Hey there! My name’s Molly. I’m 17 years old, one of the babies of the group. I’m from Belfast, living just across from Stormont Park. I see myself as an outgoing, empathetic girl who is just willing to try anything for the hell of it. I am a serious fantasy fanatic who would kill for a good book and there are too many good movies and TV series for one to have any kind of social life so I don’t escape to the real world much. Despite this, I work well with others but can work alone as well, sometimes to spare others from putting up with me.

Music is a big part of my life and is a big passion of mine. Always have been and I hope it always will be. If I can, I would love to have a career in it but while I am positive, I realise how hard that can be so I would like something on the side, to ensure the bills get paid. Perhaps performing? I am very interested in the technical side of music too which holds a lot of potential, plus I’d be able to be self-sufficient to write and record my own songs independently.

Joining CoolChoices came around just at the right time for me, bringing me out of a bad rut and giving me something to do each day, to be proud of and enjoy, meeting like-minded people, having a laugh and gaining qualifications that’ll help me down the line in mostly any career, letting me dabble.

Circle of Life (I had to…)

7 July 2015

Well, here we are. We made it. This is it.
Not really as dramatic as all of that but it was an emotional day, for all of us. There were a lot of laughs and a lot of tears, not from me though, I am sort of proud to say, stoic in one way but very, very happy and proud of everyone and all we’ve achieved together. I think I can safely say that this has been one of the best and most beneficial experiences of my life that I will always look back on fondly.
The day started with surprising Rebecca on the Breakfast show with our little thank you to her, making the tears start early. Thanks to Pete and Paulo for all their help and for sneaking it in. Good job, boys! Then camemore OCN work, which I had thought I had mostly done, and I did after working out the strangely formatted booklet but there were a lot more pages than I thought so I was a little panicked as I started work through it, relying heavily on Disney once again. We were still having some funny conversations though at the time and unlike others, I don’t put my earphones very loud so I can always hear what’s going on. We watch the incredibly cringy lip sync video from yesterday and there were bundles of laughs coming from that room. It actually looked brilliant, everyone went for it and it’ll be a great wee memory to have. The last supper from Mummy Cilla didn’t disappoint and I was presented with some of the best wedges I have ever tasted. Thank you so much for looking after us so well, I’ll definitely need to walking a lot more after eating your gorgeous food every day!
I got to meet with PK in the afternoon, who was dying to meet me and told me that my voice clips were amazing, that he had originally thought I was a regular, someone who’d been doing them for a while and getting paid for it and was so shocked when they said who I was, just a kid from the CoolChoices program. Many people have put forward praise for these voice clips, double-taking almost when they are heard and it’s impacted me so much, let me see for myself how much I’ve grown and how confident I have become, so by what he had said, I hope to be back in Cool FM soon. It was surreal, having PK, Paul Kennedy, tell me that “S***, your voice is good!” The praise and positivity coming from all those around me, from Steve and David in particular have just spurred me on.
The afternoon was spent evaluating, meeting Courtney, from Bauer, over from the exotic lands of Scotland to see us as well as a few others. Speeches were done by a few people. So proud of all of them for standing up and speaking, especially Kyla. It was one of her biggest challenges to overcome, and she did it. I’m so proud of her and so happy that she did it. We then went on to my favourite part I think, writing down a positive compliment on each person, passing it around each of us, folding the sheet as we went so when it got back to us, we had a sheet of anonymous compliments. Not so anonymous as everyone was questioned on the bus home, all apart from me. I’m so grateful to everyone for all the lovely comments they’ve written and I hope everyone cherishes those sheets as I am going to do with mine. The perfect uplifter for when you are having a bad day.

And then came the last farewell. Hugs to everyone, the tears started to flow. It’s not the end, not at all but we aren’t going to be there everyday, in Cool FM with our wee family. I am going to miss it so much but hopefully we won’t stay away too long. We are still the best co-hort, it doesn’t matter what anyone says <3
A special thank you to Rebecca, Steve, David and Cilla. To Caoimhe with her little baby bump, Clare and Lindsy, as well as everyone from Cool FM who took time out their schedules to talk to us and share your knowledge. Thanks for all the great times, the laughs and the amazing opportunities, both in the past and hopefully the ones in the future. You never do know so stay cool, Cool FM and I’ll be seeing you ;)
When I started this course, I was coming out of such a bad rut, unable to see further than the next week for myself. Now, I can actually picture a career and several possible paths for me to take. I’m incredibly scared and excited but I am also so proud at all I’ve achieved, proud to be looking at things in such a different way and seeing myself in a whole new light. To paraphrase the words of the Ninth Doctor, “This was fantastic, all of you were fantastic. And do you know what? So was I.”

Poor Unfortunate Souls (Had to get some Disney in there somewhere.)

