Sunday, February 04, 2007

Better A Nerd, Than A Fool

The nature of my work leads me to spend a great deal of time behind the wheel. My daily work changes... well... daily. One day I might be changing street light fixtures in northern Kern County. The next day I might be checking underground facilities on the south side of Bakersfield. These last few days I have been scheduling work to modify the bird-killing poles in SLO and Santa Barbara Counties. That's a lot of driving. I have found a pleasant side effect of long drive-times to be the amount of radio programs I get to listen to.

In the mornings I bounce back and forth from comedy shows to NPR's Morning Edition. Occasionally I'll listen to the "conservative" talk shows, but lately I have found them to be more strident and grating. I most often look forward to the part of the day when the classical music starts on FM89.1 KPRX. Since classical music is usually exempt from lyrics, it becomes an excellent time to think about family, life, and what God is doing in my life.

When I was a teen, my listening habits tended toward punk rock, ska, or anything else that was loud for loud's sake. As I grow older I find myself growing "nerdier". I love to listen to classical music. I love to hear things that I haven't heard on the Top 40. I love that I can both talk to, and hear God while Vivaldi plays.

I was talking about my recent affinity for Public Radio with my brother, James. I came to find out that my brother also enjoys public radio. I think that it is unfortunate that public radio is portrayed as the dominion of elitist snobs and introverted pan flute enthusiasts. I find myself listening to public radio almost every day.

There are so many programs that can be enjoyed by so many people. In the morning there is the news on Morning Edition. It may have a slight left-of-center viewpoint on the world's events. I may be slightly right-of-center. I don't care. I love to hear what other people are thinking. That's why I love to listen to, Talk Of The Nation, with Neal Conan. Every day is a new topic. People from all backgrounds call in to discuss what is on the national conscience. A highlight of my work week is Friday, when Talk Of The Nation (TOTN) becomes Science Friday, with Ira Flatow (rhymes with Plato). SciFri never fails to pique my interest. From neuroplasticity (you can change your brain by thinking about it) to fatal familial insomnia (literally dying from lack of sleep) and dark matter, Science Friday covers it all.

At night I look forward to the Thomas Jefferson Hour with Clay Jenkinson. Haven't you ever wondered what it might be like to interview a founding father of the United States? Historian Clay Jenkinson goes into character for the show, providing some interesting insight into what it meant to be an American in America's infancy.

Another favorite of mine is Selected Shorts. Award-winning actors read selected short stories.

So. The list goes on and on. I think I will actually post a series of links in the sidebar to my favorite programs. Most of them provide program content on the internet, so you don't even need to catch it at a certain time on your radio.

I think I mentioned to my brother that I felt like a nerd for listening to public radio. He responded. "Better a nerd, than a fool." I can agree with that.

Here's something ridiculous.


14 comments:

Gina said...

I, too, am turning into a nerd in my old age. I listen to NPR every day! It makes my commute much more enjoyable and I get to find out about things that I otherwise wouldn't. Also, I just took Paul to the newly renovated Griffith Observatory this weekend and we loved it.

aunt donna said...

We've been NPR listeners for a long time and I sort of married into classical music nearly 28 years ago. Holly's orchestra classmates affectionately refer to themselves as "Orch Dorks" in the proudest sense of the word. Welcome to the family!

Megan said...

hey, I'm still in marching band. take THAT "nerd"!

JAMESWalker said...

And we can all thank the ultimate dork of the family: our proud father, Mr. Stephen Walker. He carries on the great tradition of dorkery through his blog, sldubya.blogspot.com, by posting his nerdelicious recipes and discussing such topics as traffic, cheese, and Got Milk? commercials.

Thanks, Dad. I love you and your nerdiness. I wouldn't have it any other way.

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