And We're Off


My bedroom wall is scattered with orange Post-Its, covered with my handwriting. Each note's legibility depending on the fervor of the idea. "4 - 6 pm," "Trader Joe's = Margaritaville," "Plan Canadian Rockies trip with Dad," "Coming Home," "Draw Dugan family tree," to name a few. Some gag ones, too, that my friends have added for fun, which don't need to be quoted here. Anyway, on the small bit of my wall that has no hats, maps, Cardinals tickets, photos, or blankets adorning it, some of my ideas float. They only come down when I've completed them or the adhesive gathers too much dust.

I've never taken one down.

It seems natural to think more than to do. Genesis provides a spark, but kindling the resulting fire can be impossible, especially when winds swirl all school year and oxygen is low by the time break comes around. I never learned to properly make a fire anyway - not after I quit Cub Scouts in third grade. When I camp with friends, we usually joke that we're merely pseudo-campers: attracted to an idea, but unable to commit to the life.

In the beginning, I was my own biggest skeptic, afraid of being a pseudo-podcaster.

But here we are, on another cloudy day in St. Louis with flurries drifting but certainly not accumulating, officially dropping our first three podcasts. These, we hope, will accumulate. In addition to the three finished products, we have three more recordings scheduled, and three in the works, all in the next three weeks. The topics you can hear now deal with Technological Ethics (feat. Dr. Elizabeth Block), general happenings in our community, and Masculinity (feat. Robby Francis). Future episodes will address basic Economics we naively take for granted, Environmental science and policies, and a handful of other topics we're working to finalize. Our sights are high for content, topics, and guests alike. You all, our listeners, will determine how well we achieve our goal of successfully conveying information in this frighteningly partisan world. 

I had trouble believing back in October that we could get the funding we needed, the guests we desired, the production they expected, or the ongoing commitment to excellence from the three of us here at Entitled to My Friend's Opinion. Until last night, when he heard our preamble, one of my roommates didn't even think we had a shot with this thing. And maybe we don't. But so far, there's no reason to believe it can't work. It's our opinion that we've created a high-quality production with fair standards and expectations. But to validate any truth to that opinion, we'll need you all to help us out. There are three of us, but so many more of you. If we're wrong, let us know. If we're right, and only if you truly believe that we're right, let us know that, too.

Tonight, I can take a Post-It off my wall.

We owe thanks to a handful of people for helping us make this happen. First and foremost, to the SLU Honors Program, who awarded me an Investigative Learning Experience grant that funded our equipment and launch. Thanks also to my mom, who designed our logo, and to Javier Muro de Nadal for his photography. Paulina Menichiello conceived our name, and Dr. Elizabeth Block was my faculty sponsor for the grant, in addition to being our first guest. Nathan Dollinger helped us kickstart this idea into action. But from my end, the most thanks go to Bob and Josh, who have been a delight to work with and explore so many new ideas with.

And thank you to everyone who sees this project, shares it, and enjoys it.


© 2017 Entitled to My Friend's Opinion