28 episodi

Aural Fixation is a weekly social commentary show run by KGSM Radio hosted by Greg Boone. Currently on assignment in Zhuhai, China, the show is taking a break from its standard format focusing more on his life as a student at United International College.

Aural Fixation from KGSM Radio Greg Boone

    • Località e viaggi

Aural Fixation is a weekly social commentary show run by KGSM Radio hosted by Greg Boone. Currently on assignment in Zhuhai, China, the show is taking a break from its standard format focusing more on his life as a student at United International College.

    So long, and Thanks, part 2

    So long, and Thanks, part 2

    The end of an era, tune in for the thrilling conclusion to two great radio shows. Thanks to special guests Zach and Collin for doing the weather, and to Dr. Wood, Mat, and Ari for stopping by and helping out with the show. We couldn't have done it without all of you.

    • 1h 10 min
    So Long, and Thanks, part 1

    So Long, and Thanks, part 1

    Aural Fixation and The Humpday Meltdown say goodbye to their loyal listeners and fans for all these years in this two part episode. Thank you all for your support, and please, continue to support KGSM.

    • 56 min
    Story Slam

    Story Slam

    Aural Fixation recently hosted a story slam as part of the Firethorne Literary Magazine's Spring Release. We hear from story tellers Alex Messenger, Ahna Gilbertson, Marie Bushnell, Joel Carlin, Ethan Marxhausen, Mary Cooley and Jenna Chapman. After winning a slam off with Alex Messenger, Joel Carlinmdash;Professor in the Biology Departmentmdash;won the contest. Here is the audio so you can judge for yourself.

    • 1m
    Farewell Zhuhai

    Farewell Zhuhai

    Welcome to Aural Fixation the podcast for this final episode from Zhuhai. The story is a bit shorter this week than you are used to, but it summarizes what has been one of the semester's slowest and most relaxing weeks. The new year is here, and in many ways a new year can symbolize a fresh start, a clean slate, for different parts of our lives. For me it will be returning to the United States with a fresh perspective on the world, and a better understanding of humanity and myself. Tune in next week for the first, and only podcast of this series, produced outside of China. It will likely cover my experience with reverse culture shock and readjustment. Enjoy, and thank you for listening.

    It seems only appropriate that the tropical storm of rain and humidity that welcomed me to China would be bookended by a spell of cold, biting wind and rain on my way out. The rain this time is not nearly as torrential nor brutal as that which welcomed me but remains, nevertheless, rain and brings with it the same mess of mud and similar dangers as usual; my shoes are not caked in mud but the Student Hostel Cultural Village's unpaved driveway-turned-mudslide still cases me to leave shoe prints all over the freshly mopped dormitory floors. This is my last weekend in China and to celebrate mine and Cynthia's imminent departures from Zhuhai we gathered our friends together for some spicy and magnificently delicious Sichuanese food at Lao Sichuan, a restaurant in Zhuhai's Xiangzhou District.

    Apart from Sichuanese food, Lao Sichuan specializes in the high art of Kung-Fu-style Ba Bao Cha whereby each person is given a small cup with eight different ingredients inside and a lidmdash;used both to keep your tea warm while it steeps and to prevent you from sucking down one of the herbs giving your tea its sweet flavormdash;into which a professional shoots water from what looks like an oversized watering can from across the wide round table; it's difficult to put into words what exactly happens during this exquisite preparation exercise or what makes it so much fun to watch; perhaps it's the brilliant accuracy of the artistic server's ability to position the device's spout inches from the tiny cup and spray a concentrated and high pressure stream of boiling water while holding the canister upside down, behind his head, and arching his back so that the whole device doesn't hit the ceiling once he finishes pouring a perfect cup full of water and promptly snaps his wrist back to bring the instrument back to rest without soaking anyone in his audience in scalding hot water; it is, to be sure, a spectacle to behold. The food is served in the traditional ldquo;family stylerdquo; wherein the group orders and consumes all of the dishes which are served en masse atop a rotating platform in the center of the table, which circular buffet allows just enough room for each person's table setting:a small bowl and saucer, chopsticks and spoon and the aforementioned tea cupmdash;with a little extra room for a bowl of rice, should you request one. The food is served as it becomes available and a good meal is one where everyone is surprised by the seemingly endless encore of culinary delight, and leaves feeling satisfied, stuffed even, while not having actually eaten an entire, singular, meal. It's like thanksgiving dinner.

