Looking  back on my wild Pioneer Podcast experience
Miranda Foster riding atop Lauren Johnson, her podcast partner

By Miranda Foster
Staff Writer

My stomach dropped to my knees in December 2018, when my newspaper adviser, Scott Carter, suggested that Lauren Johnson and I start a podcast for The Pioneer. 

I remember questioning his logic behind the matter. I tried to make sense of why he’d want this severely introverted, previously homeschooled 20-year-old to start up a podcast with a girl I met in his news-writing class just over three months earlier. Lauren and I hardly knew each other. How did Carter know whether or not we’d be compatible? Furthermore, what did he see in me that I didn’t? Why would he entrust me with something as big as my own podcast? 

I came to the conclusion that Carter may be certifiably mad. 

After Johnson and I left Carter’s office, I looked at her and said, “Is he crazy?” 

I wanted to be hired to write for The Pioneer in the spring, not create a whole different type of content because he thought I’d “be good at it.” 

I hardly talked to people in person, yet he wanted me to create a podcast with this girl I met from his class?

Like I said, certifiably mad. 

Johnson and I agreed to doing the podcast, myself being rather reluctant. The two of us met up before Christmas break was over, brainstormed and planned to record content for the podcasts to come. The agreement we made with Carter was we’d do podcasts twice a week, and write for him as needed, all while we balanced our schoolwork. 

The very first podcast seemed simple enough. We’d do a question and answer session, hope and pray for enough responses, and go from there. We got to the podcast lab after having one session in our audio class, which meant only an hour and a half worth of knowing how to work the program we needed to use for editing. 

With only a very limited amount of recording experience, we had no idea what we were doing. 

We spent 25 hours each week recording content and editing the content needed to fulfill the agreement we made with Carter.

 Tuesday and Friday we’d release a new episode, and start all over again come Monday. We engaged in a repeating cycle of trying to come up with ideas and create new content for sixteen weeks. 

Honestly, toward the end of the semester, I was tired. School was becoming physically and emotionally draining.

 I didn’t feel like I had any time outside of The Pioneer. I basically lived and breathed school and work. 

But to be transparent, I wouldn’t change my experience at The Pioneer for the world. 

Each day I looked forward to seeing my now best friend, Johnson. I got to make so many incredible memories with this phenomenal 18-year-old girl who inspired me each and every day to better myself in my schoolwork, my work, and my own personal life. 

She brought me out of me shell, and I am so grateful Carter put the two of us together. Life without her would be dull and boring.

Each day I came into an office that became my home away from home. I never dreamt on the first day of starting work at The Pioneer, I’d gain a second family. 

Each day I got to see Venae, Marcus, Ida, T’Era, Kristin, Lauren, Ryan, KaraLee, Jeremy, Sean, John, Rahul, Jenna and Chelsye. 

Each day we grew closer and became an unbreakable group of journalists and photographers. Each day I felt more and more at home with these beautiful, wonderful people. 

I found a wonderful friend and mentor in Carter. He helped me grow and learn in ways I never thought possible.

 I wanted to be a veterinary technician. I came to Carter’s news-writing class dreading it and telling myself he would be just another big-headed professor who thought he knew everything. 

Little did I know he was a giant teddy bear who had more faith in me than I could ever have in my own self. He pushed me to my greatest heights and helped me through my lowest lows. 

He encouraged me every step of the way, and I could never thank him or the staff of The Pioneer for helping me grow in ways I never thought achievable. 

We made a great team, and we still do. 

The Pioneer will forever hold a piece of my heart. The podcast has changed my life in such amazing ways. I can’t begin to explain the impact The Pioneer has had on my life. 

Who would’ve thought that Tuesday’s and Friday’s would become my favorite days. 

I’m sad to leave The Pioneer behind, but this isn’t a goodbye. 

I like to think of it as a new hello. 

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