15 May Alumni Interview: Josh Couch
Joshua is an alumnus of the Residential Internship (2009) and Vocational Programme (Auckland 2018) and currently works as a radio producer at CBA. He is married to Stephenie (alumna of Vocational Programme Auckland 2018) and they live in Onehunga, Auckland with their two children, aged four and two.
Where do you work and what has changed/adapted given the Lockdown?
I work as a radio producer at CBA and when Alert Level 4 was announced we all moved to working from home, except for me as I live close to the office. Since media counts as an essential service, we were super busy in the lead up to our annual 12-hour Good Friday programme on Newstalk ZB, trying to figure out how to do this in the middle of a pandemic! It worked out quite well in the end. Phew!
What are some of the things you’ve enjoyed about lockdown?
The general tone of strangers seems to have brightened significantly. Not that people struck me as particularly sour before COVID-19, but something about the pressure of it all has brought a renewed energy and warmth to our, albeit distanced, interaction with others in the neighbourhood.
What are some of the challenges you experienced during lockdown?
For years I’ve struggled with depression, so adding COVID-19 to the background hum of anxieties has significantly reduced my capacity for some basic daily challenges.
A helpful thing I read somewhere said “remember, you’re not just working from home… you’re trying to do what work you can, from your home, during a crisis!”
What passages of Scripture have you found helpful and encouraging?
My melancholy personality really appreciates the bleaker passages when feeling the weight of it all. Psalm 88 is a great one. It’s helpful and encouraging to me to remember that I don’t need to have it all together. I can just bring who I am to God, where I am, with all my anger, sadness, and confusion. Sometimes it feels too trite to wrap it all up with a pretty bow on it. The fridge magnet verses just don’t quite speak to me in the harder times.
We’ve all got a bit more time on our hands, tell us about your favourite podcast, movie, or book, and why you like them
Stephen Fry’s 7 Deadly Sins
It’s probably not my favourite (in fact, I’ve only just started listening to it) but hearing the topic of sin and our problematic internal life discussed in such thoughtful, witty, and deeply honest terms by my favourite atheist is simultaneously delightful and confronting.
(For the record, my favourite podcast is probably 99% Invisible with Roman Mars. The team explores the stories of design behind all sorts of fascinating things. Remarkable stories, masterfully told.)
I mean, it’s gotta be Princess Bride, right? Action, tick. Comedy, tick. Drama, tick. Romance, tick. Swashbuckling, tick! It’s the perfect film.
Amusing Ourselves To Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by Neil Postman
This book was written in 1985 and is more relevant today than ever. It frames the way I think of “media” and its capacity to carry particular ideas, conversations, and worldviews. You may never get around to reading it, but if you’ve got a minute now, the introduction is a remarkably powerful arrangement of 338 words.