I am wondering if timing matters. For example, are people more alert right after they exercise? And if they can only do so after a busy day at 10pm for example like your friend, do those cognitive benefits extend to the next day? And have people measured long term cognitive benefits? This seems like a very hot topic within and outside of academia for obvious reasons, and it could be seen as a way around the increasing use of performance enhancing altertness drugs (outside of ADHD/ADD prescriptions).
Over Thanksgiving break I sat down with my family for dinner as we ate our Italian meal. Of course on my plate was a slice of cheese pizza and pene ala vodka. My mom, dad and sister all had specialty splices with such toppings like bacon, chicken, onions, tomatoes, and many other foods I of course would not eat. I asked my mom what it was like trying to feed me when I was little. "You were the worst! I couldn't get you to try anything new. It was always chicken nuggets, pasta with butter, pizza, mac and cheese, and grilled cheese." What about going out to nice restaurants, what did I eat there? She told me she always had to make sure they could make me pasta with butter or chicken fingers. Too typical.. I still eat that to this day. "Did I get better over the years?" I asked. She told me by the time I was in middle school I finally started eating grilled chicken and caesar salad. "You tried steak for the first time in 7th grade. You chewed one piece for so long and said it was okay. Weeks later you tried it again and liked it, but when we had it again about it month later you refused to eat it." "Yeah I definitely do not like steak these days" I said. She told me when I was little I used to make her take the skin off my hot dogs and I would never eat a hamburger, and of course I still won't. "Having you go off to college I was a little nervous how the food situation would turn out, so how has it been?" she asked. I told her I eat salad almost every night and started getting sandwiches with turkey for lunch. She was so surprised because I was never a sandwich eater. I also started eating much more vegetables something I would have never eaten ate home before college.
I like how you used an interview with your mom to learn more about yourself. Maybe you could add more to this by drawing some conclusions from what you learned.
Absolutely, Ethan, I agree. And it adds layers of meaning when you and your mom are exchanging info: what did I used to do/what are you doing now? Of course there is so much more you can go into. You were talking about the psychological aspects: parental guilt and self-blame, clinical approaches which do not blame parents, and the sense of being the picky/difficult eater yourself. Also you could talk from personal experience about your analysis of your pickiness: it is a physiological difference? A personal choice? and so on.
I wrote "Ethan" but meant to write "Adam"! Sorry guys.
I like how personal this interview is. Not only is it with your mom, but you compare your younger self to how you are now. It would be interesting if you mentioned why you think you're such a picky eater or discussed the reason your eating habits change(d).
I liked that you gave examples of various foods and the fact that your mother was interviewed. The examples of the foods brings the interview to life while interviewing your mother really relates to me. Many people have asked their mother about their past and this interview allows me to picture it as if it is happening right in front of me.
I enjoy the casualty of the interview. You did a good job of using informal, conversational questions to evoke valuable responses from your mother.
“Being undecided is the only decision I have taken so far.” This was the response I got when I asked my first interviewee if she had decided on her major. This answer is not unusual in a liberal arts college because most freshman and even sophomores are figuring out their interests and what they would like to pursue as their major. Many college students want to discover this by taking the classes or joining clubs that they like, so I went on to ask her if she took any steps in the direction to figure her major. Hesitatingly she said, “If it counts I took up theatre. I wasn’t sure initially if I would like it but I really enjoy the class now and I am actually seriously looking into doing a theatre major.” The risk that she took by taking this class was something that most undeclared or even declared students do as they aren’t sure about the major to chose or about the one they have already chosen. This risk that they take is actually exploring. Being a freshman worried myself, about not knowing what major I eventually want to take up I wanted to know if she had a similar feeling to which she said,” Its one thing I am most stressed and anxious about right now. I keep wondering to myself what if I make the wrong decision about it. Today I like theatre but maybe a year later I find something else that interests me more. I don’t want to mess up such an important decision and I don’t know when will I eventually take this decision.” My interviewee is not the only one who is in this boat. More than forty percent of the students in the college are undecided about their major and are “exploring” their options.
I used the reflexive dyadic form of interviewing in order to share my own personal experiences by reflecting it through the interview.
