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Best written reviews for “Ramble” performed by Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax, Virginia. Reviewed on April 10, 2021

This performance may be heard at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1YfEzbbsMPnyanYrV6av5xv0xUhoI8TiN/view


Makenna Buhler

Woodgrove High School


Do you ever find that different experiences mean more to some than others? Everyone is different but what brings us together is the fact that we all have stories to tell. One of four podcasts produced during this COVID year from James W. Robinson Jr. Secondary School titled Ramble nails this fact, on the head. Ramble sourced its content from stories in the Robinson community, led by the all-student team they surveyed for ideas, interviewed the storytellers, and then combined and posted their resulting work as a podcast for the community to enjoy. gEpiphanyh, their third episode, highlighted the stark differences in what epiphanies can be and their effect on our lives.


Producing a podcast is no laughing matter. Audio editing can be extensive, finding content is hard and meeting deadlines all add up, but Ramble takes all of the "what could have"s and turned its product into a clean, professional, and approachable podcast.  The comedic bursts during the intro instantly transformed this audio piece into a relatable and real conversation. In addition, the clean hidden audio cuts made by Brooke Hanser and Katie Valencia made the storyteller's experiences flow and limited distractions while holding our attention.


Hosting is a demanding job, but Harry Glicklin went above and beyond with his comedic timing, down-to-earth demeanor, and his insightful questions for the storytellers. In addition, the stories told by Shailey Pratt and Erin Oedemann showcase their bravery and vulnerability.


Sunsets happen every single day but only a few may stand out because of the circumstances surrounding experiencing those sunsets. Shailey Pratts's story beautifully described her vacation to Greece and the journey she experienced finding the beauty and eventually enjoying the chance to visit one of its lesser-visited and less-renowned areas. As she concluded the time with her family, the uniqueness of the geological area, and the beautiful sunset brought her the epiphany that what may not seem special can be, if you spend it with the right people and enjoy what is given to you.


Being a woman has its challenges but being uncomfortable with an older stranger's wave and suggestive winks should not be one of them, Erin Oedemann concluded. This epiphany was not immediate as she had to overcome the stigma of overreacting and the uncomfortable feelings surrounding the incident. Epiphany was able to then have its Digital Manager Abigail Camp add constructive thoughts on the matter which added more depth to the production by highlighting this issue.


Despite being an audio-only production, Ramble made this episode engaging with its great stories, comedy sprinkled throughout its opening, and the musical transitions that held the different segments together creating a structured podcast that changed the way we think of epiphanies and why they may be positive or negative in their impact on our lives.

Kaitlin Molloy

Chantilly High School


In a world of consistently clashing extremes, how can the minute intricacies of each person's experienced reality matter at all? Robinson Secondary School's original podcast, Ramble, encapsulates the diminutive individuality of the human condition, highlighting the beauty of self-realization.


The student-produced podcast centered on two beautiful stories about individual epiphanies in two students' life journeys, featuring themes of togetherness, perspective, and hardship. The third episode in a series of five, Epiphany served as a perfect midpoint with Shailey Pratt and Erin Oedemann sharing anecdotes of an ethereal trip to Meteora, Greece and personal experiences of harassment, respectively.


With exuberance in his voice and introspection on his mind, the host, Harry Glicklin, served as a metaphorical shepherd on the journey into the moments when reality becomes a little too real. Commanding a casual comedy, Glicklin established a fiercely comforting environment for issues to be discussed - much like that of a quiet fireside chat with old friends. In this, an extreme respect for each speaker was reflected in both his insightful follow-up questions and interruption-free command of conversation.


Pratt and Oedemann both proved serendipitously wonderful storytellers, contrasting from each other, yet culminating in a fantastic synthesis of self-realization together. Both guests offered unique energies in their stories, which, when paired with Glicklin's charisma, made the podcast entrancing.


Pratt's vivid imagery of monasteries atop rocky pillars painting the backdrop of a once-in-a-lifetime sunset transported listeners into the perfection of the moment. In the picturesque scene, Pratt used the sunset to describe the fleeting togetherness of her family and the need for tranquility in company of others; this immersive sentiment was underscored by Pratt's analysis of life as a collection of colors only you can see correctly.


Serving as a juxtaposition, Oedemann's frank recount of her personal experience with harassment and objectification consequently mirrored a less beautiful, yet utterly important realization, that unfortunately, many women face. The commentary around assault and harassment resulted in a message from the digital manager, Abby Camp, making the anecdote all the more powerful and relevant.


With the adaptation to virtual performance allowing for more creative freedom, the creation of the audio-exclusive experience brought an exceedingly humane aspect to the content presented as it drew attention to the stories being told. Most impressively the audio editing resulted in incredibly precise conversation that naturally progressed, with the flawless flow adding to the engaging nature of the podcast. Through a massive publicity effort, the crew engaged with the community through livestreams, related content, and a vast web of social media engagement. In addition to the extensive publicity, the podcast was streamed using direct transcription software in order to make the experience more accessible to others.


In an unexpected fashion, Robinson Secondary School's auditory experience, Ramble, transcended the space of performance to invoke philosophical musings among listeners while it simultaneously used the clash of beauty and fear to reveal the inner workings of the human condition: perspective.


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