Stephanie Lee

March 6th, 2010

Mini Fieldwork Experience

Posted by emodjsteph in Uncategorized  Tagged , ,
I was the researcher first and I did the topic of necessary improvements on Queens College┬ácampus. It was a bit difficult coming up with questions to ask since everything depended on the initial question “What do you think is the biggest issue that needs to be improved on Queen College campus?” I made general questions like “Why do you think this is an issue?”, “How has this affected your life on campus?” and “What do you think should be done to help improve this?” The rest of the questions I asked, I had to come up with along the way which was a bit more difficult but made it feel more like a conversation than a very stiff, structured interview. I had a very difficult time keeping my own opinions, views, and knowledge out of the interview and I found myself talking as much as listening. I have to work on keeping my own views and opinions out of the interview because it can influence the participant.

Nalicia said that what needed the most improvement was the parking situation, a subject on which I feel very strongly (which only made it harder to try to keep my opinions to myself). We went to the nearest parking lot and saw the entire lot was full except for two spots and the only reason those spots were there was because it was 3 in the afternoon. If we had gone earlier, the lot would’ve been completely full. Nalicia explained that she never even bothered entering in the lottery for a parking pass because she’d heard from people that had the pass that spots were never guaranteed and she didn’t want to bother with that.

I disliked that I had to try and hold back what I wanted to say about the subject in order just to record what she was saying. It is very difficult to try and appear objective on something I feel strongly about.

When we switched roles and I was the participant, my answers to her questions were the opposite from Nalicia’s would have been, so our experiences were the opposite of each other’s when it came to dining on campus. I think it was useful in showing her another side of the campus that she hadn’t seen before, because she is used to seeing the Student Diner packed and buzzing with people, whereas I am used to going when it is much less crowded and almost dead. So that is where we went, as well as the lounge behind the diner and the little coffee stand nearby. All were conceivably empty which helped illustrate my point.

When I have to do this for my project or something else, I will try to refrain from too much friendly conversation before the interview in hopes to try and keep myself from feeling the need to add my input and opinions. If I have to do this again for real, next time I will also want to record the interview rather than try and write down notes as they speak (I found I can’t writer and walk very well at the same time).
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