(Ignore the last one. I may have had a “brain fart” as Steve would call it and uploaded that one twice…. Ssh.)
The penultimate day! I cannot believe it, these weeks have flown in, although this week is moving very slowly, good thing and a bad thing as I want to prolong it for as long as possible, continue having the great times here with everyone at Cool FM but it makes it so much harder to leave.
Today has been the one of the best, I have to say though, even if it did include the dreaded OCNs, copying all of our information and notes into the
long, gobblety-gook essay form that any qualification needs and again, NO DOUGHNUTS! That took up the later half of the day, which stressed me out just a little bit. Earlier in the day, we did our spoof of Britney Spears Hit Me Baby One More Time. It was amazing crack and even though most people were complaining about how stupid it was and how we’d all look like idiots, everyone gave it their all. I can’t wait to see it edited. We’ll all be idiots together, like it should be, although none of us were doing the striptease uniform thing that Brittany shows off so brilliantly. We decided to leave that to her.
Massive highlight of the day for me was recording my Voice Overs for the Tall Ships but before that, in the morning, with all of us around the table, it was announced that I’d been asked to do an advert, as other people had heard my voice and thought it was amazing and very natural so both got done yesterday, in record time apparently. I was in the air for the rest of the day basically, I just couldn’t believe it, that I’d been chosen and people wanted me to do something, based on only hearing my voice. It was very encouraging and I just felt really privileged to have done it. Thanks to David for doing the recording and making me feel as at ease as could be achieved, to David in Programming for choosing my voice and to Steve Turntable, my vocal director and general guide. Thanks very much indeed.
The rest of the day was devoted to Disney piano instrumentals on YouTube, to which I am currently addicted (highly appropriate for the title) and continuing to work through the slow process of OCNs. Only one more day! D:

Everything Has Changed (Taylor Swift feat. Ed Sheeran.)

3 July 2015

I admit to not going in today but it is for a good reason, I swear! My old school, that I left approximately four months ago, not through any fault of theirs. It was just what I needed and it absolutely changed my life, giving me faith back in the world, letting me enjoy school and feel like I could do so much more than I once thought, but the bad memories crept back in and that association never left and I slowly deteriorated, making it necessary to come out once again, though I did come out with a Maths GCSE which I am so thankful for. A shout out to Ciaran, my sponsor and Maths teacher, who was always on my side and could see all that I am and can be when I was at my mousiest and darkest, for seeing through my mask and doing everything possible to help me and make me feel special. Anyway, went off on one there…
Today was the graduation of our class, as such. The farewell as we leave the school to go down our chosen paths and to close the chapter on that part of my life, I wanted to go, to see everyone together one last time and be part of that farewell. I have become a completely different person to what I was when I left, my true personality shining through and I was so glad I was able to go back, having done so much for myself, to leave on a positive note. The phrase I used yesterday was “I want to say cheerio and see you around rather than running away.” It was nice to see everyone, to indeed say cheerio and show that I have progressed and moved on, with a lot of help from all of them. Really glad I did that and I had a lot of positive things to put forward with my brilliant CBT therapist, Allister. I am looking forward to getting back into Cool FM tomorrow though, getting this broadcast finished and ready to be put out on air.

A Little Less Coversation, a LOT more action!

2 July 2015

Three days! Repeat, we have three days! I had planned the title for today as we had planned to do “the little extra bit that we missed” from the dreaded OCNs, and with no doughnuts! This wasn’t the case however. I got to catch up on my blogs, loiter for a bit trying to help anyone that needs it and in the afternoon, we got to meet more famous people! :D We met up with the guys from Only The Young, Perisa, Mikey, Betsey-Blue and Charlie, previous X-Factor contestants from last year who were here for a live recording with PK. We got photos and they were really dead on. Mickey and Charlie were really dead on and so handsome, while Betsy and Perisa were so nice and looking absolutely stunning. Thanks for your time guys and good luck for your gigs. Hope to be where you are soon!
BIG HIGHLIGHT OF THE DAY! My voices overs that I recorded last week, they were played to Deputy Dave down in Programming and he really liked them. He said they were brilliant and he’s offered me the chance to do the voice overs for The Tall Ships!
My reaction was a mixture between disbelief and excitement and nervousness. Much like the Patrick Star picture I have attached
Oh my god! The words were “Would you be interested in doing them?” Like I was going to say no! Thanks so much to David McCammond for choosing me, Daddy Dave for getting it to him and to Steve for recording with me and setting a perky, upbeat example. So happy to do them and I hope it could possibly lead to more in the future.

Everything Has Changed (Taylor Swift feat. Ed Sheeran)

I admit to not going in today but it is for a good reason, I swear! My old school, that I left approximately four months ago, not through any fault of theirs. It was just what I needed and it absolutely changed my life, giving me faith back in the world, letting me enjoy school and feel like I could do so much more than I once thought, but the bad memories crept back in and that association never left and I slowly deteriorated, making it necessary to come out once again, though I did come out with a Maths GCSE which I am so thankful for. A shout out to Ciaran, my sponsor and Maths teacher, who was always on my side and could see all that I am and can be when I was at my mousiest and darkest, for seeing through my mask and doing everything possible to help me and make me feel special. Anyway, went off on one there…
Today was the graduation of our class, as such. The farewell as we leave the school to go down our chosen paths and to close the chapter on that part of my life, I wanted to go, to see everyone together one last time and be part of that farewell. I have become a completely different person to what I was when I left, my true personality shining through and I was so glad I was able to go back, having done so much for myself, to leave on a positive note. The phrase I used yesterday was “I want to say cheerio and see you around rather than running away.” It was nice to see everyone, to indeed say cheerio and show that I have progressed and moved on, with a lot of help from all of them. Really glad I did that and I had a lot of positive things to put forward with my brilliant CBT therapist, Allister. I am looking forward to getting back into Cool FM tomorrow though, getting this broadcast finished and ready to be put out on air.

