Megan Hayes, Troy Tuttle, Garrett Ford and Dave Blanks chat in studio and share their favorite moments in University Communications podcast history.
Megan Hayes: So, hey everybody! We are sitting here in the Greg Cuddy podcast studio in the basement of Anne Belk Hall and we’re here because there’s something that’s really exciting that has taken place, we have discovered that we are at the 100th podcast that we have recorded in this studio. We, being the staff of university communications here at Appalachian State University and I’m joined here by Troy Tuttle, Creative Director and the brains behind the operation and the creative brains behind the operation and Dave Blanks, who is our sound engineer who technically, this is his 99th, just saying.
Dave Blanks: It’s true. There was one, there was but one podcast that I did not participate in.
Megan Hayes: So, everyone gets the 100 but you, Dave. And Garrett Ford, who is also very instrumental, in fact Garrett’s literal blood, sweat, and tears are in the floors and the walls of our podcast studio because he actually helped turn a very cold, sterile, ugly, and uninviting room into a really beautiful gorgeous space that is just tooled up and equipped beautifully and has seen some absolute legends come through this space and so it’s really exciting to be sitting here, it’s really exciting for me to think about how far we’ve come and all the people that have come through. We started out with one podcast back in 2013, I think it was September of 2013, and here we are now four years, oh five years later and we’ve done almost 100. We went from one series to, I think we have 10 podcasts series--
Dave Blanks: I think that’s right, yeah.
Megan Hayes: And yeah so, I thought it would be fun just to reminisce a little bit, talk about how we got to where we are now.
Dave Blanks: That’s a good idea, Megan Hayes.
Megan Hayes: Why thank you, Dave Blanks.
Dave Blanks: Yeah, absolutely. So, I always want to, as the person who produces like a lot of the podcasts, I always want to like interject, cause there’s always moments in the conversation where I feel like I could add something but I never do so this is like a really big deal for me because for once I was able to go, “Hey Megan, yeah you’re right! Cool! Good Job!”. So, Megan you host Sound Affect and was that our first podcast Troy?
Troy Tuttle: It was, Sound Affect was our very first podcast.
Dave Blanks: Okay so, why did we make the podcast studio to begin with? I’m glad we did because I have a job now but what happened? How did we make it?
Troy Tuttle: So, I think it was the summer of 2012, Stephen Dubner was nominated for an alumni award here at the university so the group, Appalachian Media Production or AMP, travelled to New York to meet Stephen and film him over a two-day period for those alumni awards and we filmed him right there at the studios of WNYC in New York. Once we walked in was like “Oh my God, this is amazing.” So, he introduced us to his staff, we sat in some staff meetings and watched him from the very beginning of producing the show like, drawing it up, what are they going to do for the next show, all the into watching him in the studio taping. It was just, it blew us away. We’re thinking, well, this is something we would love to do. You know, we’re two hours from everywhere, it would be nice to get our voices out, we could use it for teaching tools, we could use it for anything we want to put the word out for Appalachian. So, when we came back, we started throwing that idea around, and then when Stephen came that summer to receive the award, we brought him, toured him around, and asked him some questions and since then he’s been you know, really helpful in making sure that this place is a success.
Megan Hayes: Super Supportive.
Dave Blanks: And if you don’t know who Stephen Dubner is--
Troy Tuttle: Oh yes, I’m sorry!
Dave Blanks: No, that’s alright.
Troy Tuttle: It’s because I know him so well. He is the author of Freakonomics. He’s an alum from the communications department here at Appalachian State University. He also hosts the podcast of the same name, Freakonomics, which is generally in the top 10 podcasts every single week.
Megan Hayes: New York Times Bestselling Author--
Troy Tuttle: Oh, he’s huge.
Megan Hayes: And you know, we’re a little “fanny”. I mean we, you know--
Dave Blanks: Oh yeah.
Megan Hayes: So, Dave actually has a photograph of Stephen Dubner in his office that he inherited--
Dave Blanks: I do!
Megan Hayes: He walked in and there was this photo of Stephen and we will not let him take the photo out--
Dave Blanks: It’s still hanging, it’s not as prominent a place--
Megan Hayes: Troy took the photo.
Dave Blanks: Not that I have anything at all against Stephen Dubner but again, I didn’t get to go on the trip so.
Megan Hayes: Right, let’s talk about the trip a little bit because there’s a few other people that we should give credit to for the trip itself.
Dave Blanks: Sure!
Troy Tuttle: So, also on that trip was Glenn Dion, he helped do the sound for that trip, Marie Freeman, was also on that trip, she’s the university photographer, Garrett Ford, myself, and Megan, all on that trip.
Dave Blanks: Hey there’s Garrett!
Garrett Ford: Hello.
Dave Blanks: So, Garrett, you shot the video.
Garrett Ford: Yeah so, I shot the video then later edited it together for like Troy said, the alumni awards. It was, I want to say maybe like the second or third year that we’d even done that project but it was definitely the first year where we saw it as not only work, and not only a way to recognize some great alumni from the past, but also to build great relationships to where we could keep things flowing. So, as soon as we got back from New York, it was just sort of in our blood, you know we got to try to make this happen because I mean, why not? I mean we had video, we had photography, we had web design, we had writers, we had everything but we really didn’t have like an audio element to get out there. So, from a group that likes to tell stories and likes to tell Appalachian’s story, it just seemed like a major component that not a lot of other universities we’re doing so--
Dave Blanks: Yeah, I wonder, I’ve often wondered--
Troy Tuttle: The timing was really good on this one.
Dave Blanks: Well yeah, podcasts were like, in.
Troy Tuttle: Yeah, we hit it, we hit right there--
Megan Hayes: I mean--
Troy Tuttle: And you know I did a lot of research also looking at other podcast studios in the United States, and when I was doing that research the only one that was really doing well was Yale’s.
Dave Blanks: Really?
Troy Tuttle: And to be honest with you, I think this thing looks better, it sounds better than Yale’s.
Megan Hayes: Well, and at the time, we we’re all pretty big podcast people too. I mean, you know that was just something that we all really liked and Dubner has spoken on our campus and he, he was actually, his Freakonomics book was one of our, they called it the summer reading program books at the time, so he came and spoke with our students here. So, he’s come back a few times but, honestly when we had a little bit of time with him, we saw them working, like Troy said, we heard him talking about what is was like for him to be a student here and how this was a place that fosters people who want to make things and he talked about being in the WASU studio, you know and what that was like and so, you know almost for me, and I don’t want to speak for you Troy but I kinda feel like for you too, it was a way to continue his legacy and honor--
Troy Tuttle: Sure.
Megan Hayes: -- him and the work that he did while he was here, before he was famous and everybody knew who he was, you know, all that kind of stuff.
Troy Tuttle: No, absolutely.
Megan Hayes: Cause there’s so many people that have had that experience on our campus and continue to, and I think that’s a solid thread through the experience that our alumni and our current students still share.
Garrett Ford: Well, and it was odd at the time too because, Appalachian Media Productions, which is the creative group within University Communications, which is mainly comprised of video, photo, and now sound but, at the time that was almost brand new too. We were still trying to figure out the role of that team--
Megan Hayes: Right, we were a new team.
Garrett Ford: And so, I think really what it was is when we were up there doing our jobs as they existed, we got up there and saw these people doing their jobs and it’s like, all their meetings and all the things that we talked, that they were actually doing were a lot of sort of “what ifs”.
