At the north end of San Jose State University’s campus, in between Martin Luther King Jr. Library and run-down Dudley Moorehead, is Hugh Gillis Hall. Home of theater majors and performing arts people. At any given time, you can hear lines of Hamlet, or other famous plays, being rehearsed. Flamboyant props line the hallways. Young men and women in costume and makeup run through the west hall where the dressing room and backstage entrance meet. Nestled into this lively building is KSJS.
The on-air studio is dark. The inlet lighting is always dimmed to the lowest setting. The blue, white, and orange lights from the twelve channel Yamaha mixer shine like light behind stained glass. Symmetrical digital letters label every channel. Various power sources have blinking, pulsing, or flashing lights too. Just to the left, three CD changers continuously show the running time of each track. Every time the phone “rings,” a bright white bulb starts to strobe in excitement and every time the DJ mic comes on, the famously recognized “on-air” sign comes alive.
The bass from the upbeat, 808 drums rattles small nearby objects. The two fifteen inch sub woofers dance happily to the beat. As do I. While moving to the fast paced tempo, I cue up the next track. In my headphones, an entirely different song entertains my ear like a secret. I hit the hot keys on the Didgicart, “90.5” and “K-K-K-K-KSJS” plays over the fade-out for station identification. I press “play” and the next song begins. “I’m so lucky,” I think to myself, “every three minutes I get reminded of why I love this job.”