Oral History Interview

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Student Reflection

a. Process: What did you learn about the technical parts of conducting an oral history interview? What aspect did you find most challenging? What aspect was most enjoyable?

The technical parts of conducting an oral history interview are presentation, speaking, conducting well thought out questions, the tone in which you ask those questions and much more. The aspect I found most challenging would be either speaking more professionally or forming well thought out questions. I find those to be the hardest because I am shy and just talking in front of others or the idea that someone is listening makes me nervous. Creating well formed questions is hard because you need more than just a few sentence answers, you must ask things that make them reflect and truly think. The most enjoyable part was to just listen to the answers the participant gave, I interviewed my grandmother, so it was really enjoyable to sit down and listen to her view point of the world.

b. Content: What did you learn about the topic that you did not already know? I am not a very religious person, but my Grandmother is so while I did not learn a lot about the science behind Coronavirus, I did learn to see a different perspective than my own. My grand mother is 66 and grew up in a different time in politics and religion than I did. I got to set my opinions aside and just listen to her viewpoint. I listened to her take on things such as what future generations will be like when it comes to how germs spread to how she is handling the dramatic shift in life today.

c. The experience overall: In previous modules, you learned about oral history. You had the chance to gain an understanding of what oral history is and what it is designed to do. You read about interview tips and best practices. And, you had the opportunity to examine closely one audio and/or video oral history and evaluate it. How did actually conducting an oral history interview feel? Share your reactions:

I thought the project was fun, but stressful. I was worried about speaking and I still do not think I did the best. I tried though and that made me feel proud. I felt accomplished and hope that I did well. I was super nervous for conducting the interview, I thought my question were not complex enough. I think they were decent, but I think this experience definitely gave me an advantage for presentations to come.

e. Suggestions for improvement: What recommendations do you have? If your instructor uses this assignment in future FYS sections, what changes would you recommend?

My only recommendation would be to have topics require an answer to a question instead of having such a broad topic. I think maybe it would make it easier to have formulated more detailed questions.f. Finally, talk to a future FYS student about this project: What would you like to tell them about this assignment? What tips and/or advice would you offer a future FYS student as s/he begins examining oral histories and prepares to conduct one?

f. Listen to multiple oral histories that interest you, it will give you ideas as what questions to ask and how to ask them. Also it will make you feel more rehearsed and overall prepared