Megan Hayes: Like, hey! We do that! Or Hey! We could do that.
Garrett Ford: Exactly, back here at Appalachian. So, it was almost this sort of, I don’t want to say like a career fair or something but it’s like here we were, you know in our jobs that we already thought were awesome and then we saw these people doing this and it’s just like no, this needs to be a part of this as well.
Megan Hayes: It was very inspirational.
Garrett Ford: It was extremely inspirational so if anything it was that last, I’m going to date myself here, Voltron, it was that last lion connecting to make the complete Voltron that University Communications is.
Dave Blanks: I feel you, I feel you on the Voltron.
Troy Tuttle: You just lost all the kids.
Garrett Ford: Google it.
Troy Tuttle: The other thing too is we’re very grateful to Stephen for all that he has done to help us out--
Megan Hayes: Yeah, he gets a little credit at the end of each of the Sound Affect podcasts.
Troy Tuttle: Yeah, he gets a ton of credit. We wanted to do something nice for him so, I wanted to name the podcast studio after Stephen but you know there’s different, there’s thing at the university that you have to do, you know, there’s restrictions on naming opportunities. So, rather than do that, we knew that he had a dear friend, he went to college here that played on the soccer team, it was his best friend while he was here at college, Greg Cuddy, who had passed away after leaving college but Stephen always talks about him anytime he talks about Appalachian he talks about Greg Cuddy. So, we decided to name the studio after Greg Cuddy in honor of Stephen Dubner so which I think is nicer to be honest with you.
Dave Blanks: That’s great.
Troy Tuttle: So, after we got back we had to look for a location for this place. First, I was wanting to do it down the hall in a closet, which I’m glad that we didn’t do, it wouldn’t of been as professional. So, we had this--
Dave Blanks: Me too.
Troy Tuttle: We had this area back, in the back of Anne Belk in the very bowels of the whole building that was actually the second worst place on campus as far as being remodeled--
Megan Hayes: We’re the second worst basement on campus.
Troy Tuttle: Right, we were saying you know this place was not nice, let’s just put it that way. And it needed some work and nobody wanted it so we said, “what the heck, we’ll take it.”
Megan Hayes: So, we had the opportunity to get in here and execute his vision, and when I say “we” I did not actually scrape the tiles off the floors or paint the walls or any of that stuff. That’s what Glenn and Garrett and Troy did. And so, Glenn got to produce one podcast after he like---
Dave Blanks: Hey! He left! He wasn’t canned.
Megan Hayes: That’s true.
Garrett Ford: Yeah, we finally got the last bit of dust out and then he did a podcast and then he left because, and that was after like three months of breathing ceiling tiles and dust and carpet glue and knocking walls down and it was fun, it’s the most manly I’ve ever felt in my life.
Troy Tuttle: And there’s a reason, you know I wasn’t trying to be sneaky about it or do it under the radar, even though I did. There was a reason for it, I wanted it to look nice and I wanted when our guest come in, we’re talking guests that from Kennedys to you know, civil rights leaders, people of all walks of life, very intelligent, very successful people walking in here.
Megan Hayes: Who have been in studios all across the world.
Troy Tuttle: All over the world! Now, when they walk into this studio they’re like, I can’t believe this--
Megan Hayes: They’re impressed.
Troy Tuttle: - this is at a university, I can’t believe this place and they settle in and they can just go right off, boom. Just because it feels professional so if it feels professional then they consider us to be professional.
Dave Blanks: Hey Troy, it looks good.
Troy Tuttle: Thanks!
Dave Blanks: Every time somebody comes in here and is like “Oh my goodness, this place is amazing. How did-” I’m like, I can’t take any credit because Glenn just did it all and then I just walked in and was like “Oh this place is cool, yeah let’s do some podcasts.”
Megan Hayes: So, I would like to just talk about that a little bit. We did one podcast with Glenn which was really a lot of work and we knew it was going to be a lot of work but we had kind of a different vision for the Sound Affect podcast when we started. It was more of a story telling vision, it was definitely more “Dubneresque” and you know it was our first one and it’s a little cringe worthy when I go back and listen to it just because you know--
Dave Blanks: It’s your first!
Megan Hayes: I think everybody does that on their first, I mean I hope they do because I sure did but whatever. So, we you know there was a lot of post production on that piece, a ton that you know that we were up late at night and freaking out about it and recutting and recutting and rethinking and doing a lot of writing after the fact to try to pull the interviews together and so, we did that one and then Glenn went on to other opportunities and we hired you, Dave.
Dave Blanks: Yep.
Megan Hayes: And --
Dave Blanks: Thanks!
Megan Hayes: Dave, your first day, you walked in the door and we’re like “Hey so, got Soledad O’Brien”
Dave Blanks: And I was like “What??”
Megan Hayes: You ready to hit play? You ready to hit record?
Troy Tuttle: The Emmy award winning, Soledad O’Brien.
Dave Blanks: She’s quite a renowned journalist and I did know who she was then and I was pretty intimidated and tried not to show it but I’m sure I did because I have a terrible poker face and somehow managed to pull it off, sounded good.
Megan Hayes: It did sound good. It sounded really good.
Dave Blanks: Yeah! It was great.
Megan Hayes: And that was kind of a storytelling format too but one of the things that you brought to the team was a little more sense of reality about what we had the bandwidth to do because podcasts are one of the dozens and dozens of things that we do and we don’t have just a podcast production team and crew and the ability to spend all of our efforts just doing that, the way that some of those professional groups do.
Dave Blanks: That’s true.
Megan Hayes: And so, you kind of helped us get more realistic about what we could do and--
Dave Blanks: That sounds like I just poo pooed all your pie in the sky dreams.
Megan Hayes: No, I don’t think so! I think you gave us some pragmatism and that outside-in view because you came in and you hadn’t seen all like the way that it had come together.
Dave Blanks: Ah, I never thought about it that way.
Megan Hayes: And you’ve got that interview background too, that radio interview background and so you know--
Dave Blanks: That’s true.
Megan Hayes: -- you kind of help, I mean I think that it has your, you know your stamp on it which I think is kind of cool.
Dave Blanks: Right! Well, thanks I appreciate that.
Troy Tuttle: Yeah and instead of trying to be “Dubnery” we found our own voice, which I think you helped out with a lot and the other thing Dave, you won a MarCom award for that!
Dave Blanks: Oh yeah! I did!
Troy Tuttle: It was like your very first day, you did a podcast, and a MarCom award is huge I mean that’s industry standard, you’re competing against the best of the best.
Dave Blanks: I did feel good about that.
Garrett Ford: And you peaked on your first day.
Dave Blanks: That was it! After that it’s just been --
Megan Hayes: It’s been all downhill from there.
Troy Tuttle: If I could add another thing about the podcast studio, it’s not just podcasts we do from here, there’s other things, a lot of things come out of this studio, educational, how would you explain it, Dave?
Dave Blanks: Well we facilitate a lot of interviews for news agencies. That happens sometimes, it’s not like our main driving force but if a professor is like an expert in like a certain field and someone like, we’ve actually worked with radio lab--
Megan Hayes: BBC
Dave Blanks: Yeah, the BBC as well as, I know I’m missing one, another really cool one but yeah--
Troy Tuttle: Science Works!
Dave Blanks: Yeah SciWorks is a podcast that we’ve helped out with. So, yeah it has been more than just podcasts so--
Troy Tuttle: Yeah, I just wanted people to know that--
Dave Blanks: Yeah, yeah!