I think using the reflexive dyadic form of interviewing was very beneficial for your topic. However, I don't think you need the last sentence in your interview. It should probably be used somewhere else.
I like how you connected your interviewee's replies to your research findings. Maybe you could add a bit more about how you relate or don't relate your situation to that of your interviewee.
Shelly and Adam, I agree. Rehat and I talked about breaking up the raw Q and A for more analysis along the way, and also about citing her sources when she does reference them, as at the end of the long paragraph. ( don't think the last sentence was really meant to be part of the write-up.)
For my first interview, I decided to interview my sister because I've always looked up to her for style and fashion advice. She has always been strong-minded and never seemed to be phased by anything so I thought she would provide a potentially conflicting perspective to one of a woman that is easily swayed by public opinion. I said, "According to a study done by Dove, women are their own worst beauty critics. In fact, only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful. Would you agree with anything that I said?" She told me that although she has a strong mentality, there are times where she would find herself critiquing herself and albeit the small percentage, she believes that the study is accurate. To combat this, she would tell herself 'I am beautiful'; with enough conviction, these mere three words would change her mood for the entire day. She also noticed that she was a lot more self-conscious during her years of puberty and raging hormones. "It's just natural to look at yourself and notice your flaws but it's what you do after noticing your imperfections that matter the most. If you don't love yourself, how would you expect anyone else to love you?" Despite the cliché, it resonates truth. It is truly saddening to hear that children at the tender ages of 10-12 are beginning their self-conscienceness. Hannah says it's a result of the media. Even Disney Channel, a seemingly innocent network, mentioned eating disorders (Mitovich) that enraged many, including a celebrity named Demi Lovato. She also said this seems to be a problem that is more prevalent in more developed areas that have nothing else to focus on but wealth and appearance. As Hannah is immersed in Korean culture, she said that it is a contemporary tradition for South Korean parents to offer plastic surgery as an 18th birthday gift to their children. This phenomena could be created by the Korean pop culture and entertainment industry because they are so adamant on creating 'perfect' boy and girl bands. Nearly every Korean celebrity has had plastic reconstruction done, allowing the public to believe that it is the norm to alter your appearance to please others. We both agreed that people are impressionable, and instead of stressing on flaws, why not create an emphasis on loving the body? If there was even half the amount of advertisements about self-love as there were of photoshopped models, there would be an decrease in a negative body image and psychological disorders like Body Dysmorphic Disorder.
I like how you include some of your research findings in your interview. I think it really helps the audience understand what you are trying to get across in the interview. Plus, I like the fact that you use elements of pathos (emotion) in your write up because it mixes well with some of the information you've provided.
I agree, Ethan. Sang and I talked about explaining the Disney case more and also adding a link to a page about it.
I find all of this fascinating and a fresh treatment of a topic that seems very much talked about.
I thought your sister's response was fascinating and can be very helpful to "the 96%" of people who may benefit from concrete personal solutions to this social problem.
We talked about clarifying Hannah's name earlier and differentiating her from the actress you cite, and also the need for paragraphing - sometimes gets obliterated in the blog format.
I found your write-up to be very informative and well-done. You did an especially good job in the introduction to describe the different perspective your sister is able to provide.
Your write up was incredibly intriguing and well thought out. Your usage of research was phenomenal. I liked the way your interview subject also added valuable information.
Interview 1: http://firstgen.weebly.com/interview-1.html
Interview 2: http://firstgen.weebly.com/interview-2.html
Interview 3: http://firstgen.weebly.com/interview-3.html
These interviews are so interesting and have so much potential for more analysis. They are still in a pretty raw format other than your reactions of surprise and some comparisons and background information. I look forward to seeing more analysis and more breaking up of I asked/he said format.
Design-wise I'd use columns for this.
During Thanksgiving break I interviewed three of my friends about my topic and recorded the interviews. Below is my interview with Helen.
I think this topic is really interesting but perhaps you should include more mental analysis that you made throughout the interview to tie in your interview with the research you conducted.
I agree, Sang. Fascinating interview! Also I think there's a fine line between "judging" and analysis but it's worth analyzing the fact that your subject could not focus exclusively on one 4-minute interview. Also the fact that it only lasted 4 minutes . . .
