When I was a senior in high school, I was recruited by the radio and TV program at the local community college. They guy who ran it came and told me he wanted me to be part of his program. I went to see this studio and see what they had. I’ll never forget that day. They were in the process of remodeling the studio. The studio was being redone, and they were putting up state of the art equipment, newer computer technology and doing away with CDs. When I went to see the studio, the guy asked me “What do you think you are going to need here?” I told him “Just give me a stack of CDs and a mic, and I’ll be the best you’ve got.” He looked at me and said, “You’re not a DJ, you’re an entertainer.” I’ll never forget his words as long as I live. It’s stayed with me even to this day. I may have talent and I may be a disc jockey, but I’m more of an entertainer and a radio personality.
When I started to take classes, I discovered that their rule was that freshman involved in the program weren’t allowed to be on air or touch any of the radio equipment. I wasn’t pleased with this rule. The guy running the program would put me on the air when he thought nobody was paying attention. The board did find out, and didn’t like that I was a freshman who was getting air time. They had just redone the studio, and the new setup was tall. I couldn’t reach anything. The screens were all touch screen, but I couldn’t reach any of them because they were set up so high. In radio, there are two types of consoles. At this Community College, they built the console so that the talent would stand, which gives the voice more support.
As a college freshman, I didn’t know I could choose my own classes. I went to a counselor and got a class schedule like everyone else, but I didn’t realize some of the same classes were offered at different times. I had an 8am history class that I was late to every day. If you’ve ever tried to sneak into the back of a room for anything…it doesn’t matter if it’s a church, a classroom, you’re going to make noise. It doesn’t matter how quiet you try to be. There was one day I rolled in 10 or 15 minutes late. He saw me and said, “Mr. Jordan, why are you late for my class”. I replied, “To be honest sir, I was chasing a girl.” He asked me, “Did you catch her?” I replied, “No sir, the battery died and she got away.” Everyone laughed. After the class was over I went up to apologize for being late, but the professor told me I could be late every day if I wanted as long as I came in with a good one-liner to wake up the class. It was my first regular stand-up (sit-down) comedy gig! He let me sit in on classes that I wasn’t enrolled for just because it changed the dynamic of the classroom and kept the students more awake to learn.
I was told at one point, after about a year that I needed to choose another degree, because I had to wait for technology to catch up with me. I didn’t take that well. I said “no” and continued doing what I was doing. When they figured out that I wasn’t going to stop taking the communications classes and pursuing that degree. They substituted a lot of classes so that I could get my associates degree. I was very upset about that. My dad even started to doubt my abilities to do the job after graduating.
I have a friend named Deena E. who is disabled was is a local DJ here in town. I shadowed her during my first semester in college. That is one of the assignments that we had, to choose a radio personality, contact them and shadow them.
At one low point, after a year or so of struggle I told Deena that I was considering quitting, because it was just so hard. Deena pretty much said that if I quit, she’s going to kick my ass. She told me that it’s not about my not being able to reach things in the studio, it’s not about my having a drunken-sounding voice because of my condition, you can do this job. Se reassured me that I could do it. Deena it about 4 feet tall and 90 lbs. They make burritos bigger than Deena. Seeing that she could do this job helped me to see that there would be a future for me. She advised me to go to a the local university when my time at community college was done. I did just that
Despite my struggles at the Community college. I met many good people there that helped me make it through. Just like my previous years in school. They were there when I needed them most. Two in particular are the man in the story above, who goes by the name of Brian Farmer. You always told me I would be great like Horatio Alger rags to riches all because I knew how to make people laugh. Another is Margie Vitale. Margie did a lot of work to get me through classes very similar to what someone like Liz did for me in my earlier years. Without her I most certainly would have failed. A quick search of the Internet tells me that both of these people are still working today. Maybe if this blog Is successful, I should pay them both a visit. I wonder yes they would remember me? Because of people like these it took about three years but I got that Associates degree.