The Final Countdown (Europe)

1 July 2015

My weekend was fairly eventful but not too exciting. Mainly I didn’t get a proper chance to sit down so I was shattered to say the least. I was out gigging, if you can call it that, at the Sea Bangor Festival and won a Jack Change-It war with my father. He foolishly accepted the challenge and the inevitable happened. Good game though, Daddy. Good game. Sunday brought with it scares from going to see Insidious: Chapter 3 with my cousin and my aunt and uncle. A lot more jumps than the first two, plus the volume of the cinema only added to those with the thump of music at every jump scare (Music just does it for me… Crescendo in melody plus strings? I am more or less out of there! See you! Bye!) However, it didn’t affect my sleeping so hurrah!
Final week at Cool FM! Ahh! So much to be done! This is it and what did we do? I myself spent most of the day chasing down the few interviews that we still had left to do, which turned out to be a lot harder than it sounds. I am now more or less in limbo at the moment. As the news team, we have gathered all the news to go into the broadcast. Our work in that aspect is done so this was our last task and it was proving hard to finish. I hope to help with editing if someone’ll let me. I’ve watched the others do it and been taught how but it would be nice to have a go, add another arrow to my quiver.

Never Say Never (The Fray. Not Justin Bieber!)

29 June 2015

Okay, I had chips for my lunch. This is off to a great start…
Spent most of the day time-stamping and going around to see if I can be of help to any other group, whether it would be in editing, or giving my opinion on which voice clip sounds better. We sat down and wrote all of the interviews we had done, leaving only two for Monday, as Rebecca’s interview had a lot of background noise, so it was nice to see how much we’ve progressed and how much information we have from different people. Seeing it written down was a big help to me.
I also did my recording for our ending, inspirational quotes of what we love about ourselves. I only went for physically, as our topic is on body image, which were my glasses, because I have had them all my life and they are a big part of me and also my hands. I have a thing for nice hands but while I don’t think mine are the nicest I’ve seen, they are so beneficial to my life and without them, I wouldn’t be able to play any of my musical instruments and without that, I wouldn’t be here writing this today, I don’t think.
The last highlight of the day was going down to the studio with Steve to record the VOs (Voice Overs) for our show. The introduction and bits and pieces after music, the “This is Cool Fm” “You are listening to the CoolChoices Takeover”, that is going to be me and Aaron! It was great fun to record something like that, having seen Steve do it in the first week and it just looked like great crack. It didn’t disappoint. I cannot believe however that next week is our last week here! Many sad faces! I’m trying not to think about that. While it’s a bit stressful, I am loving it and hope to stay in touch with a lot of these people, maybe even come back here to work or have some experience? Who knows?

Just the Way You Are

26 June 2015

Just the Way You Are

It’s getting harder and harder to get up in the mornings. My bed is so warm and that annoying feeling when your alarm goes off and you’ve just found the most comfortable position EVER, it comes more and more each day…
Okay, awake, up, eat, out, bus, into Cool FM. I printed out questions for Leanne, the current Miss NI for her interview, with Nathalie pencilled in to do the interview but circumstances changed and I ended up doing it, and a little bit of nerves came forward to say the least.
Meeting Leanne though, she was absolutely stunning. She was really dead on and a little nervous about the interview too. It went really well. I did feel a little robotic when asking the questions but when I took lead in the conversation, just talking, Rebecca said it sounded better so I really have to try in future ones to be myself, maybe learn the questions so I don’t need a sheet of paper in front of me. We got some really good insights from her in terms of content and some memorable pics for the blogs and website. She talked a little about her victory of Miss NI and it was interesting to hear it from her point of view, of all the closeness of all the girls. Thanks so much to Leanne for coming in and putting up with my nervous, shaky voice. She sounded so natural while recording, she made some really good and encouraging points about body image and having confidence in your own body and we had a laugh. Think everyone was a little star-struck.
After that, the whip was cracked, so to speak. We were getting into documenting all that we had, what was done and what we still needed to do. By this time next week, we’ll be done, finite, finished. I don’t want it to be over but I’ll be glad the stress is no longer there. I’m never good at working to a solid deadline. I just work nicely, doing bits and pieces here and there until it all adds up, instead of “You have three says to do all this work!” It makes into an uphill mountain for me, and the closer it gets, it’s increasingly harder to climb, so I’m glad this has been spread out and I am proud of myself for keeping on top of stuff for the most of it, only having a little panic once. So, yay! Counting down!