Recently, a few guys around campus have been thinking of creating a Club Wrestling group here at Emory. Two weeks ago, I attended my first practice there and I met many other Emory students who were passionate about wrestling and wanted to continue the sport during their time in college. I interviewed the founder of this new club sport at Emory, Aaron, and he told me all about his experiences as a successful wrestler. He notes that one of the reasons why he joined in 7th grade because he played hockey, but he was tiny compared to the rest of the competition. He loved the aggressiveness in hockey, but he didn’t feel as if he’d be any good against kids who were much heavier than him. So then he decided he’d give wrestling a try. He loved the sport, but the first year of the sport was difficult. Learning techniques and moves were the hardest part and his first year he wasn’t winning as much as he wanted. But, over the next few years, he began to win more and more often and he loved the feeling of his hand being raised at the end of the match. He says that it took a great deal of dedication and determination to become a great wrestler. By the end of high school, he was attending tournaments on the weekends and winning. Another interesting point that I took from the interview is that he said leadership played a major role in his wrestling experience. Even though wrestling is an individual sport, the support, training, and critique from other teammates really helped him during matches and practices.
I like how much I was able to learn about him in this interview. Maybe you can add some of your interactions, things you agreed on or a bit about your wrestling experience.
I think you do a good job of telling alot about your interviewee. I also think you should include why his perspective would be helpful and unique in your autoethnography.
You tell his story with ease. I agree with Joseph and Sydney in terms of where to take this next.
I've done all my three interviews. Here is my first written-up with Lance, the singer of Tank Man rock band, which was formed by he and three of his friends when they were in high school.
Wrong address, sorry.
I found your interviews very informative and well-organized. But maybe you could think about making it more interactive? Like communications between you and interviewee?
Btw, I do like that you linked music to the interviews! They were really good!
I really like how detailed the responses are, how structured and easy to follow the interview is, and how the pictures add to the interview to give the reader a sense of what their relationship looks like. I would just make the interview more interesting by not just doing question answer, but instead integrating it all into paragraphs with dialogue.
Although I really like the interview, for the purpose of this project I would try to make the interview more reflective. The content is already interesting but adding some follow-ups to your correspondent's answers would make the whole conversation more exciting. I am looking forward to your commentary integrated into your writing.
I really like how organized the interview write-up is. I like the way you divided it according to subjects and I think it makes more clear to the reader when you organized the interview in this way.
I really liked how descriptive the interview was. Definitely made it more interesting.
I find your interview really engaging because in addition to your interviewee's answers we get to read what you think about the question you directed to your friend as well. This is what we wanted to achieve with this type of interviews after all. Your further comments and comparisons between your anticipated answers and her answers take the interview to another level.
The quality of your interview questions is exceptional. I really liked how you connected so well with your interviewees. Can't wait to see the final product, the expectations are very high.
I think this is a great interview write-up in that you not only summarize your interviewee's opinion, but also are able to add your own thoughts and experience to it. It is clear and powerful. I like it very much.
When choosing which international students to interview for my autoethnography, I decided to choose different types of international students. For example, my friend Manzi is actually a U.S. citizen. At age eight, after living in the United States, he moved to Kenya for nine years. Because of his experiences in both the United States and Africa, he has not found the transition from Kenyan culture to American culture particularly difficult. Although, he does notice some differences between the two. Manzi considers Kenyans to be more generous and finds Americans to be rather sensitive and constantly striving to be politically correct. He also says that American culture has spread nearly across the world so he has not encountered any culture shocks at Emory thus far. Manzi considers himself very adaptable so, overall, Manzi’s transition from Kenya to American college life has been pretty smooth.
I think Manzi’s statement about the widespread presence of American culture is especially important. Before conducting our interview, I had overlooked the very real possibility that even international students who had never lived in the United States before have been exposed to American culture.
This is a very interesting topic! I like how you reflect on what you learn from Manzi during the interview. I would advise adding some quotes from your interview to strengthen the argument even more and make it a bit more personal.
I liked how Manzi's opinions. I find this interview interesting because of the unpredictability of the answers. I am excited for the future interviews so that they can all be juxtaposed.
