Junior Joanna Fan Podcasts Her Way Out of Quarantine Boredom


Courtesy of Joanna Fan

Joanna Fan’s podcast, “Exploring Roots,” dives into philosophy, human morals and her personal thoughts and feelings about the COVID-19 pandemic. The podcast can be found on Spotify and Anchor.

Minnah Tanzeen, Staff Writer

It all started in early March, when junior Joanna Fan learned that the debate tournament she had spent so much time preparing for was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“I was really sad, so I used what I was preparing for the debate tournament’s argument into a podcast about utilitarianism, which is a moral framework that I used in my debate,” Fan said. “It was a topic that I knew a lot about, and I just wanted it to be a way for other people to access information about philosophical ideas.”

In her podcast, “Exploring Roots,” which can be found on Spotify, Fan often discusses the history and ideals of the ethical theory, utilitarianism. The theory is based upon the idea that the morality of actions should be judged based on how much happiness they promote among a person or group of people. 

“With philosophy, there’s so many different perspectives, and I really like learning multiple perspectives,” Fan said. “I think it really enables me to grasp deeper levels of thinking. At our age we should learn about these ways of thinking more instead of just focusing on the surface level of things.”

At our age we should learn about these ways of thinking more instead of just focusing on the surface level of things.

— Joanna Fan

Fan’s podcast blends not only philosophy and human morals together, but also her own perspectives on current events, including the COVID-19 pandemic. She opens her third episode, “Life of a QuaranTeen,” by discussing how she feels about her life as a bored teenager stuck at home and away from friends. 

“Unless you live in Antarctica, you are probably struggling to survive without a supply of scrumptious flavorful food,” Fan said in her podcast. “In no way am I criticizing my mom’s cooking; she is the goddess of flavortown. It’s just that I’d rather have a large serving of animal fries at the moment.”

For Fan’s upcoming episode being released in June, she hopes to make a podcast about certain “what-if” scenarios, where she will predict and discuss future events and the questions about morality they pose such as artificial intelligence and cloning. She will be submitting the podcast as her end-of-year English project as well. 

Fan anticipates that she will not have as much time to make podcasts once quarantine ends, but she hopes to upload at least once a month. Her eventual goal is to reach an audience of more than 100 viewers. 

“After that, I think I would be able to keep up with it because I’ll know that there are people listening to it. I think that will motivate me to do this more,” Fan said.