Troy Tuttle: It’s more than just podcasts.
Dave Blanks: That is true. What else happens in the podcast studio? A lot of podcasts!
Megan Hayes: A lot of podcasts, and they don’t all happen in the studio too so--
Dave Blanks: That’s true!
Megan Hayes: We do some that well you do one where you walk around campus and talk to people--
Dave Blanks: So, well yeah but we’ll get to that one but Sound Affect is a podcast series, your podcast, a podcast series of conversations with smart people about stuff that affects the world and how we affect it. So, you’ve seen some pretty incredible people come through the studio, we talked about Soledad O’Brien that was a big one. We talked about the history of the podcast studio here, maybe let’s share some of our favorite moments from our podcasts because we said we have like ten of them. So, surely there are some moments that we enjoyed right? I would hope.
Megan Hayes: All of them.
Dave Blanks: Okay great, yeah all of them.
Megan Hayes: Well I stress out hard—
Dave Blanks: We can’t share them all!
Megan Hayes: I won't share them all but, I stress out hard about every interview because I, you know, there are just incredible people that come to our campus and they spend time with our students and they’re brilliant and amazing. I study up on them and I get crazy intimidated and then I’m terrified and I walk-- you know sit down and talk to them and they teach me amazing things and Garrett always helps because I have like these crazy questions and he helps me think through the questions. So, Garrett and Marie vet the questions and they are in addition to other people and kind of think through what that is and then Garrett shoots a little bit of footage of everybody, Marie takes their photo. Um, favorite moments…
Dave Blanks: Yeah so, who are you-- yeah, what were you going to say Garrett?
Garrett Ford: Well, selfishly I’m free to admit that one of my favorite moments in the podcast studio, like Megan said, I shoot mainly just for the Sound Affect podcast, we’ll shoot what we call a teaser where you know we have, we come in here with a couple cameras and capture the first five-ten minutes of a podcast just so we can put together a little video, put it up there and so people can you know almost get the sneak peak to what the entire podcast is to drum up some hype for it but--
Dave Blanks: Looks cool too.
Garrett Ford: Yeah, yeah we try to make it look cool. Like I said, it’s a cool place to shoot stuff but, Wayne Henderson was in here. For those of you who don’t know, Wayne Henderson is a famous luthier guitar maker from nearby, Rugby, Virginia and I’m a huge bluegrass mountain music fan so I already knew who he was so he came in here because he was the subject of, was it summer reading?
Megan Hayes: He was summer reading but he was the best received summer reading author by the audience that I have seen in the 20 years that I have been on this campus.
Garrett Ford: Yeah the book was about, it was called Eric Clapton’s Guitar because Wayne Henderson made a guitar that Eric Clapton ended up with but, he got to come in here and he actually brought one of his guitars with him that I got to touch and play which was awesome but then he played a song for us so I got to do my normal sort of two camera set up and shoot pretty much just like a Wayne Henderson music video so that was a good bragging point to a bunch of my friends for a while so I really enjoyed that.
Troy Tuttle: It was fun.
Dave Blanks: What about you Megan?
Megan Hayes: So, I think my biggest like fan moment, fangirl moment was with Michael Eric Dyson because he was, you know I didn't know a lot about him before he came, knew a little bit about you know? But I didn't know a lot about him and so I started you know reading his books, and well when I say read I am an audio processor, auditory processor so I listen to a lot of audio books, and he reads all his own books and so that one for me to hear him talking about things that he’s really really passionate about, that are really important topics in his own voice and when he reads them, there are two or three authors that I’ve talked to that read their own books and when they do, you get a lot more about where their heads are at because you can hear the actual words that they emphasize so, you kinda feel like you know spend a little time with them running down the road or whatever I’m doing, listening to them talk but he, I don’t know he’s just amazingly you know intelligent and accessible and friendly and kind and I mean there’s a lot of really heavy stuff that he deals with and one of my favorite things that I think that just really made me want to have a conversation with him was that he gives people a lot of hell, he doesn’t let any of you off the hook for anything that their doing or thinking that he thinks he needs to challenge them on for whatever reason, right? But, he gives people a lot of leeway so he can have a total philosophical argument with you where he just does not agree with anything that you’re saying but he’ll hone in on something about your character or the way that you're talking about something or describing something or in your lifestyle that he can appreciate and I think that is a skill that we need more of in our society in general, like we need to exercise that muscle more so, to me, being able to talk to somebody who I thought was phenomenally intelligent, who’d written all these amazing books, and you know has appeared on dozens and dozens and dozens of videos and you know as an expert on news shows, to just sit down and have a conversation with him, it was one of those just kind of I don’t know, moments where you have a you know, I don’t know you have a conversation with somebody that you’re like, “If only I could think like you just for like five minutes I’d be a better person”
Dave Blanks: Why don’t we go to a clip of that Michael Eric Dyson.
Michael Eric Dyson: Look, if you are going to demonize your opponent then you’ve lost already. The argument has been lost; not necessarily one’s own partisan argument, but the argument that is based upon one's humanity. We don’t have to premise our opposition to our opponents by the denial of their humanity or on the inability to acknowledge them as worthy human beings who happen to disagree, and even vehemently so. I don’t think it does any good to deny that our opponents are human beings: “They are not American.They are not really democratic or invested in the same kind of process we are.” Stop. All of us are trying to work our way toward a better America and a better nation. So I think it’s important to see the legitimacy and humanity of one's opponent.
Megan Hayes: I mean that’s just rich, that is rich.
Troy Tuttle: How does he put the words together?
Megan Hayes: So, we get done and I said “Hey! So, we’ll you know, we’ll send this to you so you can listen to it before we publish it” or whatever and he said “Oh, you don’t have to send it to me before then but when you post it, will you text me?” and he gave me his cell phone number!
Dave Blanks: Got the digits!
Megan Hayes: So, I’m just saying!
Dave Blanks: That’s awesome.
Megan Hayes: It’s pretty cool!
Dave Blanks: Well, so Michael Eric Dyson was definitely very very cool and it was a pleasure having him. Troy, what about you? What’s your favorite?
Troy Tuttle: Oh, hands down I think the person that set the bar in my eyes that I honestly, I don’t know if anybody will ever beat it was the afternoon we met and spoke to Julian Bond. Oh, I got goosebumps, I’m serious I think it was one of the greatest days of my career here at the University. You know, being one of the greatest civil rights leaders of all time, you know walking with Dr. King, he was amazing! And the thing about him was I’ve never met a more humble man in my life. It was right towards the end of the podcast if I’m not mistaken, he turns to Megan and he says something to the effect of I don't think I’ve done enough, I think I could’ve tried harder--
Dave Blanks: Chairman for the NAACP?
Megan Hayes: Yeah.
Troy Tuttle: Yeah, oh yeah!
Megan Hayes: I mean he was a legend.
Troy Tuttle: Oh he was the first African-American senator?
Megan Hayes: to be nominated for, he was the first African American to be nominated for president, and that’s a crazy story we don't have to get into all of that but that was like you know the country was going completely ballistic nuts and he was yeah, oh yeah and he was you know a Georgia lawmaker for years and years and years.
Dave Blanks: First president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, you were right.
Megan Hayes: There you go, Troy Tuttle.
Troy Tuttle: Yeah, it’s incredible. He’s amazing dude! Amazing! I can’t believe he sat in our presence just the fact that how humble he was.
Dave Blanks: Let’s listen to that clip.