I like that you are honest with your interviews and learned something new after it . I also think that Manzi brought up a new point because nowadays, American culture is actually spreading all over the world. I would be more than willing to see your other interviews and your conclusions.
I find this to be pretty neat. My first thought was that his transition was going to be rather difficult even though he is an American citizen. However, you keep the reader(s) guessing by contradicting the initial thought. From then on, I like that fact that you expressed some of the differences that Kenyan culture has from American culture.
I really like your idea on interviewing different types of international students. It was really smart and can actually evoke readers to think in all kinds of ways.
I like how you explain your reasonings for interviewing the subject. Also, there's a nice flow when reading the interview. You're questions are really insightful.
Your questions really allowed your interviewee to open up and provide more insight into your topic that you're researching. Good job! However, I expect a lot more comments and thoughts from you on the given answers that will be integrated into your writing in your next draft.
Thanks! I really appreciate your advice
Interview my friend . Wanted to interview three different people different population pool. He would be in the young and college educated pool.
I was able to sit down with a close friend of mine, Jacob Katz, who is also a Freshman at Emory and a high school standout at basketball. Jacob was in talks to be recruited to D3 colleges across the country, but insisted that he was not ready for the massive commitment, especially if he was not going to play. He had come from a small school in Long Island, and had been the best basketball player ever since a freshman, and did not really know what life on the bench was like and admitted to be a little frightened. Unlike Jacob, I had learned what it was like to sit on the bench my sophomore year on the basketball team. My school was a little bigger, and more competitive, and loved giving the most opportunities to seniors. What I was curious about was how Jacob would transition from being the best basketball player in the school to just another player on the pick-up courts. What happened to his drive and passion for the game that he did not want to give playing college ball a chance? Had he reached his peak and did not want to play anymore like many high school stars who do not move on to play college sports?
The answer was pretty simple. Jacob had never lost his love for the game, but instead decided to change his priorities. He put his school work and social life first, and knew he could juggle all three. However, he is at the basketball courts every day shooting around, playing pick up. Going to play with him is an experience as every regular knows who he is, and he still is so graceful on the court. Maybe not as many people burn out as I thought they did. Sports does not need to only be used to fuel competition but also as a social aspect to bring everyone together, in a fun setting. Some kids who were athletes in high school happened to just be better then everyone else because they matured faster and did not have the competitive edge. Instead they just had love and passion for the sport, and it did not matter where or how they played it as long as they did. Those kind of kids never fizzle out, but instead are still playing in leagues until they no longer can run, and that’s exactly how Jacob envisions his relationship to basketball ending up.
Very interesting topic. I like the reflexive interview style.
I decided I wanted to get the perspective of a fellow photographer to develop my topic. Raurer Lichael seemed like a clear choice, he’s an old friend of mine, but since he is studying at Tampa we conducted the interview through Skype. Raurer is a very enthusiastic and willing person, as was seen by his happy “Hello!” when we began our Skype conversation.
Raurer has been a photographer since December of 2010, having started with a camera that his father owned and finding his passion for the art during a trip to Switzerland, where he is originally from. It’s actually Raurer who taught me the basics of photography and cultivated my interest. He is comfortable shooting a wide array of subjects, but his focus is on music. Raurer said: “I love it because I don’t stage anything, it just happens, and I’m there to capture it” I believe there is something beautiful and very hard to capture a good moment, an expression and the atmosphere as if one would be there. He expressed a serious yet content attitude while talking about his work. When I asked him what was the most rewarding part of his job, he would respond how bringing happiness to others through his work was the most rewarding part, and being told that someone loves what you do. I felt immediately familiar with this feeling, as one always strives to better ones own work to communicate certain emotions into the viewer with a single image. It’s extremely satisfying to know that what you love to do makes others happy also.
