Sneaker Shawties Episode One

INTRO: Whether you are someone who could care less about your feet’s or an adamant checks over stripes kinda person, the global sneaker market raked in a whopping $58 billion in 2018. With the popularity of street wear where your sneakers can make or break your fit, reseller apps such as GOAT and STOCK X  have people selling shoes that once retailed for something like $160 for thousands of dollars after its release. But while companies like Nike are raking in the dough from collaborations with artists such as Travis Scott and Virgil Abloh, these in high demand shoes that can be flipped for generous profits, are still being mostly released in mens sizing. Lauren Cardenas explains how women want the cool shoes in their sizing too. 

AMBI: Royalty free hip hop music

TRACK: When you walk through the entrance of sneakersnstuff you are greeted with an overwhelming amount of sneakers. From Nike air maxes to Adidas nite joggers to New Balance 990’s every table and even the meat freezer they turned into a sneaker display is filled strategically that would make any sneaker lovers wallet scream. As I pass the array of shoes and am lead to the back by assistant manager Kevin Vidal who is flexing in a pair of Dover Street Market air force ones, shelves filled with a rainbow of sneaker boxes make the tiny office/stockroom/employee break room a tad bit claustrophobic. Lauren the general manager enters the back out of breath and apologies for leaving me waiting. According to her the adidas meeting she was at went passed the time it was supposed to end and then there was the 6 train.  In a Yankee fitted, a black Nike ACG vest, black hoodie, black stone island track pants and grey and white New Balance 576’s, Lauren is effortlessly cool. Like not trying to be cool just naturally wakes up like that. At the start of our interview apparently she had another one waiting for her an employee informs her while apologetically interrupting us. 

AMBI: Employee ambi 

TRACK: She tells everyone else to only interrupt us if it’s urgent and then goes on to recall the moment every sneaker enthusiast has; that one moment in their lives where they fell in love with kicks, for Lauren, it all began at the age of 7. 

ACT: So growing up I was one of six kids, we really didn’t have money. And my grandmother took care of me, some of my siblings and this cousin I had whose Kathleen and we only a couple days apart. So we were always competitive, always fighting. And one day she got really really pissed and she pushed me in the pool. All my clothes were ruined so we had to go somewhere. My grandma had got us in the car and I had the opportunity to buy new clothes so I was hype and it was like these bootleg, I mean they were real nikes but nothing cool what would probably be a dad shoe now it would probably be cool now but it wasn’t back then but it was my first swoosh. I was like seven years old and after that, It was a wrap. I just wanted to collect shoes and i would try and get my grandmother to buy me new shit. 

IMANI:  So that was the start of you liking sneakers? 

LAUREN:  Yeah just like walking into a store and seeing how many different shoes. I wasn’t going to run in these shoes but when I put them on and I felt cool. Like every celebrities and athletes I was looking at. I played soccer at a young age. Mia Ham was like a big thing, she was like the first biggest woman in sports. Lisa Leslie, Cheryl Swoops and they were all like Nike girls. So like when I put that swoosh on, even if it wasn’t a basketball shoe when I put those shoes on, I wanted to be a better soccer player, better basketball player as a female. It was like being better at everything in life that what it was equivalent too.

TRACK: With already 250 pairs of sneakers in her Brooklyn apartment, Lauren joking gives free advertisement to the storage company she rents from thats houses the other 250 pairs of her collection.  

ACT: I use make space. It’s really good storage. 

IMANI: And you really wouldn’t call yourself a sneaker head with over 500 shoes.

LAUREN: I’m a hoarder. Like now i have this system because i can’t literally fit anything in my apartment that if i get a new shoe i give one away. Like in the past sb’s were really big for me so i refuse to get rid of sb’s because they don’t really make them anymore. Tinker Hatfield who is a long time Nike designer. Anything he touches i like to collect. 

IMANI: You even have a signed shoe by him right. Is that your favorite memory of a shoe? 

LAUREN:  Meeting him was actually really cool. I actually got out of sneakers because I was tired of working in the sneaker world and I worked for the eyeglass company Warby Parker. And everyone there was like super yuppie, upper east side, suit and tie and I was the only one that wore sneakers and i guess they got this email from Nike like hey, one of our designers want to come in and get fitted for frames. No one knew who he was. So the owner of the brand sent me an email, and was like do you know who Tinker Hartfield was and didn’t even spell his name right. And i’m like Tinker Hatfield…

TRACK: You can hear her voice get a little higher when she says his name and the big smile she has on her face just shows how much sneakers can mean to a person. 

ACT: and he’s like yeah come into the store and try on some frames. This was when Nike was launching the hyper adapts for the first time. So he was going to be at the new SoHo store. I stayed up the whole night before, I went through my whole closet trying to find which shoe I was going to choose and it was the Jordan 3 he designed to get Jordan to stick with/ staying with Jordan brand and Nike. And it was the first shoe I had bought with my own money. So it was crusty, falling apart, disgusting but he didn’t think it was weird. I met my hero and he didn’t disappoint me. We got in the photo booth, i’m pretty sure it smelled, there was dog hair in it and shit. It’s been around for some time. 

TRACK: Lauren’s first job at 16 was at a small sneaker store and today at 30 her resume boasts big name retailers such as Nike, Flight Club and Kith. With more than ten years in the industry, Lauren explains that when women actually help create something fire, they do not receive the acknowledgement they deserve. She describes how women specific shoes aren’t at all what women want. 

ACT: Women have made a huge impact but they are not being acknowledged for it. So like even the Nike design team, out of the three head designers two of them are female. But most people wouldn’t know that. People don’t even know who Tinker is. The people behind the scenes, the people who are actually producing the things we like follow story lines and we fall in love with are being produced and created by women but there is no spotlight on them and when you think of like women’s sneakers you think of something with like glitter on it, its pink, its iridescent, and its just like what that has to do with being a female, I don’t relate to and I don’t feel like any female relates to that. 

TRACK: The male dominated market according to Lauren is antiquated and all they have to do instead of wondering how to win there female customers, is actually allow for women to give their feedback and make decisions for themselves. 

ACT: We want the same thing that the entire market wants which is dominated by men. We have to allow women to give more feedback instead of it just being men sitting around talking about how do we win her. Allow her to just like make things for herself and just allow those women to actually make the decisions instead of sitting there and getting feedback from men about women. A man can’t tell you what a woman wants because he’s not a woman. And I think that’s the problem. It’s a male voice speaking for women.