25 June 2015

Back into the swing of things today, for which I am so thankful. David and Lindsey were more than there for me this morning (I felt so loved <3) and I was actually able to be honest with them, instead of this mask coming up again, acting like everything is just perfect, when it’s not. But it’s back to being great now, so glad to be back.
Put straight in though and am not too sure how I’m feeling about that yet. Good, I think. I knew that we had an interview first thing but I thought someone else was going to do it. Nope! Interviewing Heather was really fun though, if a bit nerve-wrecking as I didn’t know what to expect at all. Heather Beattie was lovely though, a really nice person to interview. I’m very grateful that she was so open and down to earth. I feel like I’ve got some great content. Not bad for my first time interviewing, if I do say so myself.
A lot of the rest of this day looks like it’s going to be documenting, with our blogs and interviews and cataloguing, in terms of the interviews we’ve already done, noting the questions that got the best answers to be used for the broadcast as well as editing them to perfection, the duty of our editing monkeys, who in all seriousness are all awesome.

I’m a Mess (Ed Sheeran.)

24 June 2015

I’m going to be honest here. In the last few weeks, I have done so many things that have made me nervous and anxious. Coming to CoolChoices, letting myself come out of my shell with people I don’t really know, being myself where normally a mask would come up, I’ve overcome those things and moved onto whatever my next fear is. The media bus though, the notion terrified me from since we started making the plans. I don’t really know what it is that scares me about it. The talking to people I don’t know? The fear of messing up for everyone? Offending someone because I’m nervous? The uncertainty of it all? But I didn’t tell anyone. This is normal, I said to myself and you’ll overcome it like you have all the others so there’s no need to tell anyone. It felt the same as before but when I woke up this morning, I realised it wasn’t and I just couldn’t do it. I felt like I had let everyone down but there’s pushing myself and then pushing too far. I messaged the guys and they were really understanding and made me feel a bit better and I worked on the questions for our interview tomorrow with Heather Beattie (Part of the anxiousness as well, I think, as I hadn’t gotten those done) and caught up on these blogs. 2 out of 3 ain’t bad, in the words of Meatloaf and there should be another Media bus trip, so hopefully, I’ll be able to overcome this too with help from the group and another chance to get out there. If at first you don’t succeed and all that. Just a bit of a lack in confidence the last few days, so hopefully, it’ll pick up again when I get back in.

I Don’t Like Mondays.

Felt so strange not going in this morning. I did miss it, I have to say. I would’ve much rather have been in Cool FM with all the guys rather than doing a singing exam. I did it though and hopefully I did enough to pass. More slips ups than I would’ve liked, for example the mic provided didn’t take a liking to me at first and proceeded to make the sounds associated with a small explosion and nerves got to me a bit but it is done now, thank god. I have complete faith in Catriona, Nathalie and Rachael that the interviews will go well with them at the helm in my absence and I look forward to hearing them back.

Reviewing The Situation (Oliver.)

Reviewing The Situation
It’s Friday! Hurrah! A brilliant little note to start off with. David has been off sick but he emailed in instructions for us and actually took the time to compliment my blogs, so I was very flattered. Thank you David!
And starting with the most thrilling of all, Melissa and I got the privilege of doing the risk assessment for the Media bus! Fun! I understand it’s needed so we basically pointed out how everything on and around the bus could kill you if you weren’t acting in a sensible manner and made plans to prevent disasters, for example, if you are on the clumsy side (like me) the
step onto the bus could be a problem so the preventative measure would possibly the bus’s ramp, leaving it down, to prevent the tripping hazards. If it were based on my specific troubles, the ground and everything surrounding would have to be bubble-wrapped as I can literally fall over anything, flat ground or raised and particularly my own feet… But it’s just me. (Mini thumbs up here. ) With all of these interviews now happening on Monday, I realised I was a little further behind than I thought and spent the majority of the day catching up on compiling questions for all of these interviews and ringing people to confirm more . This was a really big step for me as I find ringing strangers, or really anyone I don’t know or am not familiar with, using a phone, quite difficult and stressful, so I was able to overcome that and push through so I was quite proud, finding out information for the bus trip and potentially getting some more interviews. We then listened through to the edits done on the interviews in Ballymena. Don’t quote me but I think the editing team cut three minutes of audio, down to just fifty seconds, including the key parts for that question. The noises that were coming out of that room during the process though, including Michael O’Connor’s laugh on repeat were hysterical, I have to say
I have been sent home with some interview questions to type up for Monday, which I am to send through to Melissa to give out to my reporters as I have a singing exam on Monday and therefore will not be in. Instead, I’ll be rocking backwards and forwards in a corner, fretting until it’s over. Wish me luck!

It’s A Hard Knock Life

(Wonderful start to the day with an earlier morning than was necessary, accompanied with a dreaded blood test. I used to be quite phobic of needles but this was no sweat. Very pleased I was so calm and hopefully everything is okay with my bloods.) Upon arriving though, I realised… The day has finally dawned. The day of reckoning is upon us. Our task: Complete our OCN booklets… *cue crying, tears of dread, screams of terror* All joking aside, it actually wasn’t too bad. I’m glad we did just devote a whole day to it. Sure, it was a bit of a drag but it has to be done and it’ll give us a few free days at the end to have some fun, to carry out our plans for a video tour of CoolChoices, continue to make content to show how much of a good time we had and to promote the program for other young people. To be honest, I didn’t mind it. We were all working together and we did have some crack. That and Lindsey brought in doughnuts and cookies to bribe us, which most definitely worked. Sugar, added with Mamma Cilla’s cowboy suppers, Coca Cola and the humour of our group, we made it through and all that’s left is to send them off to the examiners. It’s a weight off my chest to have that part done but it was also nice to sit down and focus on one thing and actually getting it done, was the most satisfying feeling to have. God help Rebecca, Steve and Lindsey for getting us through it and for not tearing their or our hair out. Kudos to all!

