Oral History Interview

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Student Reflection

a. I learned about how it’s tricky to just schedule something like an oral history. My interviewee and myself went through several schedule changes because of work or just busy schedules until we landed on doing it over the phone. Then the question was-how can I make that work? We talked about zoom, skype, or even Microsoft Teams but thankfully we were able to do a zoom call so I could record the audio on my phone. The aspect most enjoyable for me was just doing it. It was really something hearing someone talk about something they’re clearly passionate about and even though I was worried about it being long enough-the time just flew by.

b. I learned about some of the atmosphere of protests and even a little bit of history about the town I live in and have lived in for several years. I really enjoyed learning about how it wasn’t destructive or chaotic but in fact unifying and truly a peaceful protest.

c. I was very nervous at the beginning but the more I spoke and asked my questions the better I felt. It was honestly a very enjoyable experience and I didn’t really expect it to be.

d. This assignment helps us to utilize many of the learning outcomes but especially inquiry based thinking due to the fact that a good interviewer should be able to adapt and change, add, or even remove questions based on the flow of the conversation. I know for me personally, I would change questions as we were speaking due to something she would say that I found interesting or her touching on something I wanted to ask without me even prompting her. 

e. The only change I would recommend is maybe not to limit the topics. I know for me personally, I’ve been at my lowest point because of this year and the ravages of the pandemic so I really didn’t want to talk about that, but protests is a subject I feel like I wasn’t really qualified to be speaking on. I know it’s meant to cause us to think about things we haven’t before but it made me feel inauthentic. 

f. I would tell them to focus on making “lines”, not a “script”. Like I said earlier, an interviewer has to be able to go with the flow and change their questions but also preparation is important-and it’s important to know where you’re wanting it to go and at least a basic, skeletal outline.