Tennent Grace Smith

Oral History Interview Reflection (excerpts):

Q. What did you learn about the topic that you didn’t already know?

A. Why are they already knew that the polio pandemic did not reach a lot of smaller communities I did not fully understand how different it was in the age of communication where we get news outlet articles every like five minutes. I didn’t realize how scarier it would be not being able to know what is the right information and getting so much of it. In contrast, during the polio epidemic, there was not a lot of information available.

Q. 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 carefully one audio and video oral history and evaluate it.  How did conducting an oral history interview feel?  Share your reactions:

A. Conducting an oral interview was very natural. I have done it for several school projects before in high school, so it was just like a conversation with my grandmother. In high school, I always chose her to be my subject, so I learned a lot of information about her life that not many people knew.

Q. 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?

A. Take the time to read the book entirely and think about what questions you’re going to ask for your interview and make sure they’re aimed towards the person, you’re giving the interview to. You could’ve known a person for years and never understood how they were going to answer your questions if you ask him correctly.

Oral History Interview URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yixPkH-M7ko&feature=youtu.be