SaMWay 5: What I Do Best

The story is told in another issue of how I planned to pursue a career in computer programming or engineering, and how a summer internship changed that plan. This is the story of that internship, and how it transformed my vision of the future in a dramatic way.

When the coronavirus pandemic began, I was forced to complete the school year from home, and then I began tenth grade as a homeschooled student. This story is told elsewhere, so we shall skip forward to the end of tenth grade when I received an email from my old school about an organization called STEP-UP Chattanooga.

I had remained in my high school’s JROTC program for an additional year after returning to homeschool, so I received an occasional email from the school. One of these came in March, with information about an opportunity to receive a paid summer internship through a local training and placement program. So I registered for the program and was given a virtual interview. But then something else caught my eye.

That fall, I had begun to develop an understanding and an interest in politics after the 2020 election, and amid the political winds of the coronavirus. But there had been nothing to do. In March, however, it occurred to me to write a letter to the county mayor and collect signatures in protest of the county’s mask mandates. I even drafted a hypothetical constitutional amendment that would prohibit state and federal governments from mandating any medical treatments or safety measures.

In order to collect signatures, however, I needed publicity, so my dad connected me with a friend of a friend who hosted a local radio show on our friend’s radio station. This radio host invited me to speak on his live show the very first day we met to talk about what I wanted to do. And then, when we had lunch together afterward, he offered me an internship.

I was somewhat hesitant at first. David Tulis had views regarding law enforcement that I strongly disagreed with. As I went back to listen to some of his past shows, I found myself wondering whether I could work with him without being compromised by his beliefs, or coming into friction with his beliefs as a result of my own.

Ultimately, I decided to take the opportunity. I was prepared to be cautious, and we both had one thing in common: we were strongly opposed to the COVID-19 lockdowns and regulations.

My letter to the mayor soon fell off to the side. If I recall accurately, this was because he dropped the county mandate. But my memory only partly serves me because I never wore a mask anyway. But I do know that by this point, my letter was of little importance because my work at the radio was reaching beyond that area.

For the first few weeks, I was on the air almost every day, and I began to do other tasks such as helping with my boss’s website. At the same time, I began to run my own YouTube channel, publishing content from my on-air appearances and from local political events that we attended together. But I also started work on a 90-minute documentary on U.S. History.

At a certain point, I was told that I was spending too much time on Mr. Tulis’s show, and I was given the opportunity to write, record, and produce pre-recorded shows to fill fifteen-minute radio slots. The show itself never went far, but it allowed me to discover for myself and for the station owner that I had a talent for audio production. This, in and of itself, earned me a new duty at the station. And in this role, I distinctly remember completing one particular task which had been deemed impossible.

The station owner had brought in an advertising client and recorded two voiceovers for a commercial. These had been given to one of the two producers, as usual, to turn into final products. However, the producer declared the project impossible after spending a reasonable amount of time on it. The voiceovers were then passed on to the other producer, who did pretty much the same thing. Thus, after two weeks, the project was condemned.

Now I had heard none of this when I asked the owner, as I often did, if there was anything that I could do for him. He started to give his usual response, which was that I had already knocked everything out of the park, but then changed his mind. Five minutes later, I received the two “Impossible Sounds” in my inbox, with instructions on what was to be made out of them.

Unaware of the history of the Impossible Sounds, I took on the task as I usually did. I knew it was a slight mess, but I went one second at a time until I was done.

When I called the owner three hours later to tell him that I was done, he said that it was okay, he knew they were hard, and he understood. When I clarified that both of his two-minute infomercials were ready, I was certain that I heard him gasp softly over the phone.

Since then, I have learned that my true artistic talent is aimed toward media: videos, audio, and graphics. My skills with technology allow me to fix—or even create—basic technical issues, but the way in which I express myself above all others is in media, closely followed by writing. And with all of the issues that I had and that the radio station had, I have no doubt that God used that internship to reveal to me those areas in which He has placed my most important and invaluable talents.

My plans for the future have indeed changed. Now, I look forward to eventually launching a company devoted to digital media services. And with my unwavering belief in the free-market system, my visions for success are endless. But right now, I am following God on a path toward a more immediate future, which opened up to me in the course of this great revelation, at Bryan College.

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