TRACK: She expresses how while people who didn’t know better might argue that in recent years there have been various women who have collaborated with sneaker brands like Jordan and Adidas, its really not black and white. 

ACT: But what you see in the media makes it seem like, you know you see like Aleali Mae, you see Olivia Kim, you see all these people. They let us get a collaboration every now and then. But there is no female equivalent to a Travis Scott. Like there is no one that could put out shoes and can sell at the value that these collector items. Because every female shoe is the same. There is no value around it. If i wanna do a shoe they’ll just put my name on it, make it pink and i would never fucking wear that a day in my life but that’s what they think women want and we’re going to continue to silcence that female “sneaker head” 

TRACK: While she explains the faults with the way women are treated in the industry, she believes that change isn’t impossible. 

ACT: 

IMANI: Do you think it could change?  

LAUREN: I think it could change, I think it is changing. I think what kind of like hurts us is that there are influencers and you see these office people who don’t live life in real life, they live their life through instagram. So they see an influencer who maybe about fashion or beauty and they say oh a million girls follow her so she must gotta know what’s up with sneakers. When its like no it’s probably the girl who has a thousand followers, she probably skates and she’s probably not the most attractive because you know when it comes to women, sex has to sell. So because its not sexy, we don’t choose her. We are picking women to be in front of things but not the right women not one of this comfortable imagine of whatever it means to be a woman.

ACT: 

IMANI: you feel like women like Vashti like Aleali Mae and Olivia Kim, they are just these names… They want to be like oh here is a woman she’s popular she doesn’t really know about shoes but she seems cool 

LAUREN: Yeah like Aleali i’m sure she knows about shoes, she’s with it but then it’s just like Olivia Kim… no one even really knows who Olivia Kim is. But like everyone is like fuck it . Oh they made a Jordan 4 and it’s close to the black cats and its a girl and i’m going to support it. These shoes mean something to people. People would sit outside and wait for a shoe for six hours and not want to flip it for $600. That’s the shift in cultures. But that’s not sustainable. That consumer will eventually get bored and move on to something else where you have these real die hard fans of quality and storytelling and then they won’t want it either and the who thing dies. 

TRACK: For Lauren is really just boils down to something simple. 

ACT:  If you just make good product by good people with good stories, that last forever. That is why the air force has lasted so long. That is why kids are still buying Jordans but the kids that are buying Jordans weren’t even alive when he was actually playing. So those are the real stories and I think if we just stick to the basics then we’ll be able to make progress from all points. 

OUTRO: While Lauren might not continue with a career in sneaker retail which she has been doing for 14 years, she cannot imagine her life not involving sneakers. She hopes that one day they realize that women who have a love and passion for them just want the same ones they release for men in their sizes and more quantity of them so they don’t have to pay $1000 for a $120 shoe. Thank you for listening to Sneaker Shawties where female sneaker enthusiast tell their stories and opinions. Tune in to episode two where Nia Spencer, a college student who has her own Nike air max 95 tells us hers ! This is your host Imani Seda.

 

Plural Love – Episode 1

HOST INTRO: Dinner tables set for two. Couples with their hands intertwined, strolling through Central Park. Two newlyweds celebrating outside of City Hall. Though, our society had legalized same-sex marriage in 2015, the notion that a relationship could involve more than two people has still stayed a taboo topic in today’s modern world.

AMBI: (Bar atmosphere, music playing.)

TRACK: I’m here at a local bar in Flushing, Queens. It’s a relaxed Tuesday night. Jessica Garcia, 26, and her current partner, Denis Ramos, 29, frequent here often as a means to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. She met her current partner on OKCupid two years ago.

ACT: “He first told me he was polyamorous on our first date.”

TRACK: This is Plural Love.

TRACK: “We were hanging out and I told him that I was dating multiple people, and he said that’s fine, I’m polyamorous. And I kind of had a sense of what he meant when he said the word ‘poly,’ which means more than one. And I didn’t understand the full concept of it, but I understood that’s he dating or seeing multiple people as well.”

TRACK: According to a study published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy in April 2016, 21 percent of people have had a non-monogamous relationship. So, what does this mean? To be polyamorous, is by definition, the practice of, or desire for, intimate relationships with more than one partner, with the consent of all partners involved. The data that was gathered from almost 9,000 respondents in the annual Singles in America survey shows that polyamory is more common than people might realize. However, even though it might be common, that doesn’t mean it’s also straightforward. And, that’s partly because every polyamorous relationship is different.

AMBI: (Denis and Jessica interacting. Jessica laughing, Denis saying “Can’t have a bad first meeting when you pick up a girl on a motorcycle.”)

ACT: “So, we texted immediately and he told me that he had a motorcycle. To me, that comes across as someone that is adventurous, a risk tasker. So, that’s attractive. And, I think he knows that, he’s aware of that. He had a helmet for me, a jacket for me. So, I rode in the motorcycle with him and it was really thrilling, it was really great. He set the bar there already, for sure. Then we both had pupusas because we’re both El Salvadorian.”

TRACK: Jessica shares that even in the beginning stages of their relationship, she knew she wanted to be with him.

ACT: “I knew really early on that I really liked him. I knew early on that no – he makes my heart pitter patter. We became official after two months. I felt like we were already feeling that beforehand, though. We definitely liked hanging out with each other.”

ACT: DENIS: “At first we had our bumpy moments. You know, just getting used to the different dynamic and trying not to always be keeping score between all the different people, because that’s not always productive. But yeah, she learned fast.”

AMBI: (Bar atmosphere, music playing. Jess: “I wasn’t the only keeping score.”)

ACT: “I think, I really started identifying as polyamorous when I was dating multiple people. I had to balance what it was like dating multiple people that I respected, and whose feelings I cared about. And I had to balance their schedules and my schedules. And, especially when it gets the point where you like each other, and then it’s like oh shit, I have to, you know, balance two people that I really like and really care about or multiple people.”

TRACK: Jessica had explained that because she was new to the polyamory family, she needed to do some research first. Like many curious individuals, it can be confusing to differentiate what it means to be polyamorous and what it means to be in an open relationship.

ACT: “ As a Christmas present, I got a book that was called More Than Two, that is basically a book that is explaining polyamory. It’s still a new coined term. It only was invented in the 90’s, basically. To me, polyamorous means multiple loves or multiple relationships. And those relationships can be sexual, emotional, romantic, romantic and sexual. To me, an open relationship means that you have maybe one partner and you both see other people, and that can be mostly sexual. For polyamorous you can be in multiple serious relationships.”

AMBI: (Bar atmosphere, music playing. Denis and Jessica interacting.)