Check Yes Juliet

Not much to write about today. The check list for today was arranging these
interviews for hopefully Wednesday of next week, researching our people more and coming up to relevant questions to ask for our broadcast. After asking the God of the Studio Times, Florence, Wednesday should be a go for interviews. Through the day, the plan changed though and we only have two interviews planned for Wednesday while three are planned for Monday. I will not be in so I will be relying on my team heavily for the interviews with Kyla’s friend, Cathy Martin and Rebecca McKinny (if that is indeed the correct spelling of her name…) Many thanks to all three for taking the time to talk to us and it’ll be so useful for our broadcast! As much as we could do got ticked off and therefore are closer to our end product. It’s getting closer…

Video Killed The Radio Star

19 June 2015

History of Radio with Sir John Rosborough! We all found it interesting, a lot more interesting than we thought. I admit, I was sceptical, it didn’t sound that interesting but I was pleasantly surprised. Listening the original recordings from the first radio stations in the 1930s, coming through the wars and the advancement and the demand, right up to the launch of Cool FM in the 90s, learning all the terms, all about the pirate radio stations setting up on ships to be out of the reach of the law. All very exciting and it was strange listening to the changes through the years, what different stations went for in terms of sound.

The rest of the day was taken up with making plans for the Media Bus trip next Tuesday, to help us gather audio and quotes for our broadcast but as part of our OCN as well, meeting a specific amount of young people and teaching them new skills, showing we can lead an event. Getting a general view of what we planned to do, to help us know what we’re doing, now and on the day. My task for the day was to come up with questions for individual group interviews with the young people so we discussed questions and I typed them and handed them out to all. I felt so organised! Not very like me at all! This learning new skills thing is having a positive effect! No complaints from me.

Read All About It

17 June 2015

Read All About It

Meeting head of the news room, Mr Nigel Gould, was really cool. He was a really dead on guy and I have always fancied being a journalist, ever since I was little, (along with photographer since the age of two and a mermaid) so it was really interesting to hear what it was all about. Giving us the low down on what is needed, that the information given needs to be accurate, researched and factual as well as impartial and balanced. “Anything is news but you need to make it newsworthy.

If it’s actually interesting to you, others will follow.” Simple, clear questions are the key. Visualise the story that is to come from the article, keeping the creativity flowing. A key thing that stuck out for me, and I’m paraphrasing here. “Know what you want to know and ask accordingly, skip the flim-flammery.” Giving us a few golden rules and tips as well as things to avoid, such as Check-book Journalism or being unethical when it comes to the actually stories, and telling us an amazing story about meeting the man himself, Bruce Springsteen and having Bono apologise for coming in during the interview. I mean, holy crap! The talk actually made me aware of music journalism, which I had never considered before, interviewing, writing about the musicians, going to gigs and doing reviews and just generally writing. That could definitely be a possible path for me to explore so thank you to Nigel for giving such great information!

In the afternoon, we were all gathered around the table, meeting Matt Murdoch, who was with the previous Prince’s Trust Get into Radio course, for only one week in March, is still here! Having refused to leave, he has been given the opportunity to continue to work here, with Gavin Campell in Sales and Promotions. We met Michelle and Amy that were over from Scotland and England and we did a few exercises with them. “Nothing is new in radio” so new ideas are always welcome. They also gave us some advice on the way we deliver our broadcast and the information within.

Let’s Get To It. Kylie Minogue

Let’s get to it!
After being a little late from a doctor’s appointment and saving a little lost dog from being squashed and got her reunited with her devastated owner after bringing her to the vets (all in a day’s work, loved her to bits. If we couldn’t find an owner, I would have taken her in a heartbeat); I came in to find we had a blank plan drawn up on the chalkboard.

Yes! Finally, a plan! We talked and planned and eventually got the 8 steps of our broadcast, down to a tee, as it were. Having it down in front of us, it feels like there are so many topics to cover. Each one you could talk about for a hundred years and approach in so many different ways but we only have an hour, but at the same time, it feels a lot more structured and straight forward. It’ll all work out in the end, just we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us.
After that, we started to connect the dots, seeing what order we want to do everything in. What connects enough to slot in after another, bringing it along without letting it drag or seem like we are going too fast. After this, our interview plans were slotted in, who we plan to talk to in each section and then we got assigned our official roles. I was pulled into the office before hand, terrified that I had done something. I was informed that my mission, should I choose to accept it, is to be Head of the News team. My mouth was on the ground for a few seconds but I recovered and although the concept freaked me out, I accepted, hoping that I’ll be able to help and learn how to lead other people, without needing a whip or being a dictator.
Our microstation is assembled and the work shall begin, first thing Monday morning. Permission to collapse on the sofa for two days!

