Thursday, November 19, 2009

Weekly Post November 20

What I Did:

This week I spent a majority of time, about 4 hours, reviewing and listening to the interview from last week. This also includes writing down a minute-by-minute log so if I want to refer back to a specific point, I know the exact time it occurred. Also spent another half hour learning how to post sound on my blog. Picture I took of Jay in the study room during our interview at the library:

This week, I had great conversations with our IP professors and students. Hannah’s 30 minute meeting was extremely encouraging and when the meeting ended, I was so eager to begin working.

Spent about an hour meeting with Stephanie and other students in our section: Carly, Katie, and Olivia. This meeting was really helpful, as all of our IP projects involve reaching out to others. While making connections can ultimately pay off in the end, it is a risk because we are somewhat reliant on the response and actions of others. During this meeting I presented two separate portions of the interview.

Stephanie gave me great advice about what to look for in the sound piece and why the second piece I played was more powerful to listeners. She gave advice about how to move forward in my second interview.

Hannah suggested I do some writing, so that I reflect back on my interview with Jay and remember exactly what happened while it was fresh in my mind. I spent about two hours writing this reflection on the experience and exactly what was going through my mind. I will post the writing piece in a separate blog post.

I also met with Carly for about an hour on Monday night just to talk about our projects. We have a similar work pattern and are dealing with similar issues in making connections to other people. We agreed to meet every two to three weeks just to catch up and go over where we stand in our projects.

I also talked with Lauren for 20 minutes about how I can improve my night-photography skills. She gave me some tips and let me borrow her book “Night & Low-Light Photography.” Learning how to improve my night photography skills will most definitely come in handy during the Wednesday night camp meetings.

Here is a night picture from the last meeting. When I introduced myself as an Art & Design student, one of the homeless campers named Ted asked what kind of art making I am interested in. Ted loves art and talked about his passion for woodcarving. When I asked if he had any work he could show, he went to his tent and brought out a few beautiful samples of his work. He carves very realistic images on wood:

What I achieved/accomplished/discovered:

After I wrote down the timestamps of our interview, I highlighted the most moving parts of our conversation. After doing this, I saw how all the lines I highlighted were towards the end of the interview, when Jay became more comfortable talking, and I was more at ease with asking personal questions. It was interesting to see this visually:

I was so happy to write a reflection on the interview; I remembered and wrote small details of the experience that I might not have remembered a few weeks from now. I really enjoyed writing the reflection and I look forward to writing more.

I discovered how I really enjoy the medium of sound and how it can be potentially very moving for this project. The parts I found most fascinating were when Jay was struggling to find a word; every time I replay the moments where he pauses when trying to think of a word, I feel like I am in the room with him again. It is very real.

What should I do next?

I need to contact Ed West and get some feedback on photos. I love photography and think I could use it as a piece in this project.

Continue following up with the shelters. I have been in touch with a shelter in NJ that is very willing to work with me in finding families. I am hoping to set something up over Christmas break so that I can interview a family during that time.

After the 30-minute meeting, Hannah encouraged me to come up with 10-12 different ways of telling Jay’s story visually, in addition the sound. Posters? Collages? Book? Website? Photographs? And with the sound portion- should I only use his voice? Should I use my voice in some parts? I am going to take this weekend to really explore different options. This way I will have different ideas to show at December Review.

I am having a second interview with Jay on Monday evening at the library.

1 comment:

  1. Meg,

    Sounds like you had a really productive week. I think that writing about your interviews and experiences visiting camps and shelters will be very helpful for you. This sort of practice allows you to reflect more deeply on the experiences that you are having. You can do this on your blog or in a personal journal, so you can have documentation of your feelings about the interactions, but also as a marker for your own personal growth. You mention catching yourself thinking in stereotypes about homeless people, yet wanting to break others of this way of thinking. Writing can help you be more self-reflexive and mark your progress in casting aside the biases ingrained in us about the homeless.
    Good work!