TRACK: Once Jessica began her relationship to Denis, then came the question: How will her friends and family react?

ACT: “Depending on the friend I think there was apprehensiveness towards it. I think the first thing they thought was: Is he going to hurt her? Maybe they didn’t take it too seriously or something because, you know, we were raised that monogamy is the main goal. I think eventually my friends got used to it, even though it was confusing for them to understand, I think they understood that it was what I was comfortable with and what I was happy with. As far as my family, I just told my parents, I think my parents are still a little confused. But they were accepting about it. I loved the quote my dad gave me. I came out as everything. I came out as bisexual to them as well. I came out as dating multiple people. ‘I don’t care if you’re dating twenty boys or twenty girls, as long as you’re coming home safe.’”

TRACK: Jessica and Denis have been in a relationship for two years. However, since that time, Jessica has been seeing multiple people. She recently just came out of a one-year relationship with her second partner.

ACT: “Right now, my partner and I like to say that we’re single, because we’re only seeing each other right now. But just because we’re seeing each other, doesn’t mean we’re monogamous. We’re still polyamorous because we still have the option to date other people, as long as we’re communicating with each other what’s going on. It’s constant communication. It is, what’s going on. I got this person’s number, things are going good with this person, things are not going good with this person, things are happening next with this person. If its consent, everyone is consenting and aware to be in this situation, that’s polyamory.”

TRACK: Aside from balancing her dating life, Jessica is currently completing her teaching program during the day, and at night, she works as a hostess full-time.

ACT: “Its hard. You think being in one relationship is enough, its hard being in two. Even with both my partners, we got to a point where we got comfortable and hung out at home a lot. We watched TV and cooked food.”

AMBI: (Bar atmosphere, music playing. Denis and Jessica interacting.)

ACT: DENIS: “We talk a lot; we text a lot. We’re always communicating. We’re always putting in in the effort to spend time together when we can.”

TRACK: Now that Jessica has been in several polyamorous committed relationships; she feels as though she can never go back.

ACT: “I don’t think I can ever be monogamous now. Only because, there is this very known notion about it. It’s a complex answer. There’s this very freeing notion about it. It’s wonderful to feel this free notion that, if you want to, you can get somebody’s number, if you want to you can kiss another person, as long as you’re communicating. At the same time, am I searching for stability? Yes. At the same time, do I believe in that other half? Yes. That’s sort of embedded in us. We’re habitual creatures my nature. Just because I have stability, it doesn’t mean I can’t also have my freedom at the same time. If you’re a person that wants to be monogamous and only your partner that its consensual, that’s beautiful and that’s wonderful. The whole point is that it’s a choice. That you choose to be monogamous and you can choose to be with this person. Meanwhile, you can choose to be polyamorous and have multiple people that you want to see and fall in love with. And still I think you can still have stability and freedom, and have multiple people that give you richness in your life.”

TRACK: For years, evolutionary psychologists have questioned whether or not humans are meant to be in monogamous relationships. Some scientists look at both social and sexual monogamy in humans as more of a societal structure instead of a natural state. Jessica shares her thoughts.

ACT: If you look at nature, all the species, there’s only maybe two animal species that are monogamous. I think it’s more of a social construct. I should say marriage upholds this idea of monogamy because you’re basically vowing yourself to this one person. The important thing is that you educate yourself on all the options available to you. If you happen to be very lucky and explore, find something that fits you. If it makes you happy, then it makes you happy, at the end of the day.”

AMBI: (Bar atmosphere, music playing. Denis and Jessica interacting.)

ACT: “Just because you happen to have multiple relationships, or you’re in an open relationship right now, that doesn’t devalue your relationship than being in a monogamous relationship. I think people usually think those relationships are not serious, because they consider marriage serious, and marriage equal monogamy. So, they consider monogamy serious. So, anything that is not monogamy, is not serious or not valued enough. You can have multiple relationships and they are serious, and people grow and learn from each other, and that doesn’t mean that relationship holds any less value than a monogamous relationship.”

ACT: If you can have multiple partners, why not. Take it slow, have a lot of conversations. Communication, conversations.

TRACK: Jessica and Denis are still going strong, and hope to grow and spend many years together, and explore other partners as well.

TRACK: This is Melissa Bacian, for Baruch College, signing off.

People of the Blue Basement Episode 1

HOST INTRO: The Renzo Gracie academy, also known as the blue basement, is home to a wide array of different martial artists with different goals. Some people are just getting started, trying to see what Jiu-Jitsu is all about, other people are trying to unwind after a hard day of work, and a small select few group of athletes are trying to see if they can take their skill in the sport to a competitive level.

AMBI: Sound of people training

TRACK: Renzo’s isn’t full of the same cookie cutter martial artist characters. Point to a random person and they might be a doctor, point at another and they might be an MMA fighter, point at someone else and they could be Kevin Salgado.

AMBI: More training sounds

TRACK: Kevin’s a graphic designer, he’s good at what he does. He’s worked for the likes of Viacom and is now currently working for Disney. To Kevin, becoming a graphic designer was a very practical decision.

ACT: “I chose graphic design from a sustainability standpoint. There’s not a business or company in the world that doesn’t have a use for a graphic designer in some way, shape, or form and so rather than try and be Picasso or somebody who’s trying to make money off of paintings and you know the odds of that are very slim, again the sustainability of graphic design, where you’re able to basically turn in any direction and there’s a demand for what you provide. It’s like a good balance of a career that lets you kinda live, if you do things right, lets you live comfortably. As opposed to gambling on just aspirations”

TRACK: Kevin’s decision to choose his career has a little rebellious flare to it. He’s not a fan of the way modern art is treated today with its broad subjectivity.

ACT: I’ve always had like a little bit for the word art, and that’s cause you can go to an art museum, and you can see something that a 2 year old drew it and its “a masterpiece”, which I don’t respect. And so basically art is entirely subjective where its totally up to interpretation and the value of it is only true if you believe it to be that way, but graphic design is totally objective.”

TRACK: These subjectivities aren’t the case in graphic design. Aspects of a design or emblem are objectively better than others, the use of colors is not squandered by emotion but rather by calculated thought.

ACT: “In graphic design, we would never pick a color just because we feel like it works. We would pick a color based on things like, say we were working at a business and we were going to give them a color, say like twitter, twitter has their blue. If we were helping twitter brand themselves, before we choose that blue, we would look at the market and say “what other companies will be competing with the company that we’re designing for, and how can we make this company stand out compared to its competition

TRACK: Color is no joke to Kevin. We stood and discussed the importance of color quite extensively. After the conversation I started to realize color could be hiding very calculated motivations for businesses.