Julian Bond: Also as your talking I thought of how many times I’ve looked back on my life and my change from the protest movement to the political movement and found out that I didn’t do things that I could have done or should have done. I look back over this life I’ve had and think about why didn’t I do that? Why didn’t I do this? Why didn’t I push hard over here? Why didn’t I do that or the other thing? Why did I let so many opportunities go by that were missed? And why aren’t I taking opportunities in hand right now. Why aren’t I doing more things right now? I’m trying to find other ways I can be useful in this movement at age 75. What can I do about it? I know there are things that I can do and I’m going to do them. I’m not sure what they are but I’m going to do them. Watch me.
Troy Tuttle: That’s incredible.
Megan Hayes: That was, I think hands down the hardest interview I have ever done and a lot of it was because I work really hard to like make eye contact with people when I’m talking to people because I just want to have a connection right and like he was looking somewhere else and some of that is because people who are really deep thinkers, it’s easier for them to kind of formulate what they’re thinking if they're you know looking somewhere else then I’m not going to project that on them because I don't know what he was doing--
Dave Blanks: Like Garrett right now.
Megan Hayes: But looking, thinking back on it, that's probably what he was doing. Kind of clicking back in his head a little bit you know oh here’s something that I did or you know why didn't I take that opportunity or you know whatever but, that’s kind of what he was saying. So, with some distance now, I just remember thinking oh my God that was a horrible interview I did a terrible job because I just couldn't like make it work but you know, Troy my favorite part of that was the very last thing he said, and I was fumbling all over the question, I didn't really know how to ask it you know like little like hick white girl from western North Carolina asking the civil rights leader or like you know how can I be a part of something that's useful or helpful without feeling like you have to teach me what to do. I just want to be useful and helpful and I was searching for that I think personally in a way and he said basically he said, you're going to screw up. That is such an important lesson I think for everybody so, I think about that a lot about what he taught me and how that pertains to you know the work that we do as educators.
Troy Tuttle: You know just shortly after that he had passed away and honestly I think we were the last people to interview him before he passed and we’re extremely lucky to have had him in our presence so.
Dave Blanks: I don't know where we want to go next. So, we’ve talked mostly about Sound Affect--
Troy Tuttle: Yeah, there’s one more Sound Affect I thought you wanted to talk about.
Dave Blanks: Oh, yeah yeah yeah! So, there’s another Sound Affect, which is like got to be the flagship podcast I would say. We’ve never really come out and said that but I would say definitely the one that we put the most effort in and are we are, not to take anything away from our other podcasts but, we’re very proud of Sound Affect, right?
Megan Hayes: Yes, yes I’m very proud of it. I feel--
Dave Blanks: I hope you are!
Garrett Ford: I almost said flagship earlier.
Dave Blanks: Oh yeah?
Megan Hayes: But it’s just like uncomfortable for me to describe it that way but, you know it’s been an absolute joy, professionally and personally for me to be a part of it so yeah it’s really cool.
Dave Blanks: So there was one more Troy that you and I were actually talking about before we all came in the studio.
Troy Tuttle: Yeah.
Dave Blanks: Rob Haswell, Troy.
Troy Tuttle: Did you like that one?
Megan Hayes: Oh yeah! That one was you know I mean I didn't no idea what to expect.
Troy Tuttle: Neither did I! Who would've thought that this gentleman did all he did.
Megan Hayes: Well it was hard because it was really hard to find any background on him except one kind of really key moment but, yeah I mean this guy--
Dave Blanks: I just had no idea.
Megan Hayes: I just felt really unprepared because usually there’s a book or there’s a ton of literature about people or something and there wasn't much about him other than one particular political moment when he was in government in South Africa.
Dave Blanks: But we had a ringer on this one.
Megan Hayes: Yes we did.
Dave Blanks: Yeah.
Megan Hayes: So Darrell Kruger, out provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, was the mentee of Rob Haswell. So, they were together in academia at Louisiana State University and they shared a mentor mentee relationship in academics but they also share a love for rugby and they both have a background in geography which was also something that I wasn't really expecting the connection between geography and the political realm because, so here's the thing Rob Haswell got to know and work with Nelson Mandela and was working with him and was a part of the process when South Africa rejected Apartheid and really embraced Nelson Mandela and he became their president? Do they have a president is that the right word?
Garrett Ford: I remember specifically from that just in the short amount of time that I was in here shooting the video teaser portion of it, when asked about what it was like to start working with Nelson Mandela, Mandela told him something to the effect of “It’s going to be hard, It’s going to be a long tough road, and you owe five dollars to join the party”
Dave Blanks: Actually--
Troy Tuttle: Yeah, yeah we were looking, that was actually my favorite part too, Garrett. That's the thing that I remember the most.
Dave Blanks: Yeah, Troy was saying we should we should play that clip so, we’ll go to that now that's a
Rob Haswell: We met Mandela and we said, "Here we are. We're offering our services to the ANC. Take us or leave us, but that's who we are." He said, "Look, I need to consult with my regions. I don't know you from a bar of soap. Let me see what kind of ... Are you good guys? Have you got any standing? Come back and see me next week," which we did. Came back the next week, he walked in and he said, "Gentlemen, you're welcome to join ANC. We welcome you with open arms. One condition, you must pay your $12 membership." I jumped up. I had a $20, I slapped it in his hand. He said, "Now." I said, "Yes." And I said, "You can keep the change." I've still got my original membership card that he signed. Andy Warhol said everybody has to be famous in their life, even if it's for only 15 minutes, so yeah. I became instantly famous. Hated by a lot of white people. I was a, you know what lover. I was this, I was that. I was turncoat. I was a traitor, whatever, but for every white person, I probably gained 1000 black admirers.
Megan Hayes: He did because he, he yeah I mean he he rejected his current party so he went into the party, Haswell, went into politics to make change. He joined a party that was the party of change that he realized was not the party of change and so he left that party and asked Mandela if he could join the ANC and thats--
Dave Blanks: He was in the Democratic party.
Megan Hayes: Democratic, was it? Yeah.
Dave Blanks: Yeah it was the Democratic party.
Megan Hayes: So he left that party, which which was a party that was trying to do some good. They weren't, you know he joined it because he felt like they were going to make positive important changes in South Africa and then they just got mired down in politics so he was like you know forget this I’m going to go where people are going to make some change and yeah.
Troy Tuttle: There was one last thing, there was a reason why he was here that was very timely, it was during the time where they were trying to take down all of the confederate statues--
Dave Blanks: Right!
Troy Tuttle: on different campuses and across the United States and he explained the he had the same problems in South Africa but he had a different approach, he says you know don't get rid of those statues just take them off their pedestals, which I thought was incredible to think about.
Megan Hayes: Yeah, it was an additive philosophy, rather than a subtractive philosophy--
Troy Tuttle: Which I think was really--
Megan Hayes: You can't walk away from history, your history is a part of who you are as a human being and a country and a nation and all of those things so what you have to do is you have to add in you know the parts that maybe weren’t being told before you know consider the whole history and not reject any part of it and that just to me, is so logical but for some reason it was new to us so he's got some perspective and he's bringing in that perspective, it was pretty cool though, pretty cool.
Dave Blanks: That was an awesome podcast.
Garrett Ford: So, for the simple fact that we had somebody who helped fight for civil rights in America and the fact that we had someone who helped in the transition of apartheid in South Africa I’d say that we, if we didn't do another Sound Affect that it met its quota for “hey let's talk to people who make changes.”
