The Great War: Canada’s Legacy
As our latest Socials unit has come to a close, it is once again time to reflect. Since the beginning of the new year, we’ve been working hard learning about WWII and podcasts with the end goal of creating individual podcasts about the war. I was super excited for this unit from the beginning as I’m interested in WWI and WWII, and I was ready to switch things up by doing a podcast. To begin this unit however we had to first learn more about podcasts, as well as the war itself.
One of the first things we did was list out random podcasts that we liked. This helped us get an understanding of the different types of podcasts, as well as finding out which style we liked best. I had never been a big podcast listener, in fact I had only listened to a couple podcasts prior to this unit. Once we got talking about podcasts and Ms. Maxwell encouraged us to listen to them, I found one I really liked; Armchair Expert With Dax Shepard. I really enjoy the relaxed, almost no-filter-esc conversational tone to it. It genuinely is just Dax and his friend talking to celebrities about random things and it makes for a great listen. I’m gonna continue to listen to this one and hopefully other podcasts in the future because it makes a nice switch from music.
Anyways, now let’s talk a bit about the raw content of WWII, the stuff I really like for some reason. Going in to this unit I was super interested in WWII, but I didn’t actually know the chronological order of all the big events. Last year’s WWI unit really helped me get an understanding of the logistics behind how war works, even though it may seem like one big blood-bath.
I won’t just list out everything that happened in the war like I’m some Wickipedia (see what I did there) because that would be pointless. I’d much rather tell you what I connected with over the course of the unit. I think I’m so intrigued by the Wars because of my British heritage. For whatever reason, I feel a connection to England and obviously they were a massive contribution to both wars. This is why I enjoy learning about anything to do with the British. Even briefly going over the Battle of Britain was super cool because of the stories I’ve heard from my grandparents of what it was like to grow up in an environment like that. I mean just last year I remember my grandma telling me how everyone used to have their own gas mask in case the Germans flew overhead and dropped chemical bombs. The more I think about it, the less I can wrap my head around what it must have been like during the years of the war, it’s insane!
For our final project our job was to create an individual podcast featuring a WWII veteran that told a story of Canada’s legacy in the war. We reached out to The Memory Project to help connect us with veterans from around Vancouver for us to conduct interviews on. In total there were 5 veterans, so we were put in to groups of three and we would all use different parts of the interview for our podcasts. My group consisted of Maggie, Alivia and I, and our veteran was Yetty Foulds. Immediately, we first looked her up on The Memory Project’s website, and then on Google. There were very few results and it took us a bit of searching to find out that she isn’t an actual veteran, and she goes by Abigail as oppose to Yetty.
When it came time to schedule our interview with her, our groups schedules didn’t align at all, and unfortunately we decided that just Maggie and Alivia would go as there were no days all 3 of us didn’t have prior commitments. I was a little bummed I didn’t get to attend an interview but it turned out fine because our whole class experienced a very special interview with veteran German soldier, Helmut Lemke, when he came to our class.
He told us crazy stories of how he was brought up in Hitler Youth and how he went on to fight on the Russian front, evading death numerous times. I can’t do it justice just writing about it, so I highly suggest you take the time to give it a listen, Mr. Lemke is an absolute boss.
When it came time to put together my podcast I struggled pretty hard. Unfortunately Abigail wasn’t much of a talker (which I understand, English isn’t her first language and she’s 95 years old!), so our group only had 6 minutes of audio with her, and even less to work with for each of us after we split it up. This required me to create a strong thesis of Canada’s legacy as I couldn’t rely on Abigails talking to fill up the 6-7 minute long podcast. After consulting my group members we split the interview in to different general categories, mine being about her husband Elsley, who was a Canadian medic, and Canada’s role.
With me being away for a couple classes, it took quite a few drafts to get the podcast finished to a high enough level. The editing process was different than normal, as I’m so used to editing videos. I think with some more practice I could get a lot better with editing podcasts, and feeling more comfortable recording them. In the end, I’m proud of my podcast for the actual content and meaning of it, but not as much for the technical aspect. My audio quality was definitely subpar and it could’ve been levelled much better. For a first attempt at a podcast however, I can’t be too mad at myself, especially seeing as I’m walking away from this project having learnt so much.
I would really appreciate it if you listened to my podcast, and while you’re at it, you might as well listen to my classmates as well…
MY FINAL PODCAST
Everyone’s Final Podcast
Overall, as rough as it got in some patches, looking back and capping it off, I can say that this unit was a success, and I’m proud of my mentality throughout it, and the learning I was able to achieve as a result.