In the second week of September Dale, Heather, and I spent several days in Cupids with the new folklore students. Each year Memorial University's Department of Folklore holds an intensive three-week field school for the incoming MA and PhD students to focus on fieldwork techniques. This year the students were in the community of Cupids, Conception Bay North and they focused on occupational or workplace folklore.
|Dale describing good interview techniques.|
During the students' first week in Cupids, Dale spent two days teaching them interview techniques, showing them the basics of working with recording equipment, and doing a staged interview. I also gave a short presentation with suggestions of how to use the material collected in oral history interviews for blogs, articles, audio and video clips, booklets, etc.
|Gerard and Emma taking field notes during the Targa Newfoundland Races.|
Heather and I also joined the students in class to learn more about fieldwork techniques and how to take better field notes with folklorist Bonnie Sunstein. Bonnie teaches nonfiction writing and ethnographic research at the University of Iowa and gave the students a presentation on how to take field notes and how to work with the field notes taken to produce a piece of data that can be used in future writing. She stressed the need to be descriptive and suggested the students do double entry notes - using one side to describe the situation and the other to describe their feelings and reactions to the situation.
After the students classes in research, writing, and field techniques they went out into the field and conducted their own interviews and research. This Thursday September 29 the students will be presenting their research results to the community. This event is open to the public and everyone is invited to come out and learn more about work in Cupids!