Archive for March, 2009

Assignment #3

 I was impressed by Katie’s transcription of our interview. She captured all of the um’s — which shows me how much I really do say “um” in conversation. I felt like my “voice” really came through since she stayed so close to what I actually said…I don’t feel like she cleaned anything up or ignored mistakes I made in my sentence structure, which I feel is a good thing in transcription. She did misspell the Koliopoulis family’s name, so I need to be sure to follow up on my own transcriptions and get proper noun spellings right. Finally, Katie included things such as [laughs] and [sighs] and [demonstrates] to explain the context behind what is being said, and I thought this was a very smart thing to do. Because of this, the reader will understand when there’s a part when I show Katie what a dog for sale looks like in China:  “I saw dog being hanged, like dog meat.  But like, I have a picture on my phone I think.  It’s like this dog and his head is like [demonstrates]. ” As embarassing as it is to find out that I tried to imitate a dead dog, I think Katie’s inclusion of the visual communication there was great.

Work Journal, Transcription assignment

This week I visited the Mexican restaurant South of the Border (recommended both by Professor Arries and Professor Knight) and was pleasantly surprised by how assenting the owner was to an interview.  I am particularly interested in talking to these owners because they are among the first Latino immigrants in Williamsburg and I hope they’ll have some interesting insights into how the Latino community was formed and has changed over the years here. The man who I spoke to told me to call again today because he thought his partner would be able to help me out even more, so I am planning on doing that.  I am planning on sending him some questions ahead of time…so far this is what I’ve brainstormed:

1) When did you first move to Williamsburg and where did you move from?

2) Why did you come to Williamsburg?

3) When did you open South of the Border? 

4) At the time, were there other Mexican/Latin Food restaurants? Were there many Latinos in Williamsburg then? 

5) How do you think Williamsburg has received Latino immigrants?

6) Have you ever felt singled out in the community because of your ethnicity 

7) How have you seen the Latino community change over time here? 

8) Who do you try to cater to in your restaurant? What is your clientele like? 

9) Can you tell me anything about the social networks available to people in the Latino community, how do new immigrants meet already established Spanish-speaking people in the area?

 

Also, I’ve been thinking about whether how I should best exploit the contact that Lindsey Hayes and Libby Oliver offered me at the Farmer’s Market. I am really personally interested in talking to the Medina family, but am not sure how I think their information and stories would enhance my project.  If I spoke to them I would imagine inquiring about why they sell in Williamsburg, why they don’t farm here and about whether they ever incorporate any Mexican ingredients or foods into their market? Any thoughts about whether that would be too tangential or would it be useful?

 

Addendum: 

Looking over the transcription that Will Carmines did of his interview with me and the index that Professor Knight did, I found that everything matched up pretty well (without the listening component, that is) and the only inconsistencies were some typos that didn’t much mar the general understanding of the interview.  I imagine that if I were to listen to the recording I may find that a few of the wordings were changed.  I, at least, found that to be a problem when I transcribed. I would rephrase things in an effort to speedily keep up with the pace of the recording, but that tended to alter the normal speech patterns of the interviewee.  

  

Research Journal and Assignment 3

Research this week has been going well. We’ve been in contact with both Nawab and Mongolian Buffet. For Nawab, we were told that the manager will be in on Tuesday, so that will be the best time to contact him. With Mongolian we made a bit more progress – the manager was at the premises during the phone call and seemed interested in talking to us. We just e-mailed him a more detailed look at what the WDP is and we’ll hopefully be conducting the interview later this week (hopefully, in person).
In other research I’ve stumbled upon a blog called “Storyline – Citizen Journalists at William and Mary”. In it, I found a post about the latest “Restaurant Week” that occurred earlier this year. While not specifically written about student restaurant preferences, it offers a couple valuable insights. Apparently RW occurs as a deal in which you can get a 3-course meal at many of Williamsburg’s local restaurants (Blue Talon, Fat Canary) for the price of $20.09. The manager of the Blue Talon estimates that about 20% of business during that week comes from students. Students sampled apparently were not that interested in the deal – it seemed too steep for this current economy.
Another article I found was from the Virginia Informer. In it, they compare five chinese restaurants (from a student’s perspective). Mongolian buffet was number one – they cited the variety and quality as the biggest pulls to the restaurant. However, price was a point of contention. Interestingly enough, he lists two other buffets that were less than half the price of Mongolian (Golden Leaf and Happy Buffet) that had extremely quality of food as well. I wondered why these restaurants weren’t well known – obviously, there is something more than price that is attracting students to Mongolian…

http://media.www.vainformer.com/media/storage/paper1335/news/2008/08/27/RestaurantReviews/Sampling.The.Best.And.Worst.Of.Williamsburgs.Chinese.Restaