Childhood is a funny thing, especially since that window we call adolescence keeps getting longer and longer. When do we stop being children, and when do we become adults? We bring you an hour of radio built from a creative writing Stanford class–stories of growing up, not growing up and the moments that stick with us the most.


Host: Hannah Krakauer

Producer: Hannah Krakauer

Featuring: Michelle Goldring, Lexie Spiranac, Sarah Grossman, Jeff Bauman, Chrystal Lee

Music: Nataly Dawn

Release Date: 23 February 2010

image via flickr


Story 1: The Fuzziness

It’s easy enough to look at a person and decide for them whether he or she is a child or an adult, but is it always so easy to tell with ourselves? What does it even mean to be a grown-up? First, a story about the blurry, perhaps undesirable transitions between childhood and adulthood.

Author: Michelle Goldring

image via wikimedia


Story 2: Kick the Other Person as Hard as You Can

Some growing pains happen when your bones get bigger. Some growing pains happen when your opponent kicks you as hard as she can. Our next story is about growing pains of the second kind. It’s also about corruption, Tae Kwon Do, and yelps.

Author: Lexie Spiranac

image via flickr


Story 3: My Family Held a Meeting on My Ability to Think

After giving up sports, Sarah began playing music with her brothers every night. Beatles’ songs, everyone on a different instrument, and Sarah on vocals. It was the start of a bonding between the siblings. But it was a bonding that went too far, and it started to worry her family.

Author: Sarah Grossman

image via flickr


Story 4: The Order is Invariable

If there’s one thing we have control over growing up, it’s our bedrooms. We decorate, arrange, rearrange, and sometimes even try to paint. But there is another approach to making your room–and your life–your own. Some call it OCD, Jeff Bauman calls it peace.

Author: Jeff Bauman


Story 5: Leave the Bears Alone

Admit it. You had stuffed animals when you were a kid. When did you give them up? Was it too late? Embarrassingly late? Well, no matter when it was, chances are you didn’t have a relationship with your stuffed animals the way the narrator of our next story did.

Author: Chrystal Lee

image via flickr


Story 6: What Sundresses Say

Our next story is about what it’s like to be fixated on style. How do you live a life devoted to following fashion trends? What does it do to you, and is it worth it?

Author: Emily Vogel

image via flickr


Story 7: If My Dog Finds Out He’ll Kill My Wife

Our last story is comic piece about studying abroad, growing up, and trying to find an identity at college. For reasons we appreciate, but can’t quite fathom, it’s told in the voice of a 30s private eye.

Author: Billy Kemper

image via wikimedia


We throw all kinds of things away without really thinking about it. These five stories take a look at where our trash goes, the creative things that people do with it, and even question what it means to throw something away. First, a story about small-scale composting and the worms who do it. Next, a story about what to do with all your old scraps of fabric lying around. Third, how what’s left in a city dump can provide inspiration for an art movement. Fourth, behind the scenes at an estate sale. And last, a short story about bringing a box of forgotten photographs back to life.



Host: Hannah Krakauer

Producers: Hannah Krakauer, Lydia Santos, Killeen Hanson, Laura Chao, Rebecca Pfiffner, Matt Larson, Kasiana Mclenaghan

Music: Noah Burbank, Japandi, Nimbleweed, Kissing Johnny

Links: FabMo, Recology

Release Date: 1 December 2009

image: Tim Noble & Sue Webster, Dirty White Trash (With Gulls), 1998

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Story 1: The Original Composters

When you toss a banana peel into a compost bin, it goes to a huge industrial composting complex. This is a step in the right direction, but some Stanford students say that big-scale composting is overrated. They’d rather watch worms do it themselves.


Producer: Lydia Santos

image via wikimedia



Story 2: FabMo

What to do with all those leftover scraps of fabric? Thousands are left behind from fashion shows, and, without intervention, headed for the landfill. One group decided to rescue these scraps and do something better with them.

Producers: Killeen Hanson and Laura Chao

image via flickr


Story 3: At the Dump

It’s all well and good to intervene before something gets thrown away. But what happens to the stuff you don’t save from the dump? It turns out that even then there’s a chance for re-use. Our next story explores the art of the San Francisco Dump.

Producers: Rebecca Pfiffner, Matt Larson

image via flickr


Story 4: The Person Behind the Stuff

We tend to think of throwing away as a voluntary act. But this isn’t always the case. Estate sales–the garage sales for property that belonged to people who have died–are a perfect example. Our next story looks at the stuff people who have moved on have left behind.

Producer: Kasiana Mclenagham

image via flickr

Note to Self

The theme of this week’s show is self-preservation — that is, the preserving of whatever it is that makes you you, be it letters, journal entries, or a digital measurement of your heart rate and blood sugar for every hour of the day. We bring you stories of cybernetic “lifeloggers,” a crafty, image-tweaking Founding Father, and the most astoundingly comprehensive diary ever to find its way into Stanford’s Special Collections. We also have poems from one of Stanford’s poets in residence, Kirsten Andersen.

