the highlight of the night begins, but it’s also your DJ shift on Fusion 93. Reminiscent of the famous Last Dragon ending, you feel like Leroy Green himself.  The drowning hands of the evil Sho’nuff, the Shogun of Harlem, lift your head. He arrogantly asks you one last time, “WHO’S THE ONE AND ONLY MASTER?” Then in your best robotic Taimak voice calmly reply, “I AM.”

First airing in April of 1978 KMSC was a revival of Morningside’s student broadcast station that aired between 1923-1928. Currently Dr. Mark Heistad is the executive producer, as well as, the faculty advisor for the student run station. According to Morningside’s Mass Comm website KMSC was, “built and maintained by a Morningside physics student who went on to found the first commercial station in Sioux City.”

With listener emails coming in from as far away as Germany, the station has certainly come along way from its so-called “bailing wire and bubble gum” roots. Several former and current students enjoy sharing their tales of stepping into the dreaded booth for the first time:

Former station manager and on-air personality Ryan Tellinghuisen recalls, “I did a love/relationship show called the Love Glove. Listeners could submit questions for the show online and even find the show on Facebook and like it. I had a blast every time we went on.”

Current station manager Nick Brinks (who aired a Nascar segment each week) reminded potential listeners that, “ NASCAR may be over, but the show goes on! Back to classic rock and country.”

Likewise KCAU’s own Hollie Hojek, in an article she posted this past August, summed up KMSC’s importance. In it Hojek began, “The students…are about to get the opportunity of a lifetime.” Her article was in reference to student coverage of the President’s visit to Morningside’s campus.

Similarly former KMSC staff member Shelby Powell says, “KMSC was a valuable experience because it taught me how to work under pressure and function in a team setting. I was able to work toward overcoming my fear of speaking publicly and become much more comfortable working with software and mass communication related technology”

Not all students enjoyed their KMSC experience however. Michelle Kuester recalls, “I worked summer staff once and I wanted to shoot myself everyday. You sit by yourself for two hours…It’s not a mystery why there’s no sharp objects in there like scissors.”

Kuester also noted that, “…half the time the equipment doesn’t work. An on-air personality sounds like the most outgoing and friendly person, but it really is a lonely job,” when reminiscing about her time in the booth.

Regardless, every student involved with the radio station has benefited in some way or another. By offering “hands-on” experience, students are better equipped to handle the day-to-day operations of a radio station and gain valuable experience in the process. Moreover, since on-air personalities are only students, if they screw up they get a pass they wouldn’t otherwise receive in the real world.

As far as benefits go, working for the college station offers several. A recent USA Today article lists seven ways working for a college radio station can change your life. These included developing your verbal communication skills as well as teaching an appreciation for community issues. Thus, by covering everything from Mustang sports to Presidential elections KMSC is an experience for any student.

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Slice of Life”

  1.   Claireon 05 Dec 2012 at 4:02 PM

    Wow, look at all of those sources! There’s no way you can fail this one.

  2.   Michelleon 05 Dec 2012 at 4:07 PM

    You need to mention how half the time the equipment doesn’t work. I think you are romanticizing working for a radio station. An on-air personality sounds like the most outgoing and friendly person, but it really a lonely job. Good job on what you have so far.

  3.   fuglsangon 17 Dec 2012 at 4:53 PM

    First of all: Congratulations and good luck, Mr. Green. Keep in touch with the department so we can bask in your future success.

    Slice of Life: I don’t need to tell you this isn’t your best work, Kevin. You’ve collected some quotes and thrown them together with a bit of KMSC history. But that in itself isn’t going to help the reader understand what it’s like to be on the air. Expressing and explaining the feelings of those who go on the air should have been at the core of this assignment. You left yourself out.

    The first paragraph still loses me, and I’m not convinced it’s necessary. Why not just begin with the “butterflies” of the second graf? Take off from there and show me what it’s like to DJ while others are out partying.

    And take up Michelle’s comment. What were your experiences? Explain and describe so the reader can bask… I mean understand what it’s like to be a DJ.