I love TV.
Allow me to clarify. I don’t watch TV. I watch my iPad. However, I like being on TV. I used to host my own weekly show on KUSD-TV…but that’s another story.
Last week, I was lucky to be invited to Washington DC for two TV interviews.
One was for To The Contrary, PBS’s all woman news analysis show which airs nationally. Tuesday, September 8, Cari Stein, the show’s producer interviewed me. We really connected. Her son taught English in Thailand and loved it. He decided to become a teacher in the US. Just starting his first year teaching in a Maryland public school, he was assigned — are you ready for this? — 240 students! OMG. WTF? I am hoping he’ll write a piece for my next book, Yo Teach! Assuming, he is able to breathe, much less write.
Cari led me in a well structured, in depth interview that lasted well over 45 minutes. It will be cut down to the essentials. Once I get the link, I shall post it.
The next early morning, 9/9/15, Larry Smith, the personable host of Good Morning Washington gave me 2 or 3 minutes to talk about the book. He got to the essence of the story: the inequities and enormous diversity between 25 public high schools on one little island of Manhattan. Again, I’ll post the link as soon as they send it over.
Arriving in NYC later that day, I headed over to the CBS studios on 57th Street, west of 10th Ave for an 11pm interview with national radio personality, Jim Bohannon.
I had no idea how long we would go. Turns out, we had one hour scheduled, but we became so fascinated with each other, he asked me to stay a bit longer. He really pushed me on the tenure issue but I had fun tap dancing around his very pointed questions.
“I don’t consider myself an expert on this,” I said.
“I’ve been pretending to be an expert for 30 years,” he countered.
It was a call-in show. My favorite caller was a former teacher (!) who wants us to put cameras in all classrooms. That, he believes, will help us get rid of lousy teachers and disruptive students. My response: “Oy.”
Here’s the link. Go to 40:00 – that’s about 40 minutes in, where he switches to our segment. Jimbo’s a very sharp guy and funny, too.
Favorite Radio Interview Questions This Week:
I’ve been doing a ton of radio interviews all over the country. Most are lots of fun. Here are two favs:
From a sweet, mid western host and much-lauded small-market senior radio guy:
“You don’t sound like…you’re Anglo Saxon, right? I mean you don’t sound African-American.”
“Uh…yes,” I replied. “I’m not African-American.” I figured I’d spare him the stories of my ancestors fleeing the pogroms in Russia and Lithuania.
“So,” he continued, “how did you develop relationships with the students in the barrio?”
“Yo! I spit some mad rhymes,” I didn’t say.
From an early morning Westchester drive-time hyper-caffeinated chap:
“OK. You’re on in 30 seconds. Tell me about what’s wrong with our public education. You have two minutes.”
“Uhh…if that’s what you like,” I stammered. I prefer to talk about the kids, how great they are and how they deserve the best, regardless of zip code.
“Yes! That’s what I’d like. OK. You’re on. We have with us Elizabeth Rose, author of Yo Miz! Elizabeth! What’s wrong with American education?”
Your question. That’s what’s wrong dude.