Monday, 23 September 2013

And so our journey closes...

The first day of our last week and the pressure is on. To bring you into the experience, I’ll share with you what exactly we’ll be undertaking this week.

Transcribing 5 minutes of a one-hour interview recorded earlier last week
Creating an interview log
Measuring and drawing floor plans for an assigned building in the community
A 500-word text to accompany that floor plan
A 500-word text to accompany the floor plans of a building measured and sketched            earlier last week.
Sort through 100s of photos to identify the 50 best
Create an excel work sheet for meta-data (The bane of my existence)
Complete a field notebook
Write a five-page tradition essay

And Finally…

Prepare a public presentation

So here I am, surrounded by a pile of field notes, sorting through photograph after photograph, while intermittently listening to an interview I recorded last week.  And while I should be crumbling under the workload, (as any respectable graduate student does when rounding the end of a course) I’m actually amazed . . .

Amazed at what I’ve learned- literally, in a matter of days
Amazed at the relationships I’ve formed throughout the community
Amazed that it’s almost over, and that one morning next week I’ll be sitting at a desk rather than walking toward a foggy and perfectly serene harbor

So, while today’s post isn’t overtly about eating cod tongue or ovaries, gutting fish, jigging cod, feeling nausea out on the open sea, kissing a birds bottom (a story for another post), climbing a hill side, measuring 200 year old homes, having hour long conversations with residents about their families, homes, and traditions or dancing with Linda in the dim light of the Quidi Vidi Inn of Olde . . . I thought I would write this post in appreciation for both the experience and joy of fieldwork, but also for a realization and appreciation for what comes next… recording our experience and enabling others perhaps a century from now to experience this moment not simply through the eyes of an American folklore student, but also through the voices of our new friends themselves. I feel honored to have been part of this project.

Center: instrument used for line fishing 

Instrument used for sealing

Front to back: a jigger, a saw used shave bark from wood,
instrument used for jigging cod

A jigger (now illegal)

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