Postcard from Co-Op

   I was undecided about going to a co-op community, after hearing rumors of the failed attempts in New Mexico with the Place of Text course. But I was convinced to take a job in Albuquerque, working at Channel 27, the public access television station.

News of the Board of Trustees’ decision this summer to close Antioch made everyone second guess what they would do for the fall. I had made the decision to go on co-op, because that was one of the main reasons I had come to Antioch, but soon realized I had made it too early. After purchasing my plane ticket and committing to renting out a room, I realized it was too late to change my mind and return to Yellow Springs in the fall. I never contacted Antioch to assure them I was going on co-op, secretly hoping to sabotage the planning and end up back on campus. When I arrived in Albuquerque, however, unsure and hoping my job was unavailable, I saw they were understaffed and needed all the help they could get; my job was definitely still free for the taking.

So here I am, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, working at  one of the last soap boxes in the country. Anyone can come off the street and put their opinion out on the air, in the form of a public service announcement (PSA) or just a fill in between shows. Those who have $65 dollars can be certified as a producer, enabling them to have their own show and use our equipment. Every other show is about someone’s different religion or faith, and in between, we might have Don, who wears only boxers and a bow tie, talking about his lifestyle choices; or Hemp TV, where they bring out a 3-foot joint and explain why mari-juana should be legal. The producers are usually very opinionated and bold. Not many people have enough confidence to put their face out there and argue or to share their passions.

Mostly I sit at a desk in front of a computer, answering phone calls and checking out production equipment. They have trained me both in the studio and field department, so I know how to properly use the equipment on my own and I am able to help out the pro-ducers. I sometimes operate Master Control, which is the room that determines what goes on the air and how. I prefer the shows that bring on local bands and one with a group of retired men playing softball, so whenever there is an empty time slot, I fill it with those shows. I also will be making a few different PSA’s while I’m here, and taping various events around the community. Everything has gone well at work, although I miss Antioch dearly and wish to be on campus this fall. I am constantly online checking up on my community. It’s kind of obsessive really. I do hope everyone is enjoying their term and look forward to seeing you at the end of the month!