ACT: “think of mcdonald’s, you know how mcdonald’s has that yellow and red? And those are both primary colors, and just like from a scientific standpoint mcdonald’s target audience is children. Their audience is like children, hence why they have happy meals and why they have toys and the reason they target the children is because the kids say “hey mom I wanna go to mcdonalds” once they go to mcdonalds the parent isn’t gonna not eat so you kill 2 birds with one stone”

TRACK: In fact, Kevin then goes into detail how children don’t see bright colors until they grow up a little. A fact businesses like toys r us know well and good. Once kids grow old enough to see the full spectrum colors fall into, they become attracted to the bright yellow and reds of the world.

ACT: “So its like drugs for your eyes. Yeah its crazy because they’ve never been exposed to it their eyes for the first time ever are able to process that data and are like “gimme more gimme more” and so naturally they’re just attracted to a place like toys r us which has a very similar color palette to a place like mcdonalds”

TRACK: So what’s a color expert doing in the basement filled with blue mats and sweaty martial artists? Kevin started to grapple fairly young, he wrestled in high school, and had friends that did Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. There’s a key trait within the sport that drew Kevin in, it’s a hallmark of the sport that draws people in from all over the world.

ACT: “in BJJ you can be on your back and that might be and depending on how you like to play that might be exactly where you wanna be, that might be the best place to be in some situations. That aspect fascinated me enough that once I got introduced to it and fucked around a little bit with my friends who did it I definitely knew it was something I wanted to do”

TRACK: Kevin’s been training at Renzo’s for a little over 3 years. He remains consistent with his attendance and tries his best to improve every day. Just wanting to be in a sport where a person on the floor is winning isn’t enough to keep somebody going for years to come, there’s perks that come with the monthly paid stress relief.

ACT: “It covers a lot of bases. It helps keep me mellow, if im not doing BJJ, or I don’t do BJJ its very easy for me to have a strong desire to rip people’s heads off. And then im like huge into staying in shape, and its obviously very physically demanding so its good exercise. I like the community aspect of it, there’s like a ton of friends”

TRACK: Some people eventually want to compete after training extensively enough. Some people are genuinely drawn to competition, and some people want to get their money’s worth. Kevin on the other hand doesn’t feel the need to compete too much. It might mess with his daily flow.

ACT: “I won’t compete unless I feel like im in the right shape to compete, and I don’t mean physically like im always in good shape, but just in my head. I need to be ready to go

TRACK: He’s not trying to mess his job up just because he loves his hobby, he needs to keep the 2 separate.

ACT: I know that I have to occupy space in my head for things like projects I have going on, recently my fucking uncle was sleeping on my couch for like 3 months, hes gone now fucking thank god, but you know when I have all this baggage in my mind its hard for me to focus on getting myself ready to try and kill someone basically

TRACK: Ever had those days where you just wanted to lie down and scream into a pillow? Your train was late, the cart was packed to the brim with people, you spilled your coffee. BJJ helps some people remedy those problems

ACT: “And the thing about doing BJJ casually is that when my head is occupied with all these extra curricular things the time I spend doing BJJ helps me like separate myself from it for the time being, and so Im hesitant to run the risk of taking the time that is supposed to be or at least helps with my relief and turning it into something like where if you’re not performing at least this good every night how do you expect to win this competition blah blah blah”

 

Marathon Stories Episode One

Marathon Stories Episode One

Ambi: Music flowing into the introduction of the episode

Intro: Thank you for tuning into the Marathon Stories Podcast Episode one. I’m your host Michael Hassan and we have a great story to share with everybody today. As everybody knows, The NYC Marathon is coming around again as it does once a year and more than fifty thousand are expected to run it this year. The NYC Marathon is a 26.2 mile race that runs through all five boroughs of NYC and it’s always one of the more anticipated events in the city. One of the runners that are participating in the marathon this year is Jon Ostrowski, and I got to sit down and talk to him about what his mindset is going into the race and what he is looking forward to the most.

Hassan: I’m sitting down in a waiting room area waiting to talk to Jon Ostrowski about the marathon coming up. Jon is the COO of The Iowa Sports Management company and is so busy that he is working on a Saturday to finish some last minute stuff up. Because he is so busy, he couldn’t practice as much as he wanted for the marathon. 

Ostrowski: Well quite honestly, I haven’t been practicing or working out. For the past few weeks, I’ve put a lot more effort into it, but I didn’t want to get hurt. This is something that is very tough to do. My last run was a sixteen mile run last sunday. Hopefully that is enough to get through the twenty six miles for tomorrow’s race.

Hassan: Even though Ostrowski hasn’t been practicing as much as he would like, he kept his overall diet and eating habits together.

Ostrowski: Eating and drinking are a huge part of any sort of training. Lots of water, and carbs before any run. However, trying to take any pressure away from the joints and just managing to barrel through it.

Hassan: Ostrowski relies on just mainly running to be prepared for a long race like tomorrow’s in NYC.

Ostrowski. It’s just mainly about running. However, I do some core workouts as well to keep you going and help with balance and everything else. Just really it ‘s about the running and cardio up so you won’t feel winded and keeping your muscles into it especially for the twenty six miles coming up.

Hassan: Ostrowski is one of many runners that doesn’t like running in gyms, and enjoys running outside.

Ostrowski: I just hate treadmills! I hate the belts! It’s because you are seeing the same things over and over again. It just gets really boring really quickly. I really do like running through Manhattan along the West Side highway or just around Manhattan. It took me awhile to run from my office here on 27th street to the West Side Highway to the east side and over the Brooklyn bridge and back to my office. This is the most fun it will get for me because It’s not repetitive and boring and you always have to look out for cars and keeps you on your toes and motivated to keep on running.

Hassan: The biggest motivation for Ostrowski to run the marathon again is to help benefit his health.

Ostrowski: I was a former smoker. I smoked for nineteen years and I quit smoking about six years ago. While I was a smoker, I went to go and cheer on the marathon runners as they passed by me while I lived in Brooklyn. I found it just amazing and when I was able to do it, I got into the frame of mind that something that I can accomplish and give it a shot and see what I can do. This will be the third and final time I will run the NYC marathon.

Hassan: Ostrowski won’t be the only one that he knows that will be running the marathon tomorrow.

