Playing with Podcasts: Cult of Pedagogy, Flash Feedback, and the Left / Right Game

At one point, I spent a few weeks recording all of the time I spent on work related activities – class time, office hours, tutoring, committee work, lesson plans, providing feedback, procuring grants, and numerous other activities. I don’t remember the exact numbers, but what I do remember was that I was making less than minimum wage per hour worked. When I added in my commute, my apartment in Titusville (I worked over 2 hours away from where I lived), and other related expenses, my salary was exceptionally low. Of course, like many educators, I am passionate about my work. So, I was willing to make the sacrifice, though, in reflection, I am not sure that it was fair for my family. Yet, I couldn’t imagine giving this journey up, so I continued on.

I listened to the Cult of Pedagogy podcast on Flash Feedback. This podcast was relevant to me because at my current job, my class sizes have been small, so I have been able to give a lot more feedback than usual. Most likely, at my next job, I will need to figure out how to give productive feedback faster than I have been.

In the back half of my hike, I listened to a fiction podcast called the Left / Right Game:

One of my guilty pleasures has been listening to science fiction, apocalyptic, supernatural, or paranormal themed podcasts. Summary: The Left / Right Game is a supernatural / paranormal themed podcast about a strange and dangerous game. A group of people begin the game together in a caravan of cars. The game is based on an internet board that describes rules and logs of previous players. The game begins as the caravan leaves Phoenix by taking the first left turn they see. Then, they take the first right turn, left turn, and so on. After 32 turns, they end up passing through a tunnel into what seems like a different world. The journey gets increasingly strange and dangerous.

The story and acting are both very well done. Tessa Thompson stars as a journalist who tags along with a group of conspiracy theorists, paranormal researchers, and a skeptic. She has an outstanding performance, but often Aml Ameen steals the show as a character that tries to track down his friend who is lost in the game.

Though, what makes this one of the best fiction podcasts is the outstanding sound quality. They use sound artists from Hollywood movies; One lists Detective Pikachu and Marvel Movies to his credits. The podcast is best listened to with headphones or high quality speakers. As I was walking through the woods, there were moments when I couldn’t tell if the sounds were real or coming through the headphones.

Warning: However, I have a warning here – if you are listening in a car, be especially careful. There was at least one car crash in the story that made me jump a bit in the woods, so it might be dangerous in a car. I have enjoyed other podcasts from QCode (The Edge of Sleep, Gaslighting, and Blackout – with Rami Malek) and I have enjoyed all of them. The only criticism I have is that they are all about 10 episodes and they never extend into a second season. The stories would all lend themselves to continuation, so it is a bit frustrating. Though, it is worth the frustration to get quality stories with Hollywood level sound quality.

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