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Comments by Dylan Byrum

Comment for "The Cigarette Bath"

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Review of "The Cigarette Bath"

This excellent six-minute piece, created by Emily Lafond, describes how cigarettes have affected her life. In it she tells two short stories about her encounters with cigarettes and describes her feelings towards them and actions that resulted.
The first story is about how her and her cousin, Sarah, try to tell her grandfather that smoking is bad by dumping his cigarettes into their bathtub and refilling the cigarette containers with rolled up sticky-notes with “no smoking” signs on them. One Sarah wrote read “smoke a chocolate cigar instead,” but Emily ripped it up because Sarah stole the idea from her. The second is about when her friend, Erin, offers her the last of the cigarette she had been smoking. She takes it, then smoking the last of it, she puts it out with her foot but then proceeds to tell her friend, “Smoke a chocolate cigar instead”.
This wonderfully interesting and well-made piece is probably one of the best I’ve heard. It’s story-telling style, along with its well-thought-out writing and detailed descriptions, reads like page-turning novel, plus the inclusion of the chocolate cigar in both stories really helped to join the stories together and bring the whole piece into perspective. Over all, I found it to be quite an enjoyable piece.

Comment for "The Laundromat"

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Review of "The Laundromat"

When people think of relaxation or tranquility they might think of vacations, sunbathing on the beach, or meditating. But as Josh Hernandez describes in his piece entitled “The Laundromat,” even a place like the laundromat can be a place of serenity. After the clothes washer at his apartment broke down and flooded the downstairs apartment, he was forced to either hand-wash his clothes like his roommate or take them to the Laundromat; he decided on the Laundromat. In this piece he explains why he has to use the Laundromat, what he does while he’s waiting, and what makes it such a relaxing experience. This was a very interesting and unique story. It has a slow pace -- perhaps too slow for most radio stations. However, I do believe the longer pauses and extra background sound does help to correctly represent both the mood of the piece and try to give an accurate example of the experience described in the piece. I thought this was a wonderfully interesting story. It’s helped me to broaden my view on what someone could find relaxing and has even made me more wiling to do the laundry.

Comment for "The Cycle of Cyberbullying"

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Review of "The Cycle of Cyberbullying"

This piece is about cyber-bullying, a problem that’s just become apparent in our current generation. Twenty-year-old Thien, from Vietnam, moved to the U.S. when she was 19. She explains what cyber-bullying is and what we can do to stop it. She also tells us a story about her friend and a few other students from their school who were in a “cyber war” – as agents each other -- and how she helped to break up the fight and stop the cycle of cyber-bullying by deleting the negative comments.
This was an interesting story and well-written, well-made piece. The only thing I really had a problem with was that it was pretty hard to understand because she had a thick accent. All in all, though, this was a great piece with helpful advice that everyone should use try to stop the cycle of cyber-bullying.

Comment for "Coming of age "illegal""

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Review of "Coming of age 'illegal'"

Nineteen-year-old Brenda from Minneapolis, Minnesota considers herself an American citizen, but to the US government she is an illegal immigrant. Coming to the US when she was seven, she was carried over the Mexican-American border by her mother. Now, twelve years later, she lives with her mother, stepfather, sister, little brother, older brother and his son. She had to quit school a month before graduating so she could work to help support her family, but has since gone back to finish her education and wants to go on to get a job working with children.
This was a well-crafted and interesting piece, with great interviews and an inspiring story. The only problem I had was after the mother’s interview; it was a little confusing, but it made more since later on in the story. All in all, though, I found this to be an excellent presentation.

Comment for "Homestead Childhood"

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Review of Homestead Childhood

As a young child Grace, along with her mother and stepfather, moved to land in Double Adobe, Arizona, to build their new home. But as time went on their plans weren’t working out as they had originally intended. What started out as an exciting adventure for Grace had become more and more miserable as the years passed. When she was a teenager she moved to Tucson Arizona, where her mother later joined her after breaking up with her stepfather.
This piece was one of my favorites for its interesting story and well-thought- out, well-put-together content. But there were a few small questions I had that the story didn’t answer, such as her age at different times though the piece and her name, which I acquired in the story’s description. Overall, though, I thought this was an excellent piece.

