Leila Day

Alyssa Kapnik Portraiture

We are always adjusting the way we sound. It especially depends on the social situation we are in. Linguists call it "code switching," a term originally used for people who would switch between two different languages like Spanish and English. But the term has evolved to embrace the tone, accents, and inflections that we use when talking to people. Many of us do it.

Growing up, I heard plenty of jokes about the way I spoke. But I couldn't help the way I sounded. It’s a default voice, just how I speak. You see where I grew up, in Las Vegas, there were two types of black kids in school: those who hung out only with other black kids and those who bounced back and forth between black and non-black friends. I was in the second group. With all of that switching back and forth, my voice switched too. And it still does. For example, when I’m on the phone with my sister, the “sistah” comes out. It's not something I’m always conscious of. Sometimes it just sort of happens.

Now as an adult I have fun with it, but as a kid it wasn’t always this way. Finding my voice was just painful. At school, being told I “sounded white” meant only one thing. I wouldn’t be eating my corndog and tater tots at the black kids’ lunch table.

But that was then. Nowadays, in some schools, corn dogs and tater tots have been replaced with tofu dogs and green salad. It got me wondering if the conversation among teens may have changed too. So, I went to a place where I thought I might find some black teens who’ve been accused of “talking white”: the skate park.

Buffalo Soldiers ride on

May 18, 2015
Leila Day

Audio Pending...

Witching to find water

May 12, 2015

The lack of rain has forced California farmers and wine makers to turn from the sky to the ground to find water. It’s down there, but you have to know exactly where it is in order to drill a well.  

There are a couple of options for how to do this: you can have a geologist use mapping and scientific data to get a lay of the land; or you can can hire a water witch. These are people who search for water using two thin sticks or iron rods that they say cross each other when there’s water  under the earth.

http://louisearonson.com

We're all getting older, so what are some ways we can embrace it better? When women hit major markers with aging, like menopause, Dr. Louise Aronson, a geriatrician and professor at UCSF, says that there is no reason to get so down about it.

Education is considered a way out of the prison system and poverty. Yet ironically, for some people education is more attainable from behind bars. Inside San Bruno Jail #5 is the Five Keys Charter school. It’s one of the nation’s first high schools within a jail, and the subject of a documentary now in production called "The Corridor."  KALW's Leila Day sat down with filmmakers Annelise Wunderlich and Richard O'Connell to learn more.

RICHARD O'CONNELL: It’s like a domino effect. Suddenly you have a different experience. And you experience that you can actually do things and get things done, and there’s hope. 

To hear the full interview, please click on the audio link above.

To learn more about the fundraising for the project click the link for their Kickstarter campaign : http://www.thecorridordocumentary.com/

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