    We were celebrating with Dee, Jack, Nicole, Ann, Nancy, Tommy and Alex. Like any or most attempts at organizing an outing in China, we invited 15, expected 20, and got nine; the only difference, logistically, was that we were only 15 minutes late instead of the customary 30 (on a good day) to 120 (on a not-as-good-day) minutes. During the bus trip on the way out the Xiangzhou we swapped various accounts of our respective New Year's Eve adventures and reminisced about the semester rapidly nearing its end. At some point I stared out the tall windows of

    • 10 min
    Christmas in China

    Christmas in China

    ldquo;It's safe to say that Charlie Brown would probably find Christmas in China the most vulgar and offensive exploitation of the holiday imaginable,rdquo; was my first thought after watching the timeless Christmas feature in which he stars on a briskmdash;but far from coldmdash;Christmas morning just before calling my family on Skype. The expat bar called ldquo;Ryan's Barrdquo; owned by an irish-canadian transplant in Zhuhai'snbsp;Xiangzhounbsp;district was hosting an all-you-can-eat buffet dinner event this Christmas Eve for 140yen; (or a little under $20) I thought I was slated to attend with my roommate and some friends of ours. The plan was to leave UIC around 7:30 putting our arrival somewhere in the 8 or 8:30 range depending on whether we took the public bus, a cab, or one of those faux taxi mini-busses; a perfect time to eat my only real meal of the day, I thought. When my roommate, Tommy, and I arrived at the bus stop and met up with our friends the plan slowly and mysteriously changed.

    My first clue that something was going awry was when Tommy told me the bus I was prepared to board would not go to where we needed to be for the Christmas party. For a little background, I had been to Ryan's the previous night and took the same bus I was not being told would not take me there as my mode of transit. When my companions began negotiating prices I managed to pick up on enough of the conversation to know they were trying to get tonbsp;Jiuzhouchengnbsp;and notnbsp;Xiangzhounbsp;(where Ryan's is located) and at that point I knew that where I thought we were going and where we were actually going were in fact two very different places. ldquo;Stop,rdquo; I shouted, ldquo;Where are we going?rdquo; When it finally came out, I learned we were not going to Ryan's but were instead spending Christmas Eve in a KTV or karaoke club called ldquo;Seven Eight Ninerdquo; at which point I became irritated; I felt deceived and I was still hungrymdash;and getting hungrier the longer we spent negotiating with the minibus drivers*nbsp;to get a price that was not outrageousmdash;and beginning to realize that my Christmas dinner would be neither satisfying nor delicious.

    While in transit to the KTV I found myself day dreaming, trying to stay optimistic and take my mind off of how hungry, famished really, I was, andmdash;as I foten domdash;watching the driver and bracing myself for any and all possible varieties of traffic accidents; I am really looking forward to getting back to road traffic that does not pose such imminent and realistic threats to my life on a regular basis, among other things. The best case scenario, I decided was ending up in Xiangzhou anyway and convincing everyone to go to Ryan's instead of this mysterious Seven Eight Nine placemdash;ldquo;did you know,rdquo; someone interrupted my train of thought, ldquo;if we had gone to the Seven Bar it would cost us 1,800yen;?rdquo; I had no idea where this was coming from, Seven Bar was the site of the incredibly over-the-top party I went to back in November where the drinks cost 50yen; for the cheap stuff, we weren't going there were we? ldquo;What are you talking about,rdquo; I asked with an air of confusion and irritation in my voice, ldquo;we aren't going to Bar Street are we?rdquo; I didn't know what I wanted but I knew that Bar Street food was expensive if existent and that cheaper food would mean leaving the party for a jaunt into another part of town, ldquo;no, we are going to the Seven Eight Nine.rdquo; Well that's helpful, I thought.