Comment for "Dreamland"

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Review of Dreamland

This interesting little two-minute piece, created by Chloe Chaobal from the Alaska Teen Media Institute, tells us ten facts about dreams and how they work. It describes how you dream, when you dream and what you dream about, and details different ways different people dream.
My favorite fact was that 12% of people dream only in black and white. At first I thought this would be really weird, but when I thought about it I realized I couldn’t remember any color in my dreams either. That was something that really stuck with me.
This was a fun and interesting piece, with clear, well-thought-out ideas and good music. It’s helped me to better understand what dreams are all about.

Comment for "What Happened to My School?"

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Review of "What Happened to My School?"

This piece, created by Gabe Terracciano, details the actions his old alma mater, King Middle School, took to try to cut down on teen pregnancies by giving free birth control to teens, sometimes as young as eleven years, without the parents’ consent. Through interviews, news clips, and commentary, the story weighs the pros and cons of the school’s decision and some of the effects it had on the local community, along with some of the history behind the incident.
I couldn’t find many problems with the piece. However, one concern I had was with the introduction. Terracciano begins by talking about his middle school and his attachment to it after he leaves for high school, then how that relates to the story. This wasn’t made very clear, and I found it rather confusing and hard to understand.
All in all, though, I thought this was an excellent piece, with organized, well- thought-out ideas and great sound quality. There were plenty of interviews and helpful statistics, as well as the wonderful addition of the news story’s, which were played several times during the story. This was an interesting and well written piece and It's clear there was a lot of time and effort put into making it.

Comment for "Bryson Andres and his violin"

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Review of Bryson Andres and his Violin

Bryson Andres began playing the violin on a whim in 6th grade to try to impress a girl in his class. From there he has gone on to perform at concerts and competitions. Today, seven years later, he is impressing everybody with his music. He’s become something of a celebrity in Alaska and plans on moving to California or New York to expand his career as a musician.
I found this to be such a wonderfully unique and inspiring story, full of lucky coincidences and great people. But there were a few things I thought could have been improved, the biggest thing being the interview. In both edited material and volume, it sounded a little choppy, and some parts unnecessary or repetitive. One last thing I would have really liked to have heard was some of his own music.
Overall, I thought this was a humorous, well made piece and an inspiring story.

Comment for "London Teenager Campaigns for Autistic Adults" (deleted)

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Review of London Teenager Campaigns for Autistic Adults (deleted)

London teenager Bella Tommey‘s vision for autistic people to have the job opportunities they deserve comes from her relationship with her younger brother, Billy, who has autism. She recognized that autistics had talents and strengths overlooked by most people and she set out to change their perceptions. Billy’s Café was born. Named after her autistic brother, Billy’s Café is a series of popup cafes where people can meet, mingle and be served by autistic people.
This story had excellent sound quality, great editing and wonderful music to help set the tone. The only major problem I found with the piece was the ending. The story cuts out in the middle of what sounded like the last sentence, but all in all I found this to be an interesting and inspiring story that can help teach people more about autism, and maybe even inspire them to do something good for their community like Bella Tommey has done for hers.

Comment for "I Don't Call Her Mom"

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Review of I Don't Call Her Mom

For any teenager, parent problems are not unknown. But for fifteen-year-old Ashley, the creator of “I Don’t Call Her Mom,” it’s been a struggle her whole life. Ashley was born into a family with homeless parents and a loving grandmother, whose house they moved into soon after Ashley was born. Soon after that, Ashley’s parents where taken to court and her grandmother gained custody over her.
Many children can relate to this, having either deceased parents or parents split up for one reason or another. However, this story is very unique. That, along with its great music and sound quality, is what makes this such a great piece.
The only other thing I wish she would have included is a few words from a relative or her grandmother. But I can understand how that might be a sensitive topic for them to bring up. In the end, I thought this was a wonderful piece that helped me better understand what it might be like to have parents that aren’t in your life anymore, and what it might be like for others in that situation. It’s given me more respect for children in her situation and reminded me of how lucky I am to have parents of my own.