Ostrowski: I have actually to know two people that work for the same company that I work for. One of them didn’t train at all. I don’t think she went out for any run and not even a ten mile run or even running at all and not sure if she will run tomorrow. I also know that he ran a triathlon without any training. He is just someone that gets up and goes through it. He is though a personal trainer and a familiar background in exercising. I wish him luck as well for the race because he runs it much faster than I do and I won’t be able to see him.

Hassan: Having ran the NYC marathon twice before, Ostrowski gives some advice for runners who are going to run it for the first time tomorrow morning.

Ostrowski: Running a long race like this is all about keeping and setting your own pace. There are times where you have to go over a steep incline and if you have some trouble, just walk and don’t be ashamed by walking and the time too if it’s your first one. The crowds that line up at every mile of the marathon really motivate you to really keep going. That is what I go off of and listening to the people that really don’t know you, cheer you on and wanna see you do well and this is truly an amazing things especially in a city like New York where everybody thinks you are rude or mean but it’s the other way around. Everybody wants you to do well and It’s a great experience and I recommend that for anybody.

Hassan: Even though this is Ostrowski’s last marathon, he has wanted to go run marathons in other cities and around the world in the past.

Ostrowski: When you try and register for the marathon, like The New York RoadRunners, have a “Nine plus One” program, which basically means that you have to run nine of their races, 5k, 10k,. You run nine of those and volunteer for one that will give you access to run the NYC marathon. I did register a couple of years ago for the chicago marathon but the timing didn’t work out and I couldn’t go out there to do it. Yeah, It would have been cool to go to a different city to run the marathon. Somewhere I would love to go run was Japan. However, it doesn’t look like I’m going to go there unless You are going to run there..

Hassan: Like all runners running the marathon tomorrow, Ostrowski’s main goal is just to cross the finish line and complete the marathon.

Ostrowski: My main goal for tomorrow’s race is to finish the race. But what I’m looking forward to is just the overall experience which is what it really comes down to. Like I said, just being around a group of people that all have the same goal in mind, and finish their goals is an amazing thing to be apart of. The experience is all about people cheering on the sides, maybe I’ll see you recording tomorrow, and some family and friends that will be supporting me tomorrow and meeting you at certain places during the race. This gives me motivation and cheering you is what I’m looking forward to the most. It is really in the end, to complete it and getting a medal, even though it doesn’t mean anything. It’s just a great feeling to get through it and to the end.

Hassan: Ostrowski has been dealing with a few injuries since he last ran the marathon, and he has some concerns for the marathon but hopes that he can push through the finish line.

Ostrowski:  Absolutely! My knees have been bad since I was about sixteen and I’m forty one years old now. That’s always a concern over the last few training runs. I had to stop and massage the knees a bit before I ran the next couple of miles. I am concerned because this is a long way to run and let’s see what happens and hopefully I don’t have to stop at one of the Red Cross tents.

Outro: Ostrowski has ran this marathon twice in the past before, but this last run could be the most hardest and challenging yet after telling me his concerns for his ongoing injuries while practicing. So, will Jon power through his injuries and finish the race for the third and last time? Well, tune in to next week’s episode as I will get to talk to Ostrowski again and get his overall thoughts and reactions on his performance. Thank you again for listening to the Marathon Stories Episode One Podcast with your host Michael Hassan.  

Ambi: music ending the podcast

Hidden Gems (Season 1, Episode 1)

This episode is all about George Siahaan, an 18-year-old sophomore at Baruch College who jump-started his career by just DJ-ing for WBMB Baruch College Radio.

Script

AMBI: Music plays for 3-4 seconds then fades out, but still in the background.

INTRO: In How to Stop Time Matt Haig says, “Music doesn’t get in. Music is already in. Music simply uncovers what is there, makes you feel emotions that you didn’t necessarily know you had inside you, and runs around waking them all up. A rebirth of sorts.” This is Giselle Medina and you’re listening to Hidden Gems, a podcast where we meet upcoming artists and talk about their drive in becoming well-known. 

TRACK: George Siahaan is an 18-year-old sophomore at Baruch College who jump-started his career by just DJ-ing for WBMB Baruch College Radio. When I’m about to interview George, he’s wearing a white tee with striped pants and a pink satin bandana is around his neck. It reminds me of Fred from Scooby-Doo and his ascot. He has a gold open-top single tooth cap. He tops the look with a pink Von Dutch hat and makes it a point that Kendall Jenner wore it for Drake’s Halloween party. Then we start to talk about how he became a part of WBMB. 

ACT [GEORGE SIAHAAN]: I saw you guys at club fair. Um, not club fair, convocation yeah. 

TRACK: To be clear, when George says “you guys” it’s because we are both a part of WBMB Baruch College’s Radio Station. I’ve known George for about a year now and though shy, he does have his moments when he’s super comfortable.

ACT [GEORGE SIAHAAN]: Yeah. Cause I saw all these other clubs. I’m not gonna diss other clubs, but like I saw all these other clubs, they’re all like business stuff. I’m like, I’m not trying to join like a business club, like a marketing frat or whatever. Like if you want to join a microFIT marketing frat that that’s cool. Like do you, but like for me personally, I, I’m already in a business school. I feel like that’s like educational enough and I was like, okay let’s, let’s do something where I’m interested in creatively. So I saw Encounters, I saw The Ticker and I saw the radio station and I was like, Oh these guys DJ BET.

TRACK: George is from Indonesia, he came to America five days before his orientation in late August of last year. His love for music comes from how he was raised. George and his family are from a particular culture in Indonesia called Batak.

ACT [GEORGE SIAHAAN]: Like stereotypically Batak people are really good at music they can sing and stuff like that so I guess it stems from there like my mom plays piano my dad tries to play instruments my whole entire family sings – oh I like this song too – 

TRACK: George and I are in the radio station and outside in the main area of WBMB one of the members, Simba is practicing one of his DJ sets. 

ACT [GEORGE SIAHAAN]: When I was 13 no when I was like 11 I told my parents I wanted to DJ and then they laughed at me look – laughs/chuckles – look at what happened now I’m a fucking DJ but um yea so I started music I started producing like 12ish on a shitty laptop. I’ve always had a fascination for like djing ‘cause people think it’s just pressing buttons and stuff but I always thought there was more to djing because it’s more of curating a vibe and I knew that at like 12 but my parents didn’t let me because they wanted me to be a doctor as all Asian parents do.

TRACK: Here’s a clip of George Dj-ing at Baruch College’s Club Fair this September.

AMBI: George DJing at Club Fair

TRACK: Being a DJ for WBMB has allowed George to get noticed by different people and he has been approached to DJ at multiple parties. 

