At some point or another, we all rely on a beautiful little app called Uber to get around. It keeps us warm in the cold, safe in the dark, and ridin’ in style (most of the time). Uber drivers do a lot more than just take us from place to place, however. They often share their stories, give us much-needed advice on life and love, and add a little excitement to our otherwise mundane lives.
This past Halloweekend, my friend and I were bemoaning a certain boy’s failure to notice our presence, as one does in late-night Uber rides, and we were convinced all hope was lost. And yet, after a few minutes of despair, our driver turned around to us and said, “He’s not worth it. You guys are too young to be worried about things like that.” My friend and I turned to each other and realized how spot-on his words were. We then proceeded to throw the thought of this guy out the window and lived our lives like the free youths we were supposed to be.
After this enlightening experience, I decided to turn to my fellow members of BlogDH, and see if they had any Uber stories of their own to share. Here’s what they said:
“I had an Uber driver try to convince me that Andrew Jackson wasn’t the seventh president of the United States.” — Anthony DeRita
“My Uber driver this weekend overheard us talking about guys and was like, ‘Height isn’t that important…it’s all about their heart’ and then she [said,] ‘and more importantly, you can’t tell when they are lying down’ and she was like 45. She rocked.” — Allison Gordon
Now Here This, co-founded by Sophie McKibben ’16 and Liza Yeager ’17, is an online platform for student-produced audio stories. New pieces will be released weekly, “featuring memoirs and interviews, investigative journalism and live storytelling, slam poetry, and more,” on the website designed by Emma Funk ’16.
The concept of Now Here This originated this past fall, when McKibben and Yeager realized that Brown was missing a platform – “an audio platform to host all kinds of the audio stories they loved to listen to.” The idea of creating such a project caught fire, and soon enough, a team assembled to make this dream a reality. Now, the organization has grown through collaboration with Brown Storytellers and support from the Dean’s Office, the Transformative Conversations Initiative at Brown, advisors Professor Beth Taylor from the English Department and Alex Braunstein from the Swearer Center, as well as from the Brown community at large.
Audio stories on the site will tap into a variety of formats and topics. Some “Features” pieces will perhaps remind listeners of podcasts like This American Life or Radiolab, featuring personal stories and investigations into science topics, for example. Some stories will have producers narrating, in the style of 99% Invisible, and others, such as the “Creative Nonfiction” pieces, may remind listeners of recordings by David Sedaris. Though inspired by the podcasts McKibben and Yeager grew up listening to, Now Here This is “not quite a podcast and not quite a radio station,” while aiming to carve out its own genre of audio content. The platform hopes to combine all different kinds of audio storytelling, not limited to a specified format or subject.