Host: Charlie Mintz
Producer: Charlie Mintz
Featured: Kirsten Anderson, Liz Bradfield, Hsiao-Yun Chu, and Judith Richardson
Music: Boomsnake, Howard Hello, George Pritzker

Release Date: 13 May 2008

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Story 1: Guinea Pig B

There are scrapbooks, and then there is the legendary Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion Chronofile. Fuller was a designer, futurist, speaker, and prolific life-logger. Stanford has his diary, if that word even applies to the massive collection of documents, notes, letters, and much more. Host Charlie Mintz interviews the curator who made sense of the Chronofile, and learns about the wisdom of self-preservation.

Producer: Charlie Mintz
Featuring: Hsiao-Yun Chu

Story 2: Guinea Pig F

Long before Fuller glued his first newspaper clipping, Founding Father Benjamin Franklin was pondering how best to preserve his life. The answer? Turn himself into a literary figure. Of course, this raises an interesting question: who is the real Ben Franklin?

Producer: Dan Hirsch
Featuring: Judith Richardson

Story 3: Life-Logging in Blank Verse

“Lifelogging” is usually about data. Numbers, figures, statistics. But to capture the most important parts of a life, maybe poetry is the best medium. We hear from a Stanford Stegner poet, who imagines a life into poetry.

Featuring: Kirsten Andersen and Liz Andersen

Story 4: Note to Self: Look Back at This and Laugh

Journals can be funny. Not at the time. Often they’re very serious at the time they’re being written. But later, very funny. At least when they’re filled with the kind of teen angst that you thought was buried forever when you went to college. Producer Dan Hirsch visits a live reading of old poems, songs, and of course, diary entries.

Producer: Dan Hirsch

Coming to You Live

What is it about live performance that makes it so appealing, terrifying, and wonderful? What drives people to stand up in front of an audience, to perform without a safety net and put themselves on the line? In today’s data-driven world, where everything can be recorded, stored, and recalled at any time, what role does live performance play? This episode begins with the harrowing experience of our host subjecting himself to the most extreme form of live performance of all: stand-up comedy. We continue with a story from playwright Amy Freed and Stanford professor of drama Kay Kostopoulos. And finally, we follow a production of the Stanford Spoken Word Collective, and get a peek at what goes on behind the curtain.

Host: Micah Cratty
Producers: Daniel MacDougall, Micah Cratty
Featured: Amy Freed, Kay Kostopilous
Music: Noah Burbank, Dave Chisholm, Greg Sell, Chris Babson, Zach Katagiri, and Kissing Johnny

Release Date: 19 May 2008

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Story 1: I Figured Doing Stand-Up Would Help my Dating Life

Micah Cratty never set formal goals for college, but there were things he thought he should accomplish, like winning the Super Bowl, dating a supermodel, that kind of thing. But one goal seemed achievable, perform comedy at a comedy club in front of an audience of strangers.

Producer: Micah Cratty

Story 2: Saying Yes to the Human Being

Producer: Daniel MacDougall
Featuring: Amy Freed and Kay Kostopilous

Story 3: I eat Chromosomes for Breakfast

In our last story we take a look at a kind of live performance whose popularity is secure, at least in college: spoken word. We went behind the scenes at the Stanford Spoken Word Collective’s Spring Show preparations to try to capture the magic of the live.

Producers: Micah Cratty
Featuring: The Stanford Spoken Word Collective

Unexpected Superheroes

Although superheroes may seem like two dimensional relics of our childhoods, they can have a significant impact on our lives. Stories of superheroes battling in academia, superheroes living among us, and fictional superheroes fighting real-world battles.


Host: Micah Cratty

Producers: Micah Cratty, Lee Konstantinou and Matt Larson

Featuring: Professor Scott Bukatman and Robert Walker

Music: Kissing Johnny and Noah Burbank

Release Date: 21 May 2009

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Intro Story: With Gawking Eyes

When Victor sees New York for the first time, he sees comic book magic. When he moves to New York for graduate school, the magic fades… then he applies for a job at Marvel Comics.
image via flickr

Story 1: Academic Superheroes

Lee Konstantinou talks with Scott Bukatman and finds that comic book superheroes have followed this esteemed professor from his childhood to the halls and classrooms of academia.

Story 2: What’s Your Superpower?

Matt Larson heads out to discover the super abilities and superheroes hiding in plain sight. After listening, you might not ever look at your fellow co-workers or students the same way again.
image via flickr

Story 3: Superheroes Can Fight Diseases Too

Robert Walker creates a set of super heroes who fight the most vicious killer on earth: HIV/AIDS.


We attempt to come to better terms with our impending doom. This is such a mind-blowing episode that it is in a record eight parts: one short story, one excerpt from a novel, two poems, one interview, one story-booth vignette, one ballad, and a correspondence with our friend Pete, on the other side.



Host: Bonnie Swift

Producers: Jonah Willihnganz, Bonnie Swift, Dan Hirsch, Micah Cratty, Lee Konstantinou, Killeen Hanson, Elizabeth Bradfield, Hannah Krakauer, Jack Wang

Featuring: Daniel Steinbock, Adrienne Chung

Music: Nataly Dawn

URLs: People Say I’ve Changed, Pop Apocalypse: A possible Satire, Long Now Foundation

Release Date: 28 May 2009

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SSP producer Micah Cratty reads his story of post-apocalyptic magical totalitarianism. You can also read this story at the McSweeney’s website.



