Midterm Blogs.

Our Midterm Blog entries were more centered on introducing how to use a blog site and to introduce our Ethnography projects.  Through the introduction of our Ethnography project ideas, we were able to give each other feedback and ideas on how to make our papers come alive.
Before midterm we had made observations of our site of our choice of site.  Before doing this we practiced at a site around campus.  My practice site was Torgerson Bridge.  Practicing doing observations helped me realize that I should not only concentrate on the physical characteristics of my place, but the people, the noises and the smells, characteristics that all make up a single place.
After practicing field research, it was time for the real research to begin.  After going to my site of study several times, I was able to get to know the place and the people that came in and out of the tattoo shop.  I became familiar with why everything was set up the way it was.  I became familiar with the protocols of the shop, the pictures, the smells, and the sounds of the tools that inked people.  My second blog in this section contains some of my observations from my chosen site.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Lay of the Land

For our next paper, we have to go to the site we are doing and observe it. Much like what I did at Torguson Bridge, I have to do at the Tattoo shop. In order to get the true "Lay of the Land" I must go several times to understand the people, the environment, and the location in which I am studying. My english teacher assigned us to read one of her papers in which she described a bowling alley, and a prominent aspect in her paper were the bowling leagues. She proceeds to describe each team including their physical characteristics and manners at each lane. Through her observations she notices that many of the league members are people sharing the same interest, thus she notices that they support each other. After observing the people, she observes the alley itself and even includes all the rates, which ultimately says who comes to the bowling alley possibly. She is very descriptive in her paper, which helps the reader feel like they are actually looking in on the scene.
From reading her paper, I now know how important it is to just take notes. It does not matter what the notes are about just as long as they pertain to my place. It could be business cards, magazines, or pictures lying around in the shop, but that just adds to the characteristics of the place. Her essay made me realize that there really is no limit to description, record everything as I see it. Also, it is vital to be specific and descriptive, because it makes for a stronger paper and more interest from the viewer.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Practice Field Research

We were let out of class early to go out and practice doing some field research for our next paper which is due pertaining to our site for our paper. I decided to practice some of my field research at the Torguson Bridge, a very popular study place for students. Being as how most of us are in our first round of tests this semester, the bridge was quite packed with many students at 8:00 pm. People we adorned in sweatpants and sweatshirts, the best clothes to study in. Most girls had their hair up in ponytails or buns, while the guys had their caps on backwards staring down at their study materials. The tables were strewn with many different subjects with students that had their head in their hands just staring, either trying to cram or review. All the computers were taken by students intently trying to finish that last minute paper, thus there was a great deal of typing noises in the bridge. The lighting in the bridge is very dim and relaxing, making it a perfect place to study and not get blinded or an even greater headache while studying. The couches are very comfy with one of the most soft fabrics. Students proceed to come in and out of the bridge and when one receives a phone call they walk out to the hallway leading into the bridge to take the call. The bridge is definitely a very quiet place to work or study. There are some people that decide to work with headphones in as to not disturb anybody around them. There is also a couple helping each other study by quizzing each other quietly. The only noises one really hears in this place is the door to the stairwell opening and closing. It is very comfy and warm, with the red carpet and old cherry colored wood furnishings and walls. The Torguson Bridge, I believe is the best place to study on campus based on my observations.