Troy Tuttle: Yeah, but I think that’s the wonderful thing about Sound Affect it always, it seems to always be that. We talk to people that make incredible changes in the world which--
Megan Hayes: You know it's interesting because when we created the mission for Sound Affect we really kind of wanted to connect it back to the university and talk about these global conversations, these national conversations that were taking place and connect that back to who we are as a university and so in some ways that's limiting because it limits our audience I think, it limits our audience to people who either know about or have some reason to want to know about Appalachian but, in another way it’s really expansive because it takes these large conversations and it puts them in our campus and our neck of the woods here in Boone, North Carolina and encourages us to, I mean really what it does is it gives us a slate of experts who say well you know based on all of this incredible amazing things I’ve done in my life here's a little free consultation I can give you, maybe they're not all free cause you know I guess we pay a lot of them to come here but, its like cool you know, you get a little like consult right here, “Wow you’re here, expert” in you know these amazing things that you do.
Dave Blanks: One on one with Kamau Bell or Jon Ronson or yeah yeah.
Megan Hayes: Yeah!
Troy Tuttle: Yeah, yeah I gotta say this though too, all these remarkable people, they tend to validate some things that we’re doing right, that we don't actually get that validation you know, here, but when we had these experts come in there's a lot of things were doing right around here that get validated through these remarkable people--
Dave Blanks: At Appalachian State, you mean?
Megan Hayes: Yeah.
Troy Tuttle: Yeah, at Appalachian State, yeah.
Dave Blanks: Sure.
Megan Hayes: Cause we’re our harshest critics and we should be our harshest critics cause we want to be a better place I think that is--
Troy Tuttle: The other thing that people say, every single person, “Y'all are so nice, this is such a nice place” which I think is good.
Dave Blanks: We try to be!
Troy Tuttle: We try to be.
Megan Hayes: That’s why you should record you Dave when it's all over cause you chat them all up.
Dave Blanks: Oh I do, I do chat.
Megan Hayes: And then we find out, that's the thing, is like we find out, it always happens too when we’re filming, you know you take off like okay you know we’re done and then you start chatting with people and you’ve gotten to know them through the interview process and then they say something really amazing and your like ah why didn't we get that.
Dave Blanks: Yeah, cause you built their trust that whole time and then its like its all over so they're like oh okay now I’m going to share the really cool part of this but, so we’ve talked--
Megan Hayes: Like they did when they lived in Georgia.
Troy Tuttle: So there’s Sound Affect we talked about.
Dave Blanks: We talked a ton absolute Sound Affect so that's definitely one our, that's probably our favorite podcast for sure.
Mega: You know Sound Affect has spun off a couple of really cool podcasts. It spun off a sustainability podcast that Lee Ball hosts, it spun off a podcast hosted by another one of our faculty members, Nicholas Jordan, who is associate dean now in the college of education, called What’s Your Truth, and I love Dave by the Bell.
Troy Tuttle: No, seriously Dave by the Bell is so much fun.
Dave Blanks: Oh, it is fun!
Troy Tuttle: I think it is the one that get the most laughs, i think it’s the light hearted--
Dave Blanks: It’s definitely light hearted.
Troy Tuttle: Yeah.
Dave Blanks: It has its serious moments.
Troy Tuttle: We’ve met so many cool students.
Dave Blanks: I know.
Troy Tuttle: Come on.
Megan Hayes: and you've got like your one guy who’s--
Dave Blanks: Larry!
Troy Tuttle: Larry!
Megan Hayes: Larry, he’s in everything.
Troy Tuttle: I love Larry.
Dave Blanks: I saw Larry the other day in the library while I was checking stuff out and I was like Larry you're still here!
Megan Hayes: And you say that like everytime hes-- you inter-- like--
Dave Blanks: It’s, he’s so nice, he’s so very nice.
Garrett Ford: and then, enter Larry compilation here.
Dave Blanks: Yeah, let’s lets hear Larry.
Larry: Well I just love walking around going in the woods and seeing the snow on the trees and yeah I think it’s really beautiful. I just love walking in the snow a lot. Figure out what method of studying is best for you because everyone is kind of different. I guess don’t cram like the night before. That’s what everybody says right? Maybe also like do something physical. You know make sure to take breaks and you know if you’re sitting down for a long time it’s good to go outside and get some fresh air or do something you enjoy a little bit.
Dave Blanks: I think you’ve been on more Dave by the Bells than anyone else.
Larry: I have? I’ve been on more than one?
Dave Blanks: I think you’ve been on like two or three maybe.
Larry: Oh really?
Dave Blanks: Yeah yeah because you were on the one about snow.
Larry: Snow. Yeah I remember that one.
Dave Blanks: I think you were on at least one more but man I can’t remember what it was. It’s good to see you!
Larry: Nice to see you too.
Dave Blanks: Yeah. I’m sure I’ll see you again.
Dave Blanks: Larry is so nice.
Lizard Pope: He’s so nice.
Dave Blanks: There’s Larry. That was the best of Larry.
Troy Tuttle: So Dave what are some of the subjects that you talk to the students about.
Dave Blanks: Oh my goodness, we’ve covered the spectrum. So we started Dave by the Bell with slant toward it being maybe a little more serious, like what is community mean to you, that was the very first one that we did, and there was no, the way I edited it then, I wasn't really in it, it was just student voices which, don't we need more Dave in these podcasts?
Megan Hayes: We need more Dave.
Dave Blanks: Right. So, I like to talk a lot so I ended sooner or later weaseling my into the podcast that has my name i it and we changed it because it was called Dave on the mall but then Troy you were like “What about Dave by the Bell!!”
Troy Tuttle: And why is it Dave by the Bell?
Dave Blanks: Cause I stand by the bell. That’s where I start at least, the on in front of Anne Belk, you know? Anne Belk hall, the one that students are supposedly supposed to like touch or something for like good luck on tests.
Garrett Ford: They rub for good luck before examinations.
Dave Blanks: That's it. Is that what it says on it?
Garrett Ford: Yes.
Megan Hayes: That’s what it says.
Dave Blanks: I should know.
Megan Hayes: We, we’ve asked a few alumni about that and we’re not entirely sure that’s accurate. That might be history that was conveniently placed on a plaque in front of a bell but, whatever.
Dave Blanks: Let it be so.
Troy Tuttle: Fake history.
Dave Blanks: It is written. So, lets see, some other cool topics, some of my favorites, I really like the rainy day movie one.
Megan Hayes: That was a good one.
Dave Blanks: That was a fun podcast because everybody likes a movie.
Megan Hayes: I love the ramen one.
Dave Blanks: Oh yeah.
Troy Tuttle: yeah, my favorite, yeah but my favorite was what--
Garrett Ford: Yeah, the cheap eats.
Dave Blanks: Cheap eats!
Troy Tuttle: Cheap eats. But, then what was the one where, what you're looking most forward to about going home and having your mom cook your meals your--
Dave Blanks: Your favorite home cooked meal.
Megan Hayes: yeah.
Troy Tuttle: the one girl that said purple potatoes.
Dave Blanks: You talk about her a lot.
Troy Tuttle: Yeah I know because it's like the oddest thing. The one thing I’m looking forward to is purple potatoes.
Dave Blanks: Purple potatoes.
Troy Tuttle: And what are those you ask? She goes it's purturtles--
Garrett Ford: It’s a type of turtle --
Troy Tuttle: and she goes oh they're potatoes that are purple.
