Power in Young Men’s Voices

National Public Radio journalist Alex Blumberg says “the greatest power of audio is its honesty,” and that strength is on full display in the voices of these four Wabash freshman.

At end of their month-long stay on campus in July as participants in the Wabash Liberal Arts Immersion Program, students recorded their thoughts about the experience. We’ve compiled excerpts from four of those audio essays here.

Kyle McAtee, Jaleel Grandberry, Myron Howard, and Myles Johnson share their fears, their frustration with education, and the moments during the summer that encouraged them to embrace “being intellectual” while discovering writing as a means of liberating self-expression.

“Quite honestly, I didn’t think I had what it took to do anything at Wabash College,” McAtee begins, then quotes from one of the essays he read over the summer: “But I was practicing being an intellectual before I knew that’s what I could be, or wanted to be.

Jaleel Granberry recalls “the most influential line for me becoming a student,” while Johnson admits his fear of writing, and the moment that fear went away.

For Howard, writing is transformed from “just another English class” to “a way of expressing who I am as a person.”

The recordings capture the essence of the young men’s expression in ways the written word cannot. Thye are edited from a presentation by Professor Bobby Horton at the Ides of August earlier this semester.

Thanks to Professors Crystal Benedicks and Jill Lamberton for their work on writing with these students, not to mention Lamberton’s innovative “audio-rhetoric” approach which gives student the chance to literally find their voices in recordings like these.