Heather Ratcliff

Oral History Interview

StoryCorps URLhttps://archive.storycorps.org/interviews/fys-interview-about-the-theme-of-essential-workers-during-the-covid19-pandemic-with-nate-brumfield-by-heather-ratcliff/

Student Reflection

I found finding someone quite difficult, actually. I had many candidates for the interview, but I didn’t plan accordingly so I couldn’t interview them in time to make the deadline. I ended up asking one of my former coworkers he would be able to do the interview on his day off. The most enjoyable part was coming up with the questions themselves and interviewing the person.

I had originally thought it was mandatory for all places to give some sort of bonus or hazard pay during the pandemic, but I learned that that was definitely not the case. It also showed me how essential workers are treated like they don’t matter. They don’t receive hazard pay and no one follows the safety protocols even during a pandemic.

It [the process of conducting an oral history] was nerve-wracking, but interesting. I will admit I don’t think I did as well as I could have, but I was pressed for time and had several other assignments due at the same time.

In order to have an interesting conversation and find out things you didn’t know (or things you didn’t know you didn’t know), you need to ask very specific questions.

For future FYS students, I recommend starting early. The biggest issue I had was finding a common time between myself and the interviewees to conduct the interview. Definitely plan way ahead. Also I recommend looking at other interviews similar to your theme so you’ll have some inspiration and ideas.