Dave Blanks: Lets hear her.
Troy Tuttle: Yeah.
Dave Blanks: Alright.
I’m most looking forward to having potatoes…….they are potatoes that are purple.
Dave Blanks: There she is. So, this one was a little more serious you know I was saying there were some definitely light hearted moments but there was one that we did a few years that was called fatherly advice for fathers day.
Megan Hayes: Yeah.
Troy Tuttle: Yeah, that was nice.
Dave Blanks: And Megan I know you said there was a moment in that one that stood out to you.
Megan Hayes: I was thinking about that the other day, yeah it's like I talk about that one a lot. So, when I talk to people about dave by the bell I find myself realizing that I had no idea, I thought I was creative with ramen when I was in college but I had no idea what all and your extensive knowledge of ramen, Dave which is really impressive.
Dave Blanks: I’m a bit of a ramen aficionado.
Megan Hayes: Clearly.
Dave Blanks: Shamefully.
Megan Hayes: But, then the other side of that which is another example that I think of and talk about a lot is you interviewed, it was a father's day episode and so the question was, what was the question?
Dave Blanks: It was, what was the best advice you ever got from your dad.
Megan Hayes: Yeah! Great question.
Dave Blanks: Right. So, Dave by the Bell is man on the street so I just wander around campus, yeah I do start at the bell but I walk around and go like hey! Would you be willing to talk to me on my podcast? And most people are pretty cool about that. So, I was actually in the library during this moment that you were talking about which, maybe they don't want me in the library because you're not supposed to talk in the library.
Megan Hayes: You can, there’s just one floor where you can't.
Dave Blanks: Okay, cool well I was not on the “don't talk” floor but yeah the question that I asked that this guy was what is some great advice that your dad gave you and lets listen to his answer.
Voice 13: It’s kind of hard when you were raised by a single parent
Dave Blanks: Yeah
Voice 13: So the only advice i have is to actually be there for your kids.
Dave Blanks: Thanks man
Voice 13: No problem.
Megan Hayes: I believe that there aren't many people who could walk around on campus and be like hey! Tell me the great thing your dad ever said and people be like yeah don't pet the sweaty things and then you get this like really--
Dave Blanks: Super heavy.
Megan Hayes: Yeah, deep heavy answer and you totally rolled with it.
Dave Blanks: Thanks!
Megan Hayes: You got it, you were cool about it, like I would have probably just been like, drop the microphone and walked away crying and you didnt you know, you went, you went right there with him, you connected with him, you thanked him, and it totally worked as a part of the piece and so I just think that's super cool.
Dave Blanks: Another cool moment from that, that particular podcast was I asked a girl I was also in the library, I asked a girl what her the best advice she ever got from her dad was and she said, well let’s listen to that now.
Voice 15: Ummm, he used to always tell me as a little girl to fight the power and keep it real. Which… Dave Blanks: Wait wait! He said what? Voice 15: Fight the power and keep it real. Dave Blanks: That’s awesome. Voice 15: Yeah so we grew up…me and my two sisters grew up hearing that pretty much every day before we went to school you know just even though you know people are in charge of you, don’t let that stop you from doing what you want to do and always be yourself when doing it. So that always stuck with us. Troy Tuttle: That's great advice!
Megan Hayes: You know how do people come up with those replies? I mean i’m still sitting here thinking what the hell did my dad say to me? I mean I know he tells me all kinds of things but I would never be like--
Dave Blanks: The one thing your dad told you
Megan Hayes: pop out with like that phenomenal answer and their just like oh yeah fight the power, keep it real. Oh okay.
Dave Blanks: It was awesome. It’s like, dang your dad’s so cool.
Megan Hayes: So it’s like totally profound. Our students give you these totally profound answers to questions you know--
Dave Blanks: Absolutely.
Megan Hayes: and also, purple potatoes.
Dave Blanks: Yeah!
Troy Tuttle: But there's one more though Dave, just one more if we have to talk about one more Dave by the Bell, it was Tales from the Appalcart.
Dave Blanks: Oh I love tales from the Appalcart!
Megan Hayes: Oh the Appalcart! That was great.
Dave Blanks: So thats--
Megan Hayes: Just the intro alone.
Troy Tuttle: Come on that's where the, there was some great, the intro alone let alone all the crazy stuff that's happened on that Appalcart.
Dave Blanks: I had a lot of fun with that one and yes the appalcart which is super handy dandy to have around also does kind of give some crazy stories from time to time. Bone chilling stories from Appalachian States public transportation authority. That was for Halloween.
Troy Tuttle: It was! What was the story about the guy that got on there and--
Dave Blanks: Well there was one that was, so which one are you talking about?
Troy Tuttle: I’m talking about the one, they're sitting there and the guy is doing, he's talking to himself and--
Dave Blanks: Oh there was one where this guy is like slapping this lady repeatedly.
Troy Tuttle: That's right, yes! And it was like a --
Dave Blanks: Let's listen to that one.
Troy Tuttle: Oh!
Dave Blanks: Let’s listen to that story.
Megan Hayes: Are we going to get in trouble?
Voice 4: Okay well there’s just this guy and this woman who the guy just started weirdly slapping random parts of her body like over and over and it wasn’t in like a kind of antagonistic harmful way it was just like pop pop pop pop pop pop pop but it went on for like fifteen minutes and I was just sitting there like uh why is this going on right now? DB: What happened? Voice 4: Uh i don’t know I don't know his hands were loose and uncontrollable it was strange. DB: What was she doing? Voice 4: She was just sitting there like nothing was happening. DB: Oh my God that's really weird. Voice 4: I don't know what to make of it. They got off first and it continued as they got off the bus it continued.
Megan Hayes: That’s a really weird story.
Dave Blanks: So, I hope the woman is okay. I think she is, I don’t know what the background on that is, maybe it was some kind of social experiment or societal experiment. They were just like you know what would be weird if we--
Garrett Ford: I’m, honey I’m going to do this until somebody stops me and then they win the prize.
Dave Blanks: Yeah! It’s like that show “what would you do?”, maybe it was that and that guy just failed. “I would talk about it in a podcast a little bit later.” So Dave by the Bell is a lot of fun and I hope people enjoy it and I’m going to keep doing them. I’ve been, I didn’t do very many of them last semester, I’m just ashamed to say to my bosses who I’m speaking to now.
Megan Hayes: It’s in your work plan, Dave.
Dave Blanks: It is! I know it’s in there, it’s a goal! I’ll do more, I will. So, there are other podcasts as well, we have like we said about ten of them, which, what was the other one?
Troy Tuttle: Okay, we had to think about just one more. It would be AppX.
Dave Blanks: AppX!
Megan Hayes: Yeah.
Troy Tuttle: Cause AppX is probably the most popular of our podcasts.
Dave Blanks: It is!
Troy Tuttle: It gets the most hits.
Megan Hayes: Well, not only that but--
Troy Tuttle: And it’s really awesome
Megan Hayes: It’s got just two of my all time favorite people ever in it.
Troy Tuttle: The Pope sisters!
Megan Hayes: The Pope sisters. And we also have a cameo from Janea Brown.
Dave Blanks: True.
Troy Tuttle: True.
Megan Hayes: We have one of those as well, who is also just an amazing amazing woman who, yeah they're just like they are some cool cool people who conceived of and brought that podcast to fruition. So, the idea behind AppX is, it tells people what it's really like to be an undergraduate student here.
Dave Blanks: Right, students sharing what App is really like.
