Gaylord News

Gaylord News podcast reflects on life put “on pause” by the pandemic

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Gaylord News launched the new podcast series “Oklahomans of DC,” which will highlight Oklahomans living and working in the U.S. capital. The series is hosted by Gaylord News reporter Bennett Brinkman. PHOTO: Bennett Brinkman/Gaylord News

Bennett Brinkman, Reporter

WASHINGTON — Gaylord News released the second episode on Tuesday for its new podcast series called “Oklahomans of DC,” spotlighting people from Oklahoma who now reside or work in the U.S. capital and how much the COVID-19 pandemic and recent political crises have shaped their lives.

The second episode features Dylan Dobson, an Oklahoma City native and Wake Forest University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in politics and international affairs. Brinkman talked with Dobson about the challenges of securing employment during two separate, tumultuous occasions: once during the 2018-2019 government shutdown, which caused her to lose her initial internship with the Department of Justice, and once again during the pandemic, after graduating in the spring of 2020.

“This past year has kind of felt like a giant pause just on life,” Dobson said. “The biggest lesson I learned in D.C. is to be flexible. Take every day one day at a time, and always be ready to pivot.”

As it happened, Dobson was in McLean, Virginia, instead of Washington, D.C., on January 6, when a violent mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in the wake of the presidential election.

“I was pretty heartbroken that day, watching everything unfold on my Twitter timeline,” Dobson said. “I remember texting some friends about it, and they felt as if they didn’t think it was real. They didn’t realize that it was actually happening.”

“I don’t think people always understand that people [do] live in D.C.,” Dobson said. “Families live there. It’s not just this political symbol. And it’s those experiences that really stand out to me, just because, for better or for worse, a lot of the time when I find myself in other parts of the country, I’m not always around people who are as engaged politically.”

Hosted by Gaylord News reporter Bennett Brinkman, “Oklahomans of DC” will highlight key differences between living in Oklahoma and Washington, D.C., as well as what experiences Oklahomans bring to the U.S. capital city and how the experience is affecting them.

“I don’t think I noticed how different it was [culturally] until I came back to Oklahoma for breaks, because once you’re in that environment, you get used to it, you get assimilated,” Dobson said. “But then I would come back home and it would almost take me by surprise when people were so nice. […] And that’s something I didn’t quite notice until I wasn’t there anymore, and it highlights a lot of the things that I love about Oklahoma, especially when I come home.”

“Oklahomans of DC” is available for listening on streaming platforms such as Spotify and YouTube.

Gaylord News is a reporting project of the University of Oklahoma Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication. For more stories from Gaylord News, visit GaylordNews.net.

 

About the Writer
Photo of Bennett Brinkman
Bennett Brinkman,
is a journalism student within the Gaylord College of the University of Oklahoma who is expected to graduate in 2022. A native of Edmond, Oklahoma, he is currently part of Gaylord News in Washington D.C.
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Gaylord News, a news service of the University of Oklahoma Gaylord College.
Gaylord News podcast reflects on life put “on pause” by the pandemic