Monday Aphorism: A Good (Radio) Voice


I have, I possess – I am told – a good voice for radio. Deep, resonant, full of an authority and depth which has replaced the phlegm of years spent in the smoker’s abyss.

Usually this idea of a good radio voice makes no sense to me. Talking, using my voice, it sounds regular, ordinary; just me. Listening to a recording of me, I sound, well, somewhat whiney: too much variation, a kind of uncoolness and too many edges of raucousness; rawness, maybe.

Years of practice, teaching in different classrooms; exploring, modulating have moved my voice down to what others hear as good, convincing, correct.

Sometimes when I record for a weekly program, especially when I am alone, I try to listen as I speak, hearing as others must hear with a feeling for style, a quality of voice which can convey…strength, truth, a belief in itself?

  • Brenden Haukos

    Your Best Life

    Taking a class with Harvey Sarles is a memorable experience.  For me it was a mere two years ago now, the fall semester 2009, in second-story classroom of Nicholson Hall.  At 11 am, the room was always well-lit, and we would usually draw the desks out into a circle, our illustrious professor occupying one among us, and his books the desk beside him.

    On the first day of class, Harvey encouraged us to view anthropology as the fundamental discipline.  The study of the human as the core of all human studies.  The class was “On Human Nature.”

    Over the course of three-or-so months, Harvey led us in yoga, orchestrated visits from a student’s toddler (and his father) and later a few professors from Denmark, gave a reading from his book Next Places, performed Bach on his violin…and

    There were no multiple choice tests, and there were no fill-in-the-blanks and turn-it-in-for-a-grade hand-outs – the type of assignment a wants to respond “You made me say something, so why does the poor quality offend you?”

    Looking back on the class, I feel – I don’t want to say – sorrow, but perhaps that it the best way to describe what I mean…for missing the opportunity to ask good questions, while I griped to myself about his unusual teaching style.  I never believed his excuse that senility had made him prone to repeat himself so often.  Perhaps I was distracted wanting to learn something I already knew…already knew how to learn.

    Yet over the course of three+ months, Harvey introduced us to yoga, orchestrated visits from a female student’s two-year-old boy (and his father) and later three professors from Denmark, gave a reading from his book Next Places, performed Bach on his violin…and introduced us to a very big concept, the best life…encouraging all of us to pursue this.  Over time, I have come to see that time as a sacred experience.