Let’s Get This Party Started

It begins! Kickstarted, straight in, to work!
Reasonably nervous, would be how you would describe me in the morning. Our goals for the week were outlined and it honestly felt like a mountain looming over me, feeling like all this has to be done instantly.
I was given the task of arranging interviews, getting questions gathered, research and contact information for all the people we want to talk to for our broadcast, to get them into the station or arrange an interview where it’s handy. I split up my team, giving them different areas to have a look at and questions to come up with for that particular person, for example I found information for Miss NI, thinking of appropriate questions to ask her relevant to our topic. Coming back together with everyone else, I realised a few of my mistakes but was able to learn from those and move forward, getting at least a section compiled for one of our interviews, the one specifically for Miss NI and Allison Clarke.

This took up nearly all of the day, just going through the swamp of information and finding my feet. New experience but I am learning. I know this and hopefully it’ll get easier.

Back and Forth (Foo Fighters)

15 June 2015

We spent most of the morning trying to discuss our broadcast. Ideas, possible interviews and just general chit chat and lively debate over each suggestion. Different methods of getting information, using statistics and emotional content to hit home, to impact people with this broadcast.
Later we got to talk to David McCammond, Deputy Programme Controller, seeing as the boss. He talked to us about numbers and profiling as well as introducing us to Selector, the program used to control all the music played on air, all the different folders and the “Breakable” and “Unbreakable” rules when playing songs in a sequence, like not playing the same artist twice in a row, always different.
Next up was my own voice recording to put my name in the running for presenting roles for our broadcast but it was really strange, hearing my own voice as I talked, with no delay. I ended up doing quite a few takes, felt so ridiculous and then Natalie went in after me and was did in seconds, but I understand everyone moves at a different pace. Upstairs then, we listened to each pack, each voting on 2 presenter roles and then afterwards, for 4 reporter roles. I managed to get a reporting role, from votes from the group. I was completely surprised as I hadn’t really put much thought into it as we’ve been so busy, one thing after another but thanks to the guys for voting. I hope me and my fellows help our broadcast and get some good content.

It’s all about that tech!

It’s all about that tech!
Fairly calm day for a change, doing relatively normal things in preparing the start of our OCN Booklets to show what we have learned over the past few weeks. Thank the lord that I had taken some notes or I would’ve been completely lost!
In the afternoon, we met Richard Hoey, the chief engineer here at Cool and we got taken down into the deep tunnels of Cool FM, meaning the rec rooms, where all the servers, all the machines that make the station run. He made us nervous when he said he could stop the whole station with a click of a button. Big red button syndrome… Don’t press the button! We didn’t take too long on our tour but Michael, our techno-whizz, was with the other group and they were gone for ages. Him and Ryan were probably fan-boying when they went into the room and plagued poor Richard with many, many, many questions.
After that, we listened back to the recordings of the interview and we started to edit them, three people to one laptop, which didn’t really sit too well with me. I understand the concept of editing and could do it if given my own laptop but I would prefer to do it on my own, without people looking over and continually pointing at things but then ignoring the things that I point out. We were just trying to do too much at once so I bailed, walking around the other groups, seeing how far they had got, and seeing if they were doing anything differently, thinking it’s a better use of time. My OCD would impact progress, I reckon. I would want everything to be perfect right off, not breaking it down into getting pauses out, shortening it before going to nitpick and cutting all the unnecessary breaths and “um”s and get all the information we actually need through all the other bibble babble.
The day ended, I think, with my very generous offer to get them some McDonalds breakfast as I’d be passing there in the morning. Hardly anyone accepted but it’s the thought that counts and all that, apart from Caiomhe who requested a Fanta as baby must’ve been craving. So excited for her!

Photograph. Def Leppard

12 June 2015

I may have forgotten to put this one in….
Simon, the wonderful Simon graced us with his presence again to come and talk to us about photography and what he does and what he likes to do, his plans for the future. Main message: Creativity is healthy! Thank god for that or I really have no hope in life if it were unhealthy. It was so cool, seeing the way he edits and the difference all of our photos from before and after, what he specifically did to each in Lightroom, his chosen editing program, which actually wasn’t as much as I thought, increasing light with ISO and exposure? That’s if I understood it right. Please don’t quote me on that as it could be a whole bunch of crap! He then showed us how to take pictures of a good quality just with our phone cameras, basically to put levels up and down and just mess about, see what you find and what works and what doesn’t, and he also recommended apps to download for editing our own photos once we’ve taken them. VSCO Cam, a colouring app that he mainly uses, which is free but other services then cost more. The other was a symmetry app called Skrwt, which would help me to give into the little OCD voice inside me.
Guru meeting of the day! We met the lovely Wayne Denner who was teaching us about different types of blogging and how to stay safe online and to promote positive content but showing us statistics that were quite shocking to me, anyway. Like that we check our phones on an average of 276 time a day or that 600, 000 tweets a second are sent. Such high numbers! Moving onto how social media can really affect our lives with the statistic of 93% of recruiters look at facebook, twitter and generally look you up on the web to get a gist of your outside life when going for an interview and also 35% of recruiters asked say that they are less likely to hire someone if they cannot be found on social media or online.  To me, Wayne and I are similar. He came out of school with no GCSEs with similar issues, and in only 15 years, got together 3 A-Levels and a master’s degree. He started off on Youtube and built himself up this far so it’s a big inspiration. His main message: Stop! Think! Post!