    We were greeted with a red carpet and an entourage of Chinese ldquo;Pretty Girlsrdquo;mdash;young women hired by the club for the sole fact and purpose of looking prettymdash;in Santa Hats and red coats who blew party horns and popped party poppers all while welcoming us and wishing usnbsp;Shengdan Kuailenbsp;(圣诞快乐)or Merry Christmas

    • 17 min
    Fear and Loathing in Zhuhai

    Fear and Loathing in Zhuhai

    Welcome back to Aural Fixation the Podcast from China loyal listeners, after a two week hiatus while I was in Beijing we are back with a new episode that I wrote while sitting in one of the Hong Kong Airport's fine dining establishments and the China Ferry Terminal's Starbucks. It's getting close to the end of my semester abroad, and while Gustavus finishes up its final exam schedule, I am just beginning to prepare for mine. There are only three more episodes after this one, and only two more I will write while enrolled as a student at United International College. I am finding myself a bit exhausted from all the traveling and am looking forward to getting back to the old routines and established order of normalcy back home and this episode is a reflection on the last two and a half months I've spent here in China in attempt to dissect and identify the overarching ideas that have constituted this adventure, and without further ado I give you Fear and Loathing in Zhuhai, the eighth episode of Aural Fixation's special China edition.

    It's strange to still be wearing sandals so close to Christmas time but Zhuhai weather is a lot like parts of California in that it rarely rains or drops below a brisk 55ordm;F; the buildings do not have heat, the dorms are not even insulated which makes for some chilly nights and mornings waking up on the rock hard ply-wood board I call a bed because even in the coldest months of the year the weather is still, generally speaking, pleasant to gorgeous everyday. Whenever I check Minnesota Public Radio's website or see a Twitter update conveying some kind of snow or cold related distressmdash;like road closures or people's eyelashes freezing together on their way to a final exammdash;before strapping on my Birkenstocks, I am reminded of just how great being here really is. As with any great adventure though, there comes a denouement point where the novelty of being away gives way to the harsh realities of what was left behind; I've begun to realize in the last two and a half months just how important the people, places, and things I left behind are in my life, and have grown to realize just how much I take it all for granted back home.

    A close friend of my family is sick with cancer and her condition recently progressed to the point where the doctors said there was nothing more they could do to lengthen her life or cure her cancer, and I feel stranded and powerless to give her family and other friends the appropriate supportmdash;and while she still has the love and support of her other friends and family, I wish I were not in China right now just so I could see her smile and give her a hug, and the news of her condition came with an amplified effect as a consequence of my remoteness. It is moments like these that make study abroad so valuable. Time and again I am reminded of just how much of an individual or anomaly I really am. It is not just my white skin and blue eyes, nor my superior command of the English language and my funny American accent (all those things set me apart in a more apparent and obvious day-to-day way) rather it is my memories, my personality and experiences that give me identity unique from everyone around me: driving across the barren expanse of parched soil and sagebrush that is the Eastern Colorado wilderness leading, finally, to the majestic snow-capped summits of the Rocky Mountains; walking across the Mississippi River's Headwaters at Lake Itasca; the fact that I am one of a handful of people in this country who care or even know who Al Franken and Norm Coleman are, or have anymdash;if scantmdash;memory or knowledge of Bloomington Minnesota's pre-Mall of America days; it's humbling, in an ironic way, to have these claims to uniqueness. It forces a certain pride or appreciation for what was previously taken for grantedmdash;what I assumed or presumed would never have any

    • 15 min

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