The Christine Wolf Podcast Episode: 2

Episode 2!

On the auditorium’s stage of Nichols Middle School in suburban Evanston, 16 students (6th-8th grade) share their passion for The Ripple Effect, a show they’ve researched, written and performed about the life of 11-year-old gang member Robert “Yummy” Sandifer. The students discuss how communities come up short with youth, and how their own lives have been touched by youth violence. Introduced to details of this historical event by visiting author G. Neri in Yummy: The Last Days of A Southside Shorty, the students were eager to share their voices as well as the numerous perspectives involved with violence. Visit the City of Evanston’s website for more details and future performance dates. And thanks for listening.

The Christine Wolf Podcast Episode: 1

My first Podcast!

Five months ago, when an editor at Sun-Times Media Group suggested I start a podcast series, I had no idea what that even meant. I didn’t listen to podcasts, nor did I know anyone who created them. He interviewed me for his podcast series and I thought, Well okay, I should really try to do this.  

And then I didn’t. I was out of my comfort zone.

The questions and uncertainty overwhelmed me:

Who’d even want to listen to what I have to say? What equipment will I need? How do I convince people to let me interview them and what would the “theme” be? Where would I conduct these interviews? Is this just a way to put off doing all the other projects and tasks I should be doing (like cleaning my house, turning in a column, finishing revisions on my novel, cleaning up the dog mess in the backyard, driving kids around, grocery shopping, cleaning out closets…)?

Then, I confessed my fears to a family friend helping me with website and branding questions.

“You should go for it,” he said, matter of fact. “It’ll be great.”

“But I don’t know what I’m doing.”

“Then I’ll help you. No problem. You need to do this.”

“But who’d want to listen to it?”

“More people than you think,” he said. “It’ll be awesome.”

And that’s all it took: eight little words and a nudge of support.

I found a microphone I liked. Created a wish list of people I’d like to interview. Came up with a general theme: Tiny bytes of inspiration for some of life’s biggest challenges. Asked a restaurateur friend if I could record in her restaurant prior to opening; she suggested an even better alternative — a groovy, quiet space in the dressing room of an adjacent recording studio. It all felt right. I was still nervous, but I knew I had to try it.

And, I loved it. I imagined Terry Gross doing the same thing every day and thought, We’re just talking with a microphone on a table. 

Betsy Lehman Levisay discusses Restorative Justice on The Christine Wolf Podcast.

Betsy Lehman Levisay discusses Restorative Justice on The Christine Wolf Podcast.

My first guest is the amazing Betsy Lehman Levisay. We first met as fellow parents at a local preschool, but only recently did I learn what an accomplished social activist she is. Her views on Restorative Justice are inspiring and very worth a listen.

If every interview could be as relaxed and enjoyable as Betsy’s, I can picture this podcast thing actually working out.

What are your thoughts on the Restorative Justice philosophy?