Knowing Me, Knowing You (ABBA)

10 June 2015

Ash Interview 1 Ash Interview 2A week under our belt and all is still well. We’ve had a few people coming and going which sucks a bit but we do have a main sort of group now so I hope everyone gets on board and really commits with this as there is still so much to be done. It’s kind of freaky how quickly time is going without even realising.
We were having a very much “get to know you” day with everyone really. Pete Snodden, who works on the Breakfast show, came in to talk to us. A really dead on guy, very inspirational in the fact that he basically started from scratch. Self taught DJ since he was 17, just working gigs when he could and was always very involved in media. Coming into Cool FM, his enthusiasm was noticed, his initiative showing through but he wasn’t pretending like he knew everything. The point he drove home very clearly was “Be true to youself, and follow your passion.” To accept opportunities when they arise, no matter what, and then worry later. A man after my own heart because that is quite literally the story of my life these days, even with CoolChoices, saying “yes” and then sitting and thinking about it, saying “how the hell am I going to pull this off” Another thing that stood out for me was Pete’s motivation. The people telling him that he wouldn’t and couldn’t do any of this, spurred him on to keep continuing and made him all the more determined, turning that negative experience into positive and constructive emotions and goals. I’d be the same, all the more inclined to try to succeed if people think I won’t.
After this, there was a whole rush around the day. We were trying to agree who was going to come with Michael and I to interview Ash that afternoon, plus trying to catch up with our blogs, so as a way to pick, we all had a crack at presenting. Just your name, age, a defining feature, a passion, what you are learning about yourself on the programme and a quote to sum you up.
Name: Molly Davey
Age: 17
Defining feature: I can dislocate both my thumbs, pretty much. General party trick though I did forget to warn people beforehand and a few were nearly sick. Sorry guys….
What I’m learning: Just that I can do so much more and that my confidence is coming on leaps and bounds, and a lot more secure in myself.
A passion: My writing and my music, coming together into songwriting. Just learning and mastering a piece of music or singing a song just the way you want, it’s magic.
A quote to sum me up: I actually couldn’t think of one right off the bat so I went for the quote from my amazing CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) therapist, Allister, shout out to him as he is one of the reasons I am sane and able to do this. This quote I feel looks at life from a positive and negative way. “If you keep doing what you are doing, you’ll keep getting what you’ve got.”

From this exercise, we chose the lovely Melissa and Catriona (Mel and Cat) to come with us and then the journey began.

A Life Less Ordinary, (Yes, they get their own title!)
It has finally arrived, after coming completely out of the blue to us, we were on route to our Ash interview. I still reckon David was trying to suffocate us on the way down in the car from the heat. That and the apprehension was eating us alive. Well, myself and Catriona. It was going to be our first professional interview, for our broadcast and we were representing Cool FM. I was so scared that I was going to muck up or say something wrong and I think it’s fair enough to say that was shared between us. Plus we were meeting other people in the industry, the band themselves as well as their PR manager, Jeff and others involved with the gig.
Meeting them though was really good. They must be swarmed with interviews and things every day so it was so nice of them to agree to talk to us. We got some really excellent content and I didn’t let myself chicken out and I asked for their autographs, which is big for me. They were such dead on guys so many thanks to them for speaking with us and we all wished them good luck at their gig. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend but I’m sure it was awesome and I hope they had a good time and good luck with their mad looking tour schedule.

We Are The Champions.

Started right off with meeting quite a few of the big wigs at once. We had a talk from Simon Mann, the commercial director. Attending the talk was our managing director, top man Mark Mahaffy as well as Siobhan Kenny, the chief executive at Radio Centre. She was so nice to talk to, really interested in us and the program. It felt like it was an inspection in school at first though, important people sitting behind us, watching us… reading us… But the tone quickly changed. As a whole, I believe that our group is quite good at taking notes from all our speakers, appreciating that each person has, out of their own free time, chosen to talk to us and help us to learn. Simon brought an extra incentive to his talk, revealing a pair of Calvin Harris tickets.
That got everyone’s attention! It was a lot more interesting than I had first thought and there is so much more to it, learning about percentages of listeners, which station is the most successful out of the three broadcasts from here. They have won national awards for their adverts and the clip shown to us of Downtown Country’s music has definitely changed my mind about it and will give it a listen now if I pass it. My feet were tapping and I was drumming away on the table to the beat, I just can’t help it.
By the end, we’d been waiting for the question and when it was eventually asked, Michael Mul (Debby) snatched them from us. Jammy sod! Certainly no hard feelings… At all… But to the point of the title. We were given a live brief to work on, to come up with ideas for on air and off air publicity for the Tall Ships coming in April and how Cool FM could get involved.
Later with our PM being the lovely Melissa, we pitched our ideas back to Simon and Mark as well, which was encouraging as they were both really impressed with us and our ideas so hopefully in the coming weeks, some of them will actually be used. Myself and Michael O’Conner were proud of our joint idea (and before he kills me, it was his complete idea, I however named it, highly appropriately I might add with the nautical theme of the event) with the name of Dodge D’Balloon, so it sounds like Doubloon. Awful, I know! So proud!