ACT [GEORGE SIAHAAN]: Supreme Carl, See No LIfe, I’ve done some shit in Indonesia, um but mostly most of my gigs come from doing school stuff ‘cause um that’s usually a once every 2 weeks thing um but I enjoy it when people aren’t rowdy and ask for stupid music requests by the way like I really hate song requests, I think all DJs do too that’s like how you don’t snap at a waiter. 

TRACK: When George does his sets it’s usually Afro House or Baile House. In all honesty, I had no idea what this was, I knew it was a genre of music and that Afro House is from Africa, Baile House is from Brazil/South American. I had to text George later that night to give me some examples. And here they are 

AMBI: This is Baile: https://soundcloud.com/alexguesta/alex-guesta-kayamba-vs-magalenha-cut

AMBI: This is Afro House: https://soundcloud.com/ikonika/afro-b-x-hhb-drogba-x-reign-ikonika-blend 

ACT [GEORGE SIAHAAN]: I’ll play hip hop but if I know it’s like the audience is kind of niche and they’re kind of like you know I wouldn’t say educated but they’re open to other music then I’ll play my House music because that’s what I’m most comfortable with and that’s what I enjoy doing most. 

TRACK: As I kinda mentioned before, George does rap. I asked him what his process in making a song and he said that he wasn’t the best person to ask.  

ACT [GEORGE SIAHAAN]: I’ve always loved music, I always told myself I wanted to rapper ok so I wanted to be a rapper at the beginning because when I was in Indonesia there was a bunch of these Indonesian people making hip hop songs but their English was trash right 

TRACK: (fade out) I asked him what his process in making a song and he said that he wasn’t the best person to ask and I guess this is why. 

ACT [GEORGE SIAHAAN]: like super bad like fresh off the boat bad I’m serious bro and I was like “and these guys are getting like 30 million views, they’re getting TV-like like performances and stuff like bro I can do this right?” So then I wanted to make a diss track on them but I didn’t thank God but I just started writing this one song it’s called Narauto uh the hook the hook is is like pretty like ok so the song is about my depression and how much I wanna kill my self but people didn’t get that it was awful double entendres but I feel like if I tell people that, they’ll think I’m lying but it is what it is uh so that’s kind started – what was the question again? What was the process right so um what people usually do um they’ll usually look for a free beat 

TRACK: (fade out) It was moments like these I think that George would get excited about talking about his music that he’ll just continue talking. I think he’d just elaborate on things until he got to the endpoint. 

ACT [GEORGE SIAHAAN]: and then they’ll start writing to that that’s what I did ‘cause I didn’t think I was gonna put it on streaming services but writing it took me about I’m not gonna lie it took me 20 minutes I recorded it that night at my friend’s place and I put it on soundcloud and then within like it got like a 1000 views like really quick and I was like “oh ok BET imma put this on spotify but what I didn’t read was that if you take a beat from youtube and it says free its not free free it’s free for non profit and if I put it on spotify I can get profit right so I put it on spotify and then I got profit and then I was like “oh I can get sued for this” so I had to take it down but I’m not gonna say what I did with the money – What was the question again?

Me: What is your process?

AMBI: Music comes in again for 3-4 seconds but fades out (still in the background)

TRACK: Sometimes George would go off on tangents and at one point I had to ask him if there were certain things that he comfortable with me using because he’d talk about very serious and personal things. I think it’s because George and I are friends and he’s comfortable with me but I wanted to make sure that he wasn’t gonna be blind sighted. Here’s another example:

ACT [GEORGE SIAHAAN]: Ary said that I look sad 24/7 and I don’t know how I feel about that. Maybe I do look sad all the time, I’m sad like 22/7, not 24/7 The two hours that I get sleep. Oh no, bro. I had the weirdest dream last night. I cried afterwards. I don’t want to talk about it. And it’s too, it’s too deep. You know what? I realized I don’t like talking about my feelings and I feel like that’s why I’m making music. You can use this part, you have a question? Well, did I answer your question?

Me: Actually I have not asked a question.

George: I’ve been, I’ve just been talking for the past 15 minutes.

Me: You’ve just been rambling. Well, you’ve been going off on a tangent. I’m not going to say rambling, but you’ve been, it’s like a stream of consciousness that you’re doing, that you’ve been doing and I’ve just let you talk.

George: Thank you. 

Me: You’re welcome. 

AMBI: Music comes in again for 3-4 seconds but fades out (still in the background)

TRACK: Let’s get back to the music part of George. His stage is name is YG JUJU, at one point he says that his rapper persona is his polar opposite. 

ACT [GEORGE SIAHAAN]: Not wanting to be, but it’s more of like a no sort of want. It’s more of like, it’s just the opposite of what I actually do. It’s not what I want to be, but

Me: What, you aspire to be?

George: No, cause I don’t aspire to like the lyrics that I say. Sometimes they’re like, I shouldn’t have said that. That type of stuff like that. Like that’s, that’s overly aggressive. Yeah, but like, then again, that’s like, you know, it’s like Beyonce has Sasha Fierce, you know what I mean? Like that Sasha fierce isn’t Beyonce, but it’s in Beyonce’s body like the same thing as like a lot of the music, well, the two songs I put out, it’s all about like taking like this girl, this boyfriend, this, this dudes that girlfriend, right? Like, bro, I can’t do that. The moment I find like a girl as a boyfriend, I’m dipping, you know what I’m saying? 

TRACK: George then went all philosophical on me on his two personalities. 

ACT [GEORGE SIAHAAN]: It’s like, it’s like in psychology you have like Id ego, super ego. I think the Id is like, like when you’re a baby, like your, your desire. Like when you’re a baby, you love your mom so much that you’d kill your dad, but you can’t obviously because you’re a baby. But like, it’s sort of like my rapper persona is like my Id. Wow. That’s crazy. Yo. That I should, wow. I gotta use that some time, bro. My rapper persona is my Id, I think it’s called the Id by the way.

AMBI: Music comes in again for 3-4 seconds but fades out (still in the background)

TRACK: I looked this up online and according to Sigmund Freud’s model of the psyche, the id is the impulsive (and unconscious) part of our psyche which responds directly and immediately to basic urges, needs, and desires. The id is not affected by reality, logic or the everyday world, as it operates within the unconscious part of the mind. So I’m guessing it checks out. 

AMBI: Snippet of Act Out for 3-4 seconds fade out, but still in the background until the end

TRACK: YG JUJU just came out with his song Act Out – available on Spotify and Apple Music.

