Intro to Topic
Although there is a large percentage of students who live on residence, York University is primarily known as a commuter school. Most of the students who attend York at its Keele Campus rely on public and personal transit options to get them to campus from various parts of the Greater Toronto Area as well as Downtown Toronto. There have always been various ways to commute to York. From driving and paying the hefty fees for parking, taking one of the 2,500 bus trips that arrive at the University daily as well as biking and skateboarding around campus, transit to, from and around York is and always has been an integral part of every York student’s life. Therefore, getting to York is an important part of the history of the university experienced differently by students throughout the almost six decades that the school has been in operation. The task is now to compile and present this history in a way that’s insightful, interesting and accessible to not only faculty, students and alumni (although they are the primary focus) but to wider audiences as well.
Intro to YU MISSED THE BUS with Tim and Tino
With this, we present the YU Missed The Bus podcast hosted by Tim and Tino. This bi-monthly podcast will center around the fictional characters of Tim and Tino, who have been undergraduate students at York since its opening year of 1959 up until the present year of 2016. Each podcast - running approximately twenty to twenty-five minutes each - will center on a single decade of York’s transit history, experienced and discussed by the fictional duo. In each installment, Tim and Tino advance through the ten-year period providing social commentary and anecdotes towards significant milestones in the history of getting to York. Also, they will touch on the other happenings of the time at the University, use the popular lingo of the day and drop pop cultural references to establish the feeling in the listener that they were truly there at the historical period in focus. The history of getting to York as well as the history of York itself has been an ever evolving, constantly changing history. Tim and Tino serve as stagnant social commentators throughout this history as ageless students who have been getting to York, doing readings, cramming for exams, eating the diverse options of food available and going to campus bars for nearly six decades. Think of them as two unfortunate men sitting on a bench while waiting for a bus as the campus and the world around them changes as they watch and discuss it all. Perhaps there will be a part in 21st century episode where they replace the old, moldy wooden bench with a sleek metal one without arm rests. Who knows! Even though their lingo and what they experience around them cause their opinions on the world around them to change, they still maintain the same characteristics and personality traits that the listeners can identify with.
Presenting history in a funny and unique way
We wish to create a funny and entertaining way to learn about the history of getting to York through our podcast. Tim and Tino as hopeless commuters with charismatic and goofy personalities will provide a humorous first person perspective on what getting to York was like throughout the history of the institution. By complaining about and discussing notable topics such as strikes, the subway, changes in bus routes, characteristics of different colleges and buildings and common problems and issues that students have faced now, in the past as well as those that have been ever present, there will be something for everyone not only to learn about but to laugh about as well. As mentioned previously, Tim and Tino have individual defining characteristics that differentiate their unique, quirky demeanors. Tino is the more animated of the two who is quick tempered and quick to shake a fist at the problems that have plagued the transit aspects of York yesterday as well as today. He is witty and launches into rants on issues that range from minimal such as not being able to get a bagel at the Central Square Tim Hortons or not being able to see outside his bus window due to a large real estate advertisement covering his view, to major problems such as high parking fees and morning traffic and congestion. Tim is a calmer, more down to earth realist who serves as the straight man in this comedy duo. He is quick with fact checking Tino and keeping his explosive energy in check but he also holds no barriers against pointing out the perils of transit before him. Think of them as if Jerry Seinfeld and George Costanza were York students. They may exclaim that “these pretzels are making me thirsty” but they will not have very much luck buying a water bottle on campus. To offer two contrasting perspectives on getting to York from a geographical sense, Tino lives downtown while Tim lives in the GTA. Throughout the run of the podcast, we hope to establish funny relatable characters that can convey the history of getting to York. As the podcast episodes increase, so to will the inside jokes between the two characters as well as the chronological story of the characters through the decades that we hope will cause audience involvement not only in the history but in Tim and Tino themselves that will keep them tuning into YU Missed the Bus with its release every two weeks.