I began leaning the conversation towards a different side. I wanted to get his opinion on how he perceives a photographers work style. “People have a perception that photography is all taking pictures and the rest is just partying and laidback work”, to this his expression turned sort of serious and chuckled at this. He knew this wasn’t the case, he expressed how being a successful photographer is a mixture of a lot of things: The first step is being a talented artist. But many do not realize this as outsider viewers, but photographers are their own marketing department, accounting department, pre and postproduction department and shipping department. It just goes to show that picture taking is part of it, but photographers are constantly busy working on their photos and finding new customers, it’s a very labor-intensive workflow that demands tons of attention to be successful. Adding to this, we talked about how a photographer’s work is constantly being undermined by saying how our tools (cameras) define our work. This quote was very helpful to express his thoughts about this topic: “A bad workman blames his tools, while a good one will rarely do so”.
In the end we discussed how photography is a medium that will always be needed to document events at an instant moment to represent an event, as they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words”. On the other hand we talked about how photography for him has improved his life, not only as a way of income, but a way of life. He has gained self-discipline and ambitiousness, which drives him to improve his photography and his business day by day. It has given him something to live by, something to feel proud of and shameful of when he does a poor job. This concluded our Skype conversation.
What was made clear was that parenting a child diagnosed with KLS is significantly different than parenting a child who isn’t diagnosed with a medical condition. It isn’t how you treat them daily that makes it different, but the degree of involvement a parent plays in day-to-day life. “At a time when you generally begin to let go and give them more independence and freedom to do things on their own. Instead, you spend more time actively encouraging earlier curfews, focusing on their eating, sleeping and physical activity levels, which you hope limits the sleeping episodes.”
Another huge adjustment from parenting Jake, my older brother, to parenting me is the need for a flexible schedule because on any given day, the possibility of a KLS episode is there. My mother explained that during an episode, rather than starting her morning early by going to the gym and running errands, she would be home all day just waiting for me to wake-up so that she could make me food and feed me quickly enough knowing that I could go back to sleep. Additionally, while I am asleep, she is talking to a KLS parents support group on Facebook. This group gives the parents a refuge, a sanctuary to have the backing and support of others in the exact same situation. “It is quite comforting to have these virtual friends, since it can feel isolating not having anyone who truly understands what you and your child are living through and being alone so much of the time.”
When an episode ends, my mother points out “you knew right away because he would begin using social media and begin talking and using his “real voice”. During an episode, if he did speak it was a different voice.” She explains that during an episode it isn’t truly me, that my actions, muted responses, and state of being was altered.
In addition to the challenge of taking care of a child with KLS during and after an episode is the difficulty in getting a proper diagnosis. However, after finding a doctor who knows about KLS and getting a diagnosis it is in some way a relief. “When we didn’t know what was wrong with Tyler, we went to many doctors and he had hundreds of blood tests. It was frustrating; although, at the same time a relief because more typical serious things were eliminated from possibility. It made it easier knowing what Tyler had, even though, there is no treatment and it is unpredictable. The thing that has gotten me through these past years with Tyler having KLS is that it won’t last forever; he isn’t in any physical pain; it isn’t life threatening and how inspirational he has been throughout the past few years. He never sat around feeling sorry for himself. Tyler would make a plan on how he was going to make up work and did it. There was a time, his junior year, since he had so many episodes and so frequent, we offered to him to skip the year and start again the following year and his response was no! He wanted to graduate with his friends and go to a college that he was capable of getting into. ... Pride, joy, inspiration, and love can only begin to describe how I feel.”
To reiterate, for my project, I want to interview college students about their passions and the impact they have on the way their life/ college experience.
Over break, I was able to interview my friend, Dennis Kamara, about his passion for dentistry. In response to my first question (what is your passion and why), he proceeded to tell me how as a child, his mom always talked about the lack of dental care in Africa. This motivated him to devote his life to improving the dental care of the many people in African communities. Beyond that, Dennis stated that he mostly wants to become a dentist to help others with their health.
We went on to talking about the effects of his passion on his day-to-day success. For example, when related to academics, Dennis said that dentistry gave him a solid goal to strive and do well for.
I think it is also important to ask why students believe it is important to have a passion. In my opinion, it is an important motivator and anchor point to go back to throughout one's college experience. I think it will be interesting to compare my answers to my interviewees' since the subject of passion is subjective and unique to each individual.
This was a spring 2015 forum. We mostly used our Facebook group for discussion forum.