All Star, SmashMouth.

The day started off by meeting the marvellous Paulo. Sports Reader, Breakfast Show host and Social Media Guru of Cool FM. You could almost see the mechanical wheels moving inside his head as he talked to us about keeping the up with the social media aspect, learning about different types of posts and how to get likes and increase the reach of the page, techniques he uses and what he looks for in a good post. Advantages and disadvantages of different sites and then set us the task of coming up with three funny things to be posted. Mine got in, not that I am really glad about that…
We then had a talk from Darren Fowler, Charity Supervisor of Cash for Kids. The specific charity here at Cool FM, founded seven years ago. Since the beginning, they have raised £2.5 million for the cause, helping to look after and support disadvantaged children in NI. Thank you to him for coming over and taking time to talk to us.
The day was sort of quiet for the rest, just working on blog posts when we were presented with the opportunity to have the band Ash, interviewed by us for content for our broadcast on Body Image. It has come out of nowhere and will be very beneficial, having a celebrity element. We grouped together when suddenly, the authoritative finger of Rebecca landed on me to be project manager. Cue explosion! Aaaagghhhhh! After some breathing, I started trying to pull us together but everyone was arguing and shouting over each other. Stressed to the max! But after writing most of the questions up and having a little advice session with David, everything turned out okay and we got the questions sent off to the band’s manager and along with me (as PM) and Michael (Technical whizz genius) we need to others to come with us so hopefully we’ll get voice clips done to see who’s voice sounds good on air. I hope mine sounds okay.

Lost in Stereo, after only 2 days

Start of our second day! Having completed our analysis of the alien life forms that are supervising us, in the forms of Rebecca, Steve (who has been christened, “Dave the Rave”) and Daddy David, we were led through the invigorating session of Health and Safety awareness with the lovely Florence. Doing our quiz, one question that my arm was up like a whippet for was “When is the fire alarm tested?” It had given me a heart-attack the day before and it’s not something I’d forget too soon.
We got our first tour of the place, finally! Going through the packed carpark into reception, we got to meeting all the people in each department. Funny story, turns out that “the most important people in the building,” are in literally every room. Kidding aside, we got to learn exactly how all the different departments contribute to the radio station. We got to sit in for a few minutes on Siobhan McGarry’s show, even getting to go on air for a few seconds to say hi to the public. Hi and Bye to be exact. Got grossed out by the lunchtime question of “Should Runners carry Poo Bags?” after a little incident in Derry/Londonderry. Then we had a laugh with Steve Turnbull as he recorded an ad for upcoming festival and gig dates, messing up numerous times, probably from the extra pressure of us gawking but it was funny. It’s interesting the different voices people use for different situations. Steve’s voice changing into his “radio voice” was interesting. Funny too, giving us plenty of material with which to mock at a later time.
After mucking about during lunch, the conversation sparkling as always, I started to type up my bio, what you lovely people would read and meet me in a way, in order to catch up with the rest. Cutting out my original, page long waffle, trimming it down, even with distractions, cough cough TJ, I got it to the length it is now, even if it is still a bit long… We then got to see our photos from the photo-shoot the week before (my first day, I might add. Thrown in at the deep end, right?) Seeing the photos back, it was amazing the difference that Simon had made by working his magic. He made us all feel so comfortable and at ease while he was taking them and all you could hear when we were shown them was gasps of admiration, from each and everyone of us. To me, seeing them made me feel a lot more confident and I couldn’t find anything to nit-pick at about my appearance, so awesome job done by and many thanks to Simon! Made us all look like models and just generally badass!
Steve then gave a low down on Imaging, putting together sound files, editing them so they are sounding as perfect as you can get it and then adding them into a multi-track, to create your ad, jingle etc. I found it really interesting indeed, although still a little complicated. Made plenty of notes and hopefully, practise will make perfect. Thanks to Steve for his wisdom and his unusual analogies, that do get the point across but they do make you wonder…

The Time of our Lives

It has begun. After being thrown in to the mix only a few weeks ago, our work at Cool FM has finally begun and I couldn’t be more excited. Sunday was a pretty sleepless night as I thought and worried about what the first day would bring. What’s going to happen? What if I am really bored? What if I look like a complete dumbass? Etcetera, etcetera, other pointless worries keeping me up though eventually sleep came.
Coming in, seeing the people I had been with put me at ease a little bit and general introductions ensued. The cheesy opening line from Rebecca, the general code of conduct, this is how you act while here, you must wear your nametags at all times. “You are live on Channel 4. Please do not swear,” and all that carry on. Disobey any orders and you’ll be put to death, blah, blah. Learning all about what we are going to be doing while we are here, all the different departments we would get to experience along with the hierarchy of power from Managing Director, Mark Mahaffy into all the deep dark holes of each unit that makes Cool FM what it is. We learnt most of the schedules (well, when I say learnt, I mean written down,) and learned the ins and outs of blogging as well as testing our interview skills so that we know where we have to focus to improve before our broadcast.

Coming away from day one, I was already a little worried about this not turning our right or the way we want but I was mostly excited and so glad and grateful that I have been given this opportunity.

I intend to make the most of it!