Adrienne Chung reads her poem “Dr. Excelsior,” followed by music from Nataly Dawn.



Lee Konstantinou reads an excerpt from his novel,Pop Apocalypse: A possible Satire, which was published by Harper Perennial in 2009.



Daniel Steinbock sings “The Last Dance,” a song he wrote before an spring quarter circus party at Synergy house. For many Stanford Students, this was the last party before graduation. photo via flickr



The SSP Apocalypse takes to the streets, asking members of the Stanford Community about their feelings on the doom that potentially approaches all that is everything. Responses range from the very serious to the very un-serious.



Stanford Creative Writing Professor Adam Johnson waxes poetic on the many various Apocalypses that each of us faces in our daily lives.



Elizabeth Bradfield reads a poem of when Biblical stories are transformed into a shape that Arctic Native Americans can relate to.



Bonnie Swift interviews Alexander Rose, director of the Long Now Foundation. Among other things, they discuss Long Now’s 10,000 Year Clock project, in which they are constructing a gigantic mechanical clock in the middle of a mountain. This clock, when completed, is likely to outlast any civilization collapses that may occur in the next handful of millennia.

No Work and All Play

What is it to be a toy or a tool? What is the difference between work and play, or is there a difference at all? Seriously playful stories from an archaeologist, a designer of toys for disabled children, and circuit-bending musicians. Who is influencing who in the process of design, creation, and the use of toys and tools?



Host: Hannah Krakauer

Producers: Hannah Krakauer, Liz Bradfield, Daniel Hirsch

Featuring: Michael Shanks, Jessica Zarin Kessin, Reed Ghazala, Sridharan Devarajan, Mike Rosenthall, Mike Mellenthin, Heather Roberts

Music: Kissing Johnny, Dubious Ranger, Nimbleweed

Release Date: 14 May 2009


Story 1: World Of Things

Michael Shanks shares his experience with Chrysler Automobiles and their pursuit of understanding how people interact with their things, whether it be a car, an instrument or a cell phone. How do we, in an age of generic devices and mass produced baubles, define ourselves as individuals with these modern day artifacts?


Story 2: Enabling

The world of product design represents an academic and practical synthesis of engineering, psychology and art, put to test every day in the products we purchase and use. Stanford graduate and entrepreneur Jessica Zarin Kessin shares her experience starting and building her company, Development By Design, which creates developmental toys for children with disabilities.


Story 3: Using Toys to Make Music

Circuit Benders make music with machines. Co Hosts Mike Mellenthin and Heather Roberts interview Circuit Bending Legend Reed Ghazala, “Bent Fest” Organizer Mike Rosenthall and other musicians to get to the root of a question: what is the difference between music and noise?


Photos via flickr (1, 2, 3)

Rites of Passage

Sometimes our rites of passage are marked by large ceremonies, like graduations or weddings. But often the transformative moments of our lives come not on stage, but when we quietly face the challenges we are presented with. The strange importance of the unicycle in a young man’s life, Texas debutantes, and a 22-year-old trying to make it as a reporter in the real world.

Host: Micah Cratty

Producers: Micah Cratty, Matt Larson, Will Rogers

Featuring: Jon Ho

Music: Volunteer Pioneer, Kissing Johnny, Noah Burbank

URLs: Welch Widers unicycle performance, Texas Rose Documentary Blog

Release Date: 30 April 2009

Listen to the Full Show:

Story 1: Once Upon a Unicycle

Matt Larson recalls one of the most transformative episodes of his childhood – and it happens on only one wheel.
Image via flickr

Story 2: A Rose Festival by Any Other Name

Will Rogers heads home to Tyler, Texas to film a documentary on the annual Texas Rose Festival, and battles parades, beauty queens, and his own distaste for the event.

Story 3: So you wanna be a reporter?

Micah Cratty searches for the real world and finds a little more than he can handle.
Image via flickr

Narrow Escapes

Why are we drawn to stories of escape? How do we know when we’ve escaped or when we’ve been captured? Today’s show features stories of narrow escapes, written and read by the winners of our first story contest. The dangers of professional panty sniffing, a maybe catastrophic encounter with abandoned tires, and a short story recalling a scary chapter in Stanford’s past.

Host: Lee Konstantinou

Producers: Lee Konstantinou and Charlie Mintz

Featuring: Amanda Glasser, Erika Harrell, Mandy MacCalla

Release Date: 19 March 2009

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Story 1: Panty Sniffing 101

The desperate desire of one woman, fresh out of college, to escape from her first attempt at respectable employment.
Featuring: Amanda Glasser
image via flickr

Story 2: Tiretastrophy

An innocent high school shenanigan gone wrong
Featuring: Erica Harold
image via flickr

Story 3: Terror in College Terrace

This story presents frightening moment in Stanford’s past, when many women felt that they might not escape.
Featuring: Mandy McCallow
image via flickr