Garrett Ford: And also do you want to set up who the pope sisters are?
Megan Hayes: Laurie Pope, who actually we do kind of call Larry sometimes but she’s not the Larry.
Dave Blanks: Nope.
Megan Hayes: “Larry! It’s you!”
Dave Blanks: Not that Larry.
Megan Hayes: Not that Larry?
Dave Blanks: No, no.
Megan Hayes: And her sister Liz, are both students at Appalachian. And so, Laurie we discovered and I don’t think you’re going to have to edit this out, we discovered Laurie because--
Dave Blanks: On the internet, right?
Megan Hayes: She had this sensational video that went viral on our campus and it was called “Sh*t Nobody Says at App State”
Dave Blanks: Truth.
Garrett Ford: (Gasps) Scandalous.
Megan Hayes: I know.
Dave Blanks: Truth. And it's very popular.
Troy Tuttle: Huge.
Megan Hayes: And its still popular! It was hilarious!
Dave Blanks: Let me check and see how many-- Can we talk about this in the podcast? Can we?
Megan Hayes: Well, that’s how we found her.
Dave Blanks: Okay, let me look here.
Megan Hayes: I mean we found her because what she was doing is she was talking about what it’s really like to be a student here and it was hilarious and she was doing it in her own voice, it was just really funny.
Dave Blanks: It has 177,000 views.
Troy Tuttle: It’s incredible.
Megan Hayes: And so we’re like, we got to find this kid.
Dave Blanks: 1 7 7
Megan Hayes: She’s needs to work for us.
Troy Tuttle: Yeah, she was actually apart of a student liaison team.
Megan Hayes: So yeah, we started kind of conceptualizing this idea of bringing in students and getting them to, you know, kind of help us think through some of our stuff they were a little kind of a mini focus group for us and they created some video projects and did a few things but we ended up just kind of forming a relationship with her and Troy in particular was her mentor here and found a way to actually connected her with donor, Hughlene Bostian Frank.
Troy Tuttle: Who is the sweetest person in the world, we love Hughlene Frank.
Megan Hayes: And an alum.
Troy Tuttle: Yeah we got to thank Hughlene for all she did for the Pope sisters.
Dave Blanks: She’s a big part of the podcast studio too.
Troy Tuttle: Hughlene is! Hughlene is a huge part of this and I want her to get her thanks and so, thank you Hughlene.
Dave Blanks: Absolutely. So, she always worried about Laurie all the time.
Troy Tuttle: Yeah.
Dave Blanks: But Laurie has a job now! She’s no longer a student.
Troy Tuttle: No, so she’s in New York City--
Dave Blanks: So what do we do when Laurie leaves?
Megan Hayes: Well so, then, here is this cool thing that happens right? So, I use to teach a first year seminar class and you know I am on first day of class and after the class this kid walks up to me and shes like “Hey, you know my sister, I’m Liz, Liz Pope”. I’m like “What? Laurie’s sister?”
Dave Blanks: Oh my goodness!
Megan Hayes: Yeah, it was really cool and Liz is just as cool as Laurie she’s totally her own person, she’s very different personality wise.
Dave Blanks: She’s got a different skill set.
Megan Hayes: I don't know that necessarily being on microphone was something that she thought she’d ever do and like her sister who you know is just all about production and producing but also just as comfortable being in front of the camera because she did some video projects for us where she hosted a video that we’ve, at least one video that Garrett produced and but she has taken the baton from her sister and has also been the recipient of Hughlene’s generosity. So, it’s just really cool that she kind of carried on the you know, the legacy of the Pope sisters and also in her own way, keeps it really real and talks about what it’s like to be a student here at App State. It’s pretty darn cool.
Dave Blanks: It is.
Megan Hayes: And I gotta just say, one of my favorite moments from AppX is an older one and it does have Janea in it because Janea’s another student who was our intern who as in my first year seminar class and Janea is just one of these people that just have this natural light that emanates from her being.
Dave Blanks: She is effervescent.
Megan Hayes: I never really believed in auras until I met jenae and she just, she's one of those people that just has an aura. In fact, we use to joke that we were her paparazzi because we would walk around with her and everybody on campus was like “Janea! Hey Janea!” she knows like every in the whole world.
Dave Blanks: Janea was on the weather podcast.
Troy Tuttle: Yeah which there's some hilarious stuff.
Dave Blanks: Let’s listen to some of it.
Janea: It has changed over the years. Freshman year when I was, like, a go-getter…”Ahh, I’m all about the fun!” I, of course, was outside each day. We would make snowballs and lightly toss them at one another. But not snowball fighting, it was snowball tossing. Because snowball fighting was not allowed on campus, so don’t try it, you might get fined. But you, you know, might lightly toss a ball of snow to a friend. Laurie: This is not a joke. Snowball fights are illegal here. Janea: Yeah, that’s for real. Laurie: You can actually get in trouble for having a snowball fight. Janea: But now that I live off campus in a very warm and cozy, cute house, snow days are just like…”I’m going to bundle up with all the Christmas lights on and have friends over,” and we just make hot chocolate and tea, and snow cream is still in the mix, but sledding kind of went down. I don’t do it as much.
Troy Tuttle: But the AppXs like dorm life was awesome, weather was definitely--
Megan Hayes: Food.
Troy Tuttle: Food was great.
Dave Blanks: My favorite one that Lizard has done, Laurie is Larry and Liz is lizard, my favorite one that she’s doen of the new ones was the outdoor activities one. Did yall listen to that one? The top ten outdoor activities.
Troy Tuttle: Yeah that was great.
Dave Blanks: It was really cool like I learned stuff that I didn't know about the area and like awesome places to go for hiking and I dont know it’s just really informative and cool and I liked it a lot, I thought that one was good.
Megan Hayes: That’s always stuff people want to know, right?
Troy Tuttle: It is, and so the wonderful thing about AppX is the students can come here, they can take a tour of campus, they be told about AppX and the families can listen to it on the way you know, down the mountain, as they're leaving the school catch up, they can listen to it before or after they apply and get accepted they can start listening to them, they can learn a lot.
Dave Blanks: For sure.
Megan Hayes: Well they get all the like marketing stuff you know? But, this is what they really want to know.
Troy Tuttle: Yeah, it’s the real world.
Dave Blanks: Yeah.
Megan Hayes: Like, what’s it going to be like.
Dave Blanks: AppX rules. Also, our newest podcast is very cool. Did we mention that yet? Did we already talk about Jordan’s podcast?
Garrett Ford: It was mentioned, but it was not in depth.
Dave Blanks: Okay well, so What’s Your Truth is the name of his podcast and it was a spinoff from your podcast, sound affect. And Jordan’s covered some cool stuff already, he’s delved into some heavy topics for sure he talks about the loss of his father in the most recent one. The first one, he just talked about, oh he just talked with Willie and Jordyne--
Megan Hayes: Yeah, he talked about--
Dave Blanks: What did he talk about in the first one?
Megan Hayes: Well he, that podcast blew me away.
Dave Blanks: The first one?
Megan Hayes: Yeah.
Dave Blanks: The first What’s Your Truth.
Megan Hayes: Well, I knew it was going to be awesome because when I, I dont know it’s just every conversation I’ve ever had with Jordan, he goes by Jordan, he’s just one of those people that eloquent and thoughtful, really meaningful stuff just falls out of his mouth whenever he opens it.
Dave Blanks: He’s a smart dude.
