The photo above expresses how I felt about a certain podcast when I took it over.
Instructional material presented with misspellings, muddled pedagogy, poor translations, crappy audio design and quality, and blatant factual inaccuracies. When looking over the lessons my predecessors had published I did not find a single lesson that didn’t have an error. Not a single one; I’m not being hyperbolic. Every. Single. Lesson.
I wanted to leave immediately, to save my reputation, but it was July, when schools are done hiring for the year. I asked them to junk the website entirely and let me come up with a new brand, but the management felt that was rash and that I was attacking them personally. And that suggestion went nowhere.
So I took a deep breath and told myself, it’s only a year… and I get to live in Manhattan. I did that job for a year, and I absolutely did good work, given the expectations. I don’t know if my work was selling subscriptions, because they wouldn’t tell me. But judging from the crickets and cobwebs that populated the community in terms of comments, nobody was listening anyway. I am annoyed that my academic reputation is associated with that product, but whatever, it paid the bills and got me to the next step in my life.
To be clear, I’m sure that there were typos and mistakes that got past me. The instruction, however, was good (given the crap design I was forced to follow) and the errors I made were typos, not due to an ignorance of Spanish, language instruction, or broadcasting.
UPDATE: The title of this post is a reference to a Star Trek episode, where Picard is tortured and showed four lights, but his torturer tries to break his spirit by zapping him and insisting that there are five lights.