Life-Long Learning – At Home And Around The World

Oct 18, 2013

Credit Jeffrey Beall / Flickr Creative Commons

At 27, I’m one of the younger members of the KGOU staff. I started my career in public radio at KGOU at 19, while still very much a naïve college student. Working on the campus of the University of Oklahoma, sometimes it feels like I never left college.

Fortunately, if you never leave higher education, you never stop learning. Public radio stimulates my curiosity, and teaches me something new every single day. In this 21st Century fast-paced digital landscape, a conversation that once opened with “I heard it on KGOU…” has been replaced with a text message that usually starts with “TIL” (for “Today I Learned…”).

That thirst for knowledge is quenched every day by what I hear on KGOU. 

As the producer of KGOU’s international public affairs program World Views, I work with the Deans of OU’s College of International Studies (Suzette Grillot and Rebecca Cruise) and the director of OU’s Center for Middle East Studies (Joshua Landis) on a near-daily basis. Whether they’re informing the audience of how this month’s government shutdown affects diplomacy and foreign policy, or how Mexico is turning into an immigrant destination for Americans, I constantly come away from my radio smarter than before I turned the dial to KGOU.

Credit Börkur Sigurbjörnsson / Flickr Creative Commons

Public radio keeps me up to date with the important international news of the day, but I’m repeatedly amazed at how many international stories can be found within the borders of our own state. Oklahomans have come up with new and enterprising ways to think about global philanthropy, and questioned the need for U.S. involvement in Syria. We live in an increasingly global world, and the isolationism the defined the character of the United States in the first century-and-a-half of its existence is as antiquated as feather-quill pens and tri-corner hats.

Public radio, and now public media as General Manager Karen Holp explained, helps connect us to that global society. I suppose it makes sense that I gravitate toward internationalism. As a child, I lived in Singapore from 1995 to 1997. But I never fully embraced living overseas. I often tell people I was old enough to remember living in a foreign country, but too young to truly appreciate it.

When I listen to the second hour of The Diane Rehm Show on Fridays, or the BBC World Service after 1 a.m. (Hey, I am still in my 20s…), I feel like I’ve been given a second chance, and can make up for lost time. Where else but public radio can you sit in your car, at your desk, or be out on a run with earbuds listening to the KGOU online stream, and be taken to the sounds and stories of a world away?

If you value the idea of life-long learning, and understand the importance of the international community, please consider supporting the programs that contribute to a global understanding. Thank you very much!


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