The Sound Kitchen

'Is there a doctor in the (White) house?' Dr Jill Biden, the next U-S First Lady

Audio 16:01
Sound Kitchen Podcast
Sound Kitchen Podcast RFI

This week on The Sound Kitchen, there’s the answer to the question about the soon-to-be U-S First Lady, Dr Jill Biden. You’ll hear about Goa’s Independence Day, there’s listener news, Ollia’s “Happy Moment”, some great music, and of course, the new quiz question. Just click on the “Audio” arrow above and enjoy!


Hello everyone! Welcome to The Sound Kitchen weekly podcast, published every Saturday – here on our website, or wherever you get your podcasts. You’ll hear the winners' names announced and the week’s quiz question, along with all the other ingredients you’ve grown accustomed to: your letters and essays, “On This Day”, quirky facts and news, interviews, and great music … so be sure and listen every week.

During the French lockdown to fight the Coronavirus last spring, we were constrained to stop broadcasting Paris Live, our afternoon news broadcast.

In the meanwhile, we are focusing on our digital presence, and making our website the best! You can read breaking news articles on our site, as well as in-depth analysis of current affairs, both in France and across the globe.

We are also developing new and exciting podcasts for you. Laura Angela Bagnetto has just created a weekly program, Africa Calling - which is really good and more are on the way!

We already have several very good podcasts which you can listen to right now: there is the weekly World Music Matters, The Sound Kitchen, and the bi-weekly Spotlight on France. We have a bilingual series - an old-time radio show, with actors (!) to help you learn French, called Les voisins du 12 bis.  And there is the excellent International Report, too.

As you see, sound is still quite present from the RFI English service!  Keep checking our website for updates on the latest from our excellent staff of journalists.

Send me your music requests! I’ll make programs of your favourite music when I can’t be in the kitchen to cook up something new for you … write to me at

To listen to our features from your PC, go to our website and click on the three horizontal bars on the top right, choose Listen to RFI / Podcasts, and you’ve got ‘em! You can either listen directly or subscribe and receive them directly on your mobile phone.

To listen to our features from your mobile phone, the three horizontal bars are on the top left. Click and choose "Podcasts”.

Teachers, take note! I save postcards and stamps from all over the world to send to you for your students. If you would like stamps and postcards for your students, just write and let me know. The address is   If you would like to donate stamps and postcards, feel free! Our address is listed below. 

RFI Clubs: Be sure to always include Audrey Iattoni ( from our Listener Relations department on all your RFI Club correspondence. Remember to copy me ( when you write them so that I know what is going on, too. N.B. You do not need to send her your quiz answers! Email overload!

And don't forget, there is a Facebook page just for you, the RFI English Clubs. Only members of RFI English Clubs can belong to this group page, so when you apply to join, be sure you include the name of your RFI Club and your membership number. Everyone can look at it, but only members of the group can post on it. If you haven’t yet asked to join the group, and you are a member of an independent, officially recognised RFI English Club, go to the Facebook link above and fill out the questionnaire!!!!! (if you do not answer the questions, I click “decline”).

There’s a Facebook page for members of the general RFI Listeners Club, too. Just click on the link and fill out the questionnaire, and you can connect with your fellow Club members around the world. Be sure you include your RFI Listeners Club membership number (most of them begin with an A, followed by a number) in the questionnaire, or I will have to click “Decline”, which I don’t like to do!

To join the RFI Listeners Club, just write to me at and tell me you want to join, and I’ll send you a membership number. It’s that easy. When you win a Sound Kitchen quiz as an RFI Listeners Club member, you receive a premium prize.

Welcome to our new RFI Listeners Club members: Goutam Mandal from Bankura, West Bengal, India; Nizamuddin Sheik, who’s a member of the Family Radio Listeners Club in Murshidabad, also in West Bengal, India, and Kamal Hossain, who’s a member of the Independent Radio Listeners Club in Faridpur, Bangladesh.

So glad you have joined us, Goutam, Nizamuddin, and Kamal!

You too can be a member of the RFI Listeners Club – just write to me at and tell me you want to join, and I’ll send you a membership number. It’s that easy. When you win a Sound Kitchen quiz as an RFI Listeners Club member, you receive a premium prize.

This week’s quiz: On 14 November, I asked you a question about Dr Jill Biden, the wife of U-S President-elect Joe Biden. Dr Biden, who has a Ph.D. in education, is a teacher. She plans to continue to teach throughout her husband’s presidency. My question to you was, what does Dr Jill Biden teach?

The answer is: English literature and writing; she is a professor at the Northern Virginia Community College.

What is a community college? The term can have different meanings in different countries: in the U-S, they’re primarily two-year publicly funded colleges and students tend to come from the local community. Many graduates from community colleges then transfer to a four-year liberal arts college or university for two to three years to complete a bachelor’s degree.

The Northern Virginia Community College, where Dr Jill Biden is a professor, is a public community college in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC. According to our friend Wikipedia, it’s the third-largest multi-campus community college in the United States, and the largest educational institution in the Commonwealth of Virginia, with over 77,000 students and more than 2500 faculty and staff members. It’s also one of the most internationally diverse colleges in the United States, with students from more than 180 countries. A “global community” college – how about that?

The winners are: Farhana Akter, who’s a member of the Online RFI DX Club in Rajshahi, Bangladesh; Bilkis Banu, who’s a member of the Shetu RFI Listeners Club in Naogaon, Bangladesh, and RFI Listeners Club members Ralf Urbanczyk from Eisleben, Germany; Samir Mukhopadhyay from Kolkata in West Bengal, India, and Alan Holder from the Isle of Wight, England. 

Congratulations winners!

Here’s the music you heard on this week’s program: Folk music from Goa, India, performed by the Groovy Entertainers Trio; the second movement from Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No 1, performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Claudio Abbado; “The Flight of the Bumblebee” by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov; “Django” by John Lewis, performed by the Modern Jazz Quartet, and “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” by Irving Berlin, sung by The Drifters.  

Do you have a musical request? Send it to

This week’s question ... You'll have to listen to the show to participate. You have until 18 January to enter this week's quiz; the winners will be announced on the 23 January podcast. When you enter, be sure you send your postal address in with your answer, and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

Send your answers to:


Susan Owensby

RFI – The Sound Kitchen

80, rue Camille Desmoulins

92130 Issy-les-Moulineaux



By text … You can also send your quiz answers to The Sound Kitchen mobile phone. Dial your country’s international access code, or “ + ”, then 33 6 31 12 96 82. Don’t forget to include your mailing address in your text – and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

To find out how you can win a special Sound Kitchen prize, click here

To find out how you can become a member of the RFI Listeners Club, or to form your own official RFI Club, click here


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