ACT [GEORGE SIAHAAN]: I made that, um, because I wanted to impress a girl. Uh, she had a boyfriend, so I wanted to make a song about stealing her from the boyfriend, but it was kind of like violent, not, not violent towards her. It’s just like, it’s, it’s pretty like aggressive. It’s literally about me taking like TYB, you know what I’m saying? But yeah, I just want it to get on her playlist. So what I did was I went to my friend’s house, he was making music. Um, they’re, they’re, they’re pretty popping into in Indonesia I guess. Um, uh, what was I saying? Yeah. So he was like, cause I was taking like a music hiatus. I was like, I’m done with this music stuff. Like this is going nowhere. I’m just gonna start DJing. And he was like, bro, just like produce something. So I made this beat in like five minutes and he was like, go freestyle over it. So I freestyled over it. And then I was like, “Oh, this is kind of fire actually.” 

TRACK: Thanks for listening, catch another “hidden gem” in the next episode!

Class Agenda: Wednesday, Nov. 13

Discussion: S-Town

First up: Quiz

Next: Let’s talk about the ethical considerations of the podcast.

What parts of the podcast could be considered a violation, in your opinion? Did Brian Reed get sufficient consent to justify publishing all of this? What were his justifications for talking about the one thing John asked him to keep off the record?

The podcast is actually being sued.

Let’s map out the podcast in terms of storytelling. What were some of the themes that it ended up exploring?

What were some of the subplots and how were they resolved?

What has happened to Tyler since the podcast aired?

What does Brian Reed say about all this?

After John died, how did you decide which aspects of his life that he didn’t explicitly mention to you to include in the story? I’m thinking specifically of the episode on his romantic life, Chapter VI, and the ending episode, when you explain his and Tyler’s ritual of “church.” How did you make those decisions?

We thought about them carefully. We think about every piece of sensitive information carefully, and what its importance is to the story and to people’s understanding of someone else’s experience, and of the structures in a place like Bibb County. There are lots and lots that I learned in the reporting that I didn’t put in the story because we felt that what it added to the story wasn’t worth either the sensitive nature of it, or maybe it touched someone who was still alive, and we didn’t include it for that reason.

But also I don’t believe that when a reporter is doing a story about someone who has died, that they can only include elements that the person consented to when they were alive. I don’t believe that’s an ethical problem, and there’s a whole world of journalism about people who have passed away. The whole enterprise of that journalism is to learn more about [those people] than we understand from when they were alive. My absolute favorite book of the last few years is The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace, which is written by [Peace’s] college roommate. His roommate is explaining his drug-dealing activities, he’s explaining some of the more unsavory sides of Robert’s life, and that’s the whole point — to understand what happened to this man, and how he got into the situation he got into.

Yes, I’ve seen some reaction that confuses me a little bit. But I don’t think you have to have talked about everything about someone who’s dead with them. We’d be losing out on some really important stories if that were the case. So yeah: It’s important to be sensitive, and it’s important to always be evaluating what we’re doing, I completely agree with that, and I think that people can disagree with the decisions that reporters make, for sure. But we’re very careful and thoughtful in what we included and what we didn’t — and there’s a lot we didn’t.

Upcoming Dates:

Next week: Both classes will be production days. Podcast episode #1 due Wednesday, Nov. 20 at midnight.

Scripts for episode 2 due Monday, Dec. 4. We will do an edit session that day as usual.

Podcast episode #2 due Wednesday, December 11, last day of class.

 

Radio News – Bolsonaro’s Speech UN

HOST INTRO: On Sept. 24th, the President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, was the eight Brazilian president to deliver the opening speech in the 74thUnited Nations General Assembly. Since 1949, traditionally, the representative of Brazil is responsible for opening the general debate of the Assembly. Throughout his speech, Bolsonaro discussed how Brazil plans to change the government that according to the president is corrupted by the former representatives. Other issues such as sovereignty, the Amazon and the indigenous tribes, were also discussed. Our reporter Victoria Meschiatti has the story.

TRACK 1: Many Brazilians and the international media waited for the opening speech of the United Nations General Assembly. In face of the issues facing the Amazon and Bolsonaro’s response to international aid, it was the time for the Brazilian president to show how Brazil is dealing with these problems. Jussara Soares is a reporter who works in Brasilia, the country’s capital covering Bolsonaro’s government and she was present in the Assembly.

JUSSARA: “O primeiro discurso do presidente Jair Bolsonaro na Assembleia Geral da ONU, ele estava cercado de muita expectativa, primeiro porque era o momento do presidente Bolsonaro se mostrar ali para comunidade internacional…” [interview continues in the background]

TRACK 2: She states that there were a lot of expectations due to the fact that it was the moment for Bolsonaro to show himself internationally, especially because he was coming from a polemic wave of conflicts with international leaders regarding the Amazon rainforest wildfires. For the Brazilian press, the president affirmed that he would use the speech to show what according to him are the real facts.

JUSSARA:“…da ONU pra dar uma resposta e mostrar o que segundo ele é a realidade dos fatos.”

TRACK 3: When president Jair Bolsonaro was elected in 2018 and took office in the beginning of 2019, his government was responsible for weakening protection of the rainforest while favoring farmers to contribute with the process of deforestation. In his speech, the president stated that the dry weather and winds during this particular time of the year favor spontaneous wildfires. Moreover, he added that criminal activities of wildfires are perpetrated by the local indigenous people as part of their culture and surviving methods. On the other hand, he attributed the impact of concern by many people regarding the Amazon a consequence of fake news of international media platforms.

JUSSARA: “O discurso do presidente Jair Bolsonaro chamou atenção tanto internamente quanto no exterior por ter sido considerado um discurso muito duro…”

TRACK 4: Jussara mentions that Bolsonaro’s speech called the attention of the Brazilian and international media because it was considered very harsh. The president criticized Germany and France, especially after Bolsonaro’s disagreement with the French president Emmanuel Macron and chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel. Jussara continues by saying that there was an understanding within the government that the president could have adopted a more conciliating speech, which in fact did not happen.

JUSSARA: “…havia um entendimento ali dentro do governo que o presidente poderia adotar um discurso mais conciliador. Não foi o que aconteceu na prática.”

TRACK 5: According to Jussara, the president’s speech was important to project Bolsonaro’s image outside Brazil. As she states, even though the speech was received with so much criticism, personally, Jair Bolsonaro doesn’t consider his speech aggressive, according to him, it was necessary to reestablish the truth in his point of view. He showed the world how he is and how Brazil has been following his development since the beginning of his presidency.

