Monday, April 25, 2011

Interview Completed, Finals Approaching

I am nearing the end of the semester - and gasp - the end of my junior year at Clark! Time sure has gone by quickly.

As far as classes go things have been picking up. I am finishing up projects and papers and will soon begin studying for final exams. I successfully completed my interview for Qualitative Methods in Psych last week! I arose early on Friday and piled into a car with my interview partner and PLA (Peer Learning Assistant). After a 20-minute drive or so in which my partner and I adequately pestered our PLA with questions relating to the interviews to come, we arrived at an assisted living facility. My partner was hesitant and so I volunteered to conduct my interview first; I ended up interviewing a woman who was nearly 100-years-old at the time (her birthday recently passed - April 19th). I heard about her childhood, bits from her marriage, and some thoughts on her current life in the retirement home (lots of bingo! She said).

Overall it was an interesting experience, though I was very nervous to be in the role of interviewer, and in charge of steering this kind older woman's thoughts in order to elicit stories about her life. To me, the point of this exercise was less about the stories we heard and more about the process of qualitative interview and the different manners in which we are able to view  and take on specific roles: as interviewer, as participant, as an equal, as someone in charge. I have participated in many, many undergrad and grad-student run studies at Clark, and to be honest, being on the other side (as researcher rather than participant) is a bit nerve-wracking, especially when considering all the prep work that has to go into it. However, I am looking forward to engaging in more research prep-work (or even transcribing) as I approach upper-level psychology courses at Clark (even though I was nervous it was still a lot of fun!).

Last night I took part in my last Astronomy Lab for the semester - my professor was there in addition to our astronomy TAs and observation assistants. Together they managed to get our telescope functioning so we could finally take a look at the sky using something other than our eyes or binoculars. Additionally, we watched a movie on the Chaco Canyon, an area in which people aligned their buildings and roads to match up with solar and lunar processes; the setting and rising of the sun and of the moon. Overall it was very interesting, especially considering that these calculations were made a long, long time before any of the equipment we have now was ever created.

I am currently working with my group on a project/presentation on Gender Identity Disorder for Psych of Human Sexuality, and soon I will begin prep on my papers and studying for Hebrew Bible II (we have two take-home mini-papers and a final exam). Because I am a Jewish Studies concentrator, recently I was invited to a dinner in honor of a contributor to the Jewish Studies program at Clark. I am very excited; I will be mingling with President Angel and faculty from the JS department. I will even be dressed moderately fancy, it's all very exciting!

The weather in Worcester has been so lovely lately - this is picture of me lounging on the green with some snoozing friends during Spree Day (the building pictured behind us is Atwood Hall .

A happy Passover and Easter to those celebrating!


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