Examen Final: Radio Canchita
I was searching for a way to motivate my Radio journalism students to actually pay attention to their final examen. My solution ended up being booking them a stage at a local bar and making them put on a live radio show. Lets just say while they did leave certain things until the last minute as they are accostumed to doing, it was a lot more fun than sitting in a room for 3 hours and writing essays. Actually, to do them justice, they were great and they loved the challenge and in their way I think they got a lot out of the experience.
I know I sure did.
Being up on a stage in front of 60 people and running a show in a second language is no peice of cake. Thankfully I had the Peruvian Sancho Panza, Lucho Hernandez, accompanying us on piano. He saved us more than once. For those of you familiar with the Public Radio program Prairie Home Companion, this was intended to be a similar format; music, humor, fake advertisements, commentary. It is in Spanish...but even if you cannot understand it, I think you can probably enjoy it.
Here are some photos from the show and audio of the first part of the program.
Listen To Radio Canchita, Parte 1
¡Warning! the audio cuts in and out a little in certain parts.
Radio Canchita (Canchita was chosen because it is a double entendre. It is the salty corn bars put out to go with beer, it is also slang for soccer pitch and for the political field too)
So here is how it worked. On the left you can see Lucho and his piano. He is visually impaired, so he recorded all his spoken parts and brought along a walkman so he could repeat the script.
I am the gringo looking gringo with the laptop. I used my computer, which was wired through the sound system, to play various soundbites and ambient sound. I also provided some live sound effects, like coconut shells(horse hooves), to create audio.
Three different groups of students produced the 3 parts of the program. They all wrote scripts and came up with music and sound effects to accompany their monologues and dialogues. One student, a local musician, also lent us his voice and guitar.
People came to the show, some of them happened to be at the bar, some were invited, and most of them laughed at least a little.
We used some old fashioned methods to get the crowd involved
After the show I was told by a number of people that this type of thing was unique for Lima. One person mentioned that in a small sense Perú would be a different place because of us. Who knows if that is true...at least we had fun doing it and to quote one of my students, "this is great, it is the first exam where I can smoke and drink while I take the test."