A note from Station Manager Adoley–
Princeton University is a kind of retirement community, where all the type-A kids from high school go on convalescent leave from the world before they have to bid childhood farewell for good.
Gated–mentally, literally gated–we circulate in rivers and currents of Princetonians and close affiliates, professors and high-profile lecturers from similar institutions of similar aspirations.
It’s easy to forget, at Princeton, that the rest of the world exists.
News from the outside streams in between the grates of FitzRandolph Gate in trickles or floods, depending on how relevant it is to the campus population. But it’s all too easy, focused on papers and precepts and problem sets, to completely ignore what’s going on beyond the Princeton perimeter.
One way of subverting the stagnancy is to go underground.
Crawl into the cavern of WPRB and witness the strange transformations that occur when DJs touch the pads of their fingers to the audio board, press “play,” on a CD deck, and envelop themselves in sound.
It’s the acute realization that your tunes are reaching real people in real cars in real cities that have nothing to do with your dorm or Nassau Hall.
WPRB pulled me under the surface of Princeton’s spires to see what is truly important to me–the community.
I have vague memories of standing as a freshman in my first few weeks of college next to the huge stacks of our CD library, attempting to fulfill my duties as a lowly “music librarian.” This meant: re-alphabetize the collection each week.
At that time, when all WPRB was to me was a basement full of dusty CDs, I didn’t quite understand the magnitude the station had–for it’s student DJs and community DJs and listeners near and far.
I didn’t realize that WPRB was a community in and of itself, and what it meant for us to air music you can’t hear on the radio 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The unique thing about WPRB is that on Princeton’s campus, opportunities to interact with the immediate community aren’t so obvious. Many of our activities are inwardly focused. And there’s nothing wrong with that–I relish in efforts to inform and better our student body, change the campus and in doing so change the tracks of many peoples lives.
But it’s important to realize that just because we live in a gated community doesn’t mean our communion has to end at the gates. Playing music on WPRB is a way to reach out and commune with faces you may never hear, hands you may never feel, but hearts you have a few fleeting scrambling hours each week to try to touch. Ears whose drums you can scratch.
When people ask me about being Station Manager at PRB–what I like, what I’ve learned, what’s cool–I always mention our community DJs.
The fact that working at this crazy radio station introduced me to people I never would’ve met otherwise during my time at Princeton
I could list the names of every DJ I know and love, but it would take so long to tally the familiar faces–Jerry Gordon, Lance Loud, Wilbo Wright, Teri Towe, Readie Righteous, Mike Lupica, Pete DeFilipo, Jeannie Becker, Julia Factorial, Jon Solomon, Phil Jackson–these and so, so many others have made an impact profound on my time as an undergraduate.
Never underestimate the value of interacting with adults who are cool. They will teach you things worth knowing.
My convalescent leave in New Jersey has been interrupted by WPRB. Late night phone calls, early morning pledge drives, midday fill-ins and papercuts from packing premiums–all of it, every second, has been worth it.
Helping keep the lights on WPRB is the most valuable thing that I’ve done for the past three years, and I can’t help but selfishly wish I could do this forever.
But the beauty of WPRB is that the rotating cast of characters allows so, so many people to cycle through the station and touch for a little, taste for a little the addictive ambrosia of community-supported, independent radio.
And I wouldn’t give that up for anything in the world.
…and now you understand why she’s our Station Manager.
I’m just going to add this: Pledge?