Constructing a historical narrative
YU Missed the Bus is first and foremost a history podcast and will require a great deal of research to accurately describe and present the history of getting to York as well as conveying the general history of York Universty’s Keele Campus through the decades of operation. Although the characters of Tim and Tino are the work of historical fiction, their banter, discussions and the situations they find themselves in will be rooted in historical fact. Think of them like the character of Forrest Gump in that he himself is fictional but the moments of American history he finds himself enthralled in are genuine. I doubt Tim and Tino will find themselves shaking hands with any Prime Ministers but perhaps they might encounter a couple presidents of York or a young Rachel McAdams or Jack Layton on the TTC. Although YU Missed the Bus is an unconventional digital method of presenting a unique part of the history of York University, all topics, events and facts presented by the characters will be listed with sources provided on our website. Our thinking is that once the listener hears a piece of history discussed by the characters, they can read more about it themselves in the articles, books, journals and credible websites that we ourselves have used in order to make the podcast. To ensure that the educational aspects of this podcast transcend solely an auditory form, in the ending credits of each podcast we will inform the listeners that for more information on what Tim and Tino have discussed in the episode that they can visit our website. Attached to each episode, there will be a “notes” section that will list our sources with hyperlinks. For an example of how this practice to ensure authenticity is being used in the world of podcasting, look no further than the general knowledge podcast “Stuff You Should Know”. This popular podcast that frequently covers historical topics always provides links to the information spoken about by hosts Josh and Chuck to both promote further reading about the topic and validate the information that they provided within their podcast. Additionally, our podcast could utilize the research work and digital history projects of our classmates as sources for the podcast and provide credit on our website.
The structure of these podcasts is important to take into consideration. As previously mentioned, each podcast will run bi-weekly at an approximate length of 20-25 minutes each working off a rough script written and researched beforehand. Each podcast will consist of Tim and Tino discussing a decade of York transit history to the Keele Campus in the context of the time period covered. The conversation will be mostly set on discussing said transit, but campus history as well as wider history in relation will also be considered to construct an entertaining yet realistic version of the past. In the allotted time frame, Tim and Tino will advance chronologically through the decade to cover important milestones of York transit history. Think of this as if you were changing the channels on an old television set. A “speed up” or static sound effect will be heard, followed by an omnipresent narrator announcing the day, month and year where the snippet of discussion between Tim and Tino that follows takes place. Thus, the podcast will be structured as a chronologically organized set of snippets which will accurately cover the decade. In addition to the discussions of Tim and Tino, with the willing participation of members of our group, we would like to include other characters that would be decade specific that Tim and Tino could interact with. These characters, affixed to a certain year or decade, would both make the reconstructed period feel more lively as well as provide new perspectives. For example, we could add in the viewpoint on an issue from the perspective of a professor or a bus driver. Also, because both the protagonists of our podcast are male, we are in need of some female characters as well.
The way in which our podcast will be released would be the following. Firstly, we would make sure that the full transcript, podcast notes and audio are ready to be released. We would then pick a day which would serve as a release day every two weeks. For example, following in the footsteps of podcast titans Serial, let us consider a Thursday release. The RSS feed which will update users’ computers and smartphones with the release of each episode will be queued to update when the clock strikes 12 AM on Thursday. This will ensure that if listeners wish to listen to our podcast on their morning commute, it will be downloaded and available to them by the time they awake on Thursday morning on their smartphones or other RSS devices such as tablets. By at least 10 AM on Thursday morning – after the podcast itself has been released – the website will be updated with the transcript, notes and possible images that will accompany each episode. By this time as well, the YU Missed the Bus social media accounts – which shall include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. will be updated to promote the release of the new episode. Popular York U Twitter accounts and Facebook pages will be notified of the new episode and asked to share it in order to increase listenership. Furthermore, a link will be posted on the York U “subreddit” to generate new listeners and further discussion on the Reddit platform.
To conclude, we firmly believe in this project and would love to develop it with a creative, ambitious and dedicated team. We believe it to be an out of the box, unconventional idea that would be appealing and popular in the York U community at large. Through our demonstration and our outlined goals and objectives, we hope that we have proven our podcast’s merits, accessibility and most importantly – feasibility. The motto of York is Tentada via which is Latin for “the way must be tried”. We can all sympathize with the fact that the way to get to York has been tried and tried again by millions of students over York’s history. So please, try the way with Tim and Tino.
Thank you for reading,
Michael Primiani and Joseph Gurrieri
Thank you for reading,
Michael Primiani and Joseph Gurrieri