Wednesday, March 26, 2008

overview of new informants

I got two new informants, both 14 year old males. Anthony, is my cousin who is easy to talk with, but the majority of his comments are set in a sarcastic tone. This is the way he is with everyone he interacts with. Its his way of being humorous like many teens. The other day he was talking about getting tattoos. He showed me the designs, which were all basic black and symbol like drawings. I asked him where he was thinking about getting these tattoos, and he said on his forehead. I’m not sure if he was kidding, because he even explained that his hair would cover over the tattoo.
Anthony has just moved in with my family in the late summer. His old town was very diverse, and the other day he said to me how he noticed that in West Milford everyone was white. This is very observant for a 14 year, growing up in that town I didn’t really notice until I left and went to college that my town was not very mixed. My aunt made sure that he was involved in everything that he was involved in while living in Virginia. He joined the boy scouts, the same troop that all four of my brothers had been in. Since his father is not in the picture, my father has stated that he would take him on camping trips and other outing. Will he become a father figure to him?
Dylan is also 14 and lives in Toms River. My friend from school lives next door to him, so I am taking the ride home with her to spend some time with Dylan. I’ve only met with him twice, so he isn’t opening up with me fully. I’ve seen his fathers house and am interested in meeting his mom and see where she leaves. They got divorced a few years ago, and he hasn’t said much about his mother. I am interested in finding how he is dealing with the transition of living and spending his time in two places.
Dylan is going to Boston in April for a clinic for sailing. He is really excited because there are going to be couches their from Harvard and Boston College. He is only a freshman in highschool and he is already thinking about getting scholarships for sailing. This is impressive and he is very motivated which is something that you don’t see, especially so early.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Written Words

I learned the hard way the impact of words.
In a problem that has arose I lost my informant, he was insulted by the way he was portrayed in the blog. From this I knew I needed to go back to my blogs, reread and analyze the words I chose. My blogs came across as insensitive in parts, which was never my intention. The tone of my writings are very sarcastic which could lead a reader to interrupt them wrong. I was very sad at the thought that something I wrote would upset another person. I am taking the repercussion of my words along with the comments as constructive criticism to be a more conscious writer. I need to prepare and get organized so I can continue this project.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

"Formal" meeting

Sitting in my evening class Wednesday night I remembered that I was supposed to meet up with my informant following my class. Saved in my phone as "Bob Adolescent", I sent him a text reminding him of our meeting tonight in Sun Rise. Sun Rise is an apartment complex where many college students reside, one being my friend Dave. Dave is 24 and is friends with one of Bob's band mates. To insure Bob's comfort level we decided to meet there in hopes to not have uncomfortably awkward moments. Minutes later Bob texted me back saying, "Ya let me hit him up" which means that he was going to get in touch with Dave to let him know that we will be arriving. I let him know that I had already talked to him and everything was on track.
I arrived 5 minutes early, which is rare for me, so I could get and be settled before Bob arrived. Well Bob was 15 minutes late, which I thought was rude and then I thought about how I'm late going anywhere, so I let it slide. Bob, who is a newly 19 year old as of Jan. 16, was decked out in dark jeans and a light blue shirt. His pimply face was covered half by the shade of his pale blue and turquoise plaid hat. Normally when a male is wearing a hat it is for a sports team or of a popular logo, I'm not sure what this plaid hat stood for, fashion?
I'm not really sure if he fully understood the purpose of this assignment, so instead of having him just read and sign the consent form I read it out loud to him. I made sure that I stopped after words, like ethnography to make sure he grasped the concept . He 's expression was bleak, showing little interest in what I was explaining. I told him that this was going to be the only interview type set up and from here on out I would be just hanging around asking questions about certain things. He had no complaints.
So here is my informant who is a 19 year old male, graduate of Absecon High School, attended the local community college for a semester, living in his parents house in Galloway. BUT he leads an interesting path, for the last 5 years he has played bass guitar in a band. As I've gathered thus far is that this is not the average high school band with occasional shows at the local church. "Cut It Out" is the name of their band which has been touring for the past 3 years. There are five members, three are originals who met their freshmen year in high school. The band is under two different labels; Side to Side and Assassinated. The last tour that he went on was a month ago where they went to N.C., Georgia, Texas, Saint Louis, Chicago, and Pittsburgh. Their next tour is in June. I was taken back by this information on his bands success. In order to get their sound out in America they sale CD's for $5 and T-Shirts for $7, which they put out with their own money. They rarely stay in hotels but through networking stay at people's houses in the area that their show is in. On occasional weekends they drive to play shows in Massachusetts.
Their band practices on Sundays in Little Egg Harbor or at Dave's. So my brain started brewing ideas and I asked him if his other band mates would be interested in participating in my research. He shrugged his shoulders and replied confidently, "Yea, without a doubt". So for the next ten weeks or so ill be the fly on the wall, a "groupie" if you will. I am real excited to run with this idea!

Monday, February 11, 2008

I have one informant!

I met my informant through a pal of mine at school. I really did not want to have my informant as old as 19, but my options are scare so he will do. I called him up which was awkward, but had to be done. I asked him if he would still be a participant in my research and he sounded enthused which made me relieved. We scheduled our first meeting for this Wednesday. I decided that the first meeting would be to meet up and go over the consent form and my plans for this project. In order for it to be comfortable I scheduled for us to meet at our mutual friends house.

Over the weekend I went to Cape May with my friend, Taylor, who has a younger brother. I am undecided if I want to travel 40 minute a week to spend with this 16 year old. I thought it would be a good idea to observe him in the manner as I would my informant, just incase I decide to take that trip to Cape May.

Taylor asked his little brother to come out with us to lunch. He said yes, and jumped into the shower. It was a Sunday afternoon and for a quick lunch he sure took along shower. Taylor is 22 years old and his parents divorced when he was younger and his mother remarried to her current husband and they have a 16 year old son, which makes him Taylor’s half brother. In the car the conversation was about daily life events and what was happening in his current highschool life. Taylor used to have long hair and recently cut it, while his younger brother just started growing his out in hopes to get it longer than what his brothers was. He was thinking about putting dreads in, but was sad that he would never get them to be like Lil’Wayne (a contemporary rapper).We ate at a place that is famous for its burgers in Philly known as, Five Brothers. As a skinny 16 year old he sure could eat, he ate his whole cheese burger (which was double stacked) and ate most of the large fries we ate. He wanted to get an application to work at Five Brothers because he liked the music playing, which was all classic rock. When we arrived back at his house, he went right in the room while we chatted with his parents. As we were going to leave, Taylor’s mother called him out to say good bye. He walked into the room with his head down, never making eye contact with me, only to his brother. I waved and said goodbye

Depending on how Wednesday goes I was thinking of having him ask one of his friend, to be my second informant.

Monday, January 28, 2008

and so it begins...

Like many, I too am a first time blogger. I’d have to say it may take some time getting used to.

The hardest challenge of this assignment is to find subjects with complying parents. Once that is complete I am eager to begin!