Megan Hayes: He’s smart, and he's very, I don't know he's just very, he has his head on straight, he’s very candid.
Dave Blanks: Yeah, he’s approachable and candid and sincere.
Megan Hayes: He doesn't let anyone off the hook again for like, his background is in marriage and family therapy and so he has that way about him of just getting people to open up while just this instinct about digging into where their heads are and where they want to go. So, it’s cool. He does a really good job as a host, I was talking with him in the Sound Affect podcast and then after that we’re like man we gotta get this guy his own podcast because he’s just great and he needs to talk more and he needs a platform to talk about some stuff that's tough heavy stuff, not necessarily easy for an institution to talk about if we’re dealing with some stuff that might not be super PR worthy material you know but I think that when we can really be honest about who we are then that's the smartest, best way we can talk about who we are or for all our you know good stuff and our bad stuff and if we can take that and really be honest about it and dissect it, understand it, then we can be better.
Dave: Why don’t we listen to a clip of your conversation with Jordan now.
Jordan: Discomfort is not bad, it's having to push through it. If we don't push through it, that's bad, but the discomfort is a compass. If I'm uncomfortable with a conversation, that is exactly the conversation I need to be having. It just so happens that around all of these things, all of these isms, and privilege, and oppression, and all of that kind of stuff, that that's where people get kiddish and, "Shh," but that's exactly where we should be, and those are the conversations we should be having. That discomfort lets us know we're right where we need to be.
Megan: And that’s what What’s Your Truth is about. And his very first one, he really wanted to have a conversation with our chief diversity officer who they also have worked together for a long -- and used to work together when they both were here at Appalachian, Willie Fleming is our chief diversity officer. He left Appalachian for awhile and then has come back in the role of chief diversity officer and then bought in Jordyne Blaise who is our associate vice chancellor for equity, diversity, and compliance and so he had the two of them sitting at the table and he asked them unbelievably phenomenally hard questions. Again, it’s like, I’m sitting there thinking I was still for three days thinking about how would I answer that first question that he asked and both of them just came back with these really deep, eloquent, beautiful answers that gives you some insight into who they are and I don't know how they got to where they are professionally and why they want to do the work that they want to do and why they do the work that they do and the question he asked them was, What’s Your Truth?
Dave Blanks: So, Jordan’s podcast rules and it’s the latest one. What were you gonna say Garrett?
Garrett Ford: I was gonna say and its similar with Jordan’s saying that when we get to those awkward parts of conversations that's where we really learn something about each other, everybody said that that's the part that they remembered most in that Dave by the bell in what's the fatherly advice and when you said--
Dave Blanks: It’s that awkward moment.
Garrett Ford: Whats that awkward moment, you know that’s what everybody remembers from that and you know like you said Dave could have stopped, or the student could have refused to answer the question, but he decided to do that and we learned something about that guy and it also let us think about how we ask and approach other people.
Megan Hayes: That’s the difference between Dave with an awkward moment and me with an awkward moment.
Dave Blanks: I mean I just try to talk my way through the awkward moment. Well, we got to wrap it up somehow.
Garrett Ford: Here’s to 100 more.
Dave Blanks: 100 more podcasts! Let’s see.
Garrett Ford: Let’s do it till podcasts is not a thing anymore.
Troy Tuttle: Right.
Megan Hayes: Well, so I mean heres a thing, this supposedly 2018 I’ve heard is supposed to be the year of the podcast.
Troy Tuttle: I've heard that as well.
Dave Blanks: What? Says who?
Megan Hayes: everybody who does podcasts.
Dave Blanks: Oh really?
Megan Hayes: And there’s like you know, I mean yeah, Garrett is like of course.
Dave Blanks: Apparently I’m not in the podcast world.
Megan Hayes: But they're everywhere now.
Dave Blanks: Read the times, read the podcast times, the podcast daily.
Megan Hayes: You know, more universities are getting into doing podcasts and when we first started this, the way universities did podcasts wa they would go in and record a professor doing a lecture in the classroom and then they would throw that up on the web and they would call that a podcast.
Dave Blanks: Right.
Megan Hayes: And we wanted to do that differently here and everyday when we listen to you know, everyday there’s a new cool podcast and we walk around, it’s part of our culture, we walk around “Hey did you listen to this podcast? Oh! Over the break I listened to like these four podcasts and oh I’m binge listening to this podcast right now and so it like inspires us as we keep going, Garrett is totally about to crack up.
Garrett Ford: No, I’m not about to crack up, I’m gonna confess something here.
Dave Blanks: Go for it Garrett.
Megan Hayes: I’ve never listened to a podcast.
Garrett Ford: Before we built this place, I’d never listened to one podcast.
Dave Blanks: Really?
Garrett Ford: Ever.
Megan Hayes: A lot of us hadn’t though, remember that?
Garrett Ford: We interviewed Dubner and everybody is just like “Oh my gosh” and I was just like I don't know what youre talking about.
Dave Blanks: Podcasts, yeah, they're the coolest!
Garrett Ford: They're awesome I love them, I listen to them all the time.
Dave Blanks: What the hell is a podcast? Yeah, that was funny.
Megan Hayes: Well we made a list-- that was funny-- we made a list of them on a white board and we didn't even fill the whiteboard up and now if we did that same thing we would fill up all the white boards around the room.
Dave Blanks: For sure. Podcasts, am I right?
Troy Tuttle: Yeah, so 100.
Dave Blanks: 100.
Troy Tuttle: Hold it dave, 99 for you. Thank you so much everybody here.
Megan Hayes: Well this is Dave’s official 100th.
Troy Tuttle: Oh, that is your official 100th.
Dave Blanks: Oh hey!
Troy Tuttle: And it technically is, congrats Dave.
Dave Blanks: Oh my gosh! I’m glad y'all could be here with me to share it.
Megan Hayes: Happy podcast to you.
Dave Blanks: Thanks y'all.
Troy Tuttle: Yeah because he taped 99, now he’s doing 100 here.
Dave Blanks: There you go.
Troy Tuttle: No it’s not! This is not your official 100.
Dave Blanks: This would be the 100th.
Megan Hayes: Is this 100?
Troy Tuttle: Nope.
Dave Blanks: We’re going to say it is.
Garrett Ford: This is going to be the 100th, it's your 99th.
Troy Tuttle: It’s your 99th, I was right to begin with.
Megan Hayes: It is your 99th, I’m sorry Troy.
Dave Blanks: I got 99 podcasts.
Megan Hayes: I thought we had 100 and this was 101.
Troy Tuttle: No, this is 100 right here.
Garrett Ford: We take it all back, we take it all back.
Megan Hayes: Happy podcast to us but sorry.
Troy Tuttle: No, so anyways Dave, it’s your 99th, it’s our 100th. Fabulous job everybody.
Garrett Ford: So, congratulations to everybody involved with either participating or making the podcast happen on the 100th podcast of the Greg Cuddy Studio.
Troy Tuttle: Awe, that was nice.
Megan Hayes: That was beautiful.
Dave Blanks: We’ll use that.
Garrett Ford: That’s the only reason I was here, for that.
Troy Tuttle: But thank y'all for all your hard work, I appreciate it so much.
Dave Blanks: Thank you guys for the opportunity.
Troy Tuttle: More Dave by the Bell.
Megan Hayes: It’s been super super fun.
Dave Blanks: More Dave by the Bell. Do some more. Alright, that’s it.
What do you think?
Share your feedback on this story.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier, public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.