TRACK 6: The president also showed his disagreement regarding other countries trying to help Brazil financially because according to him, these countries have colonial intentions and don’t respect the sovereignty of Brazil with the Amazon.

JUSSARA: “Pelo ao meu lado, da onde eu pude ver, da onde eu estava, a imprensa internacional…

TRACK 7: Jussara mentions that from her perspective, she could observe the international press, especially the French press due to the president’s statements throughout the speech and his tone. However, at the end of his speech, the President reinforced the idea that Brazil is open for visitors and he has adopted steps to facilitate the entrance of international people in Brazil, so they could see with their own eyes what Brazil looks like, an attempt to attack the fabrication of fake news that the president strongly believes affects the international view of Brazil. For Baruch College, this is Victoria Meschiatti.

Vet Tech Week – News Wrap Up

 

A week of celebration for thousands of Veterinary Technicians across the nation. Known as the unsung heroes of the animal care industry, Vet Techs are honored every year for one week in October. The industry thanking them for their commitment to compassionate, high-quality Veterinary care for all animals. While the majority of Vet Techs are employed in private practices, many also work in specialty areas like military service and food safety inspection. It’s a growing industry that is seeing more and more employment opportunities. Here’s Franklin Morales…with more on how Vet Techs are critical to the day to day function of a veterinary practice.

AMBI:  Sounds from the front office: pet owner talking to receptionists, dogs barking, typing from computer keyboards, Veterinary Technicians talking/organizing the day, and people moving in and out of the front office.

The day has just started at Northshore Animal League, but it’s far from being a slow morning.  Many of them typing vigorously on their computers as the sound of dogs barking in the back pierces the morning quiet.  The back door is continuously flying open from technicians walking back and forth. Many rushing to help with morning appointments. (Scooby nats) According to Alex Bab, this is not unusual and not as busy when compared to smaller practices.

So here we’re a very, very large clinic compared to most. So, for most Vet Techs in smaller practices, which I have worked in, you do everything. You are part of the surgery team, you are part of the pharmacy, you do everything in those kinds of places.  Here were more compartmentalized because we have such a large staff.

Bab has been a licensed Veterinary Technician for one year, but he has nine years of experience in the animal care industry. He started as a security guard at Northshore and then decided to start working in the kennels. He was quickly promoted to Assistant Kennel Manager and then transitioned to Foster Care Manager. After working with many special needs animals in the foster program, he gained an interest in the medical side of the industry.

I actually left Northshore and moved upstate for two years. So, I got a job as a Vet Assistant because the foster care job is very specific to this place only, but I knew enough about veterinary stuff that they took me on, and I started doing my Tech licensing school online while I was living there.

The online course usually takes two years to complete, but for most people like Bab, who took the course while working, it takes three years to finish. Now as a Vet Tech in the Clinic department of Northshore, Bab says he does a little of everything. He typically works 40 hours a week and often finds himself working four ten-hour days. He considers himself lucky since hours can be longer for Vet techs in other departments.

My fiancée is also a tech and she’s scheduled for 40 hours a week, but she’s in an emergency department.  And she is scheduled for 40 hours a week – she usually works 48 to 55.

Bab’s typical workday starts off with basic housekeeping. Checking the schedule, looking over the appointments for the day, making sure everyone’s prepared for what’s to come. Once the pets start arriving, the day quickly takes off.

Just like when you go to the doctor the technician which is the equivalent of the nurse – we take basic vitals like heart rate, temperature, and then we relay the information to the doctor, and we’ll help them as they need. On a typical day we will have 3 doctors working, so we just kind of bounce around helping each doctor as they need. It’s a lot of restraining, when the doctors need blood work very rarely does the Veterinarian draw the blood, it’s pretty much always us.

Despite the long hours for Bab working with animals is a labor of love, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.  He says the hardest days are the ones where he has to end a patient’s life and the stress that comes with helping pet owners understand why it’s necessary.

Sometimes it’s a good thing, cuz at that point, it’s a mercy for the animal. But nobody, you know, enjoys that part of the job. The other thing is it can be difficult sometimes dealing with clients. A lot of people don’t realize that vet bills seem very high compared to what you might pay when you go to the doctor yourself. But that’s typically because you didn’t get any form of health insurance for your animal. So, if you had to go get an x-ray it’s going to cost you, maybe a hundred-dollar copay. Where it’s going to cost you at least twice that at any vet hospital because there is no insurance subsidizing what you’re paying. And a lot of people don’t understand that, and we get a lot of push back from clients, a lot of haggling over prices, and also a lot of accusations that we’re in it for the money.

Money can also be a hard part of the job. According to ZipRecruiter.com, veterinary technicians in the United States make an average of 31 thousand dollars a year.  But for Bab, money isn’t what made him want the job.

I do x-rays on animals. You could be a radiology technician for humans and that’s the only thing you do. I have a thousand other things I’m responsible for every day.  But a human x-ray tech makes drastically more money than I do. So, vet techs are absolutely not in it for the money. We could make a lot more in human medicine, we choose not to, because we like doing this.

One of Bab’s biggest pet peeves with his profession is the public’s misconception with what he does on a day to day basis. He says many people think his job is fun and stress free because he deals with animals. In reality, Bab says he often wears many hats. He can start as an animal restrainer, serve as a dog walker, act as a nurse, a pharmacist, and a grief counselor.  Each day he risks getting bit and goes home covered in animal hair and animal body fluid. It isn’t a pretty sight.

I think people don’t understand that we do it all and we do it with multiple species. I have a cousin who’s a human nurse and sometimes we’ll be talking, and she’ll be telling me about a patient, “I just couldn’t hit his vein,” and she was getting very frustrated and I will laugh at her and say Karren your patient has no fur and he is not trying to bite you, I don’t feel bad for you for having a hard time hitting a vein.

The call to become a veterinary technician isn’t for everyone, but for those who have a deep appreciation and love for all animals and want to help them in their time of need… Bab recommends this…

Get yourself into a Vet clinic even if they don’t have a tech type job for you at the time. Even if you have to be a receptionist because the best way to learn this stuff is to just do it. I’m sure it is easier to go to a regular traditional school than what I did, but I was able to do it because I have the experience and just any opportunity that is given to you take it. When I wanted to come back here the only job they had for me at the time was a pharmacy technician, which I had no interest in doing, but I have much better pharmacology knowledge than I ever would have if I hadn’t done that – so any opportunity you can get to learn something new take it.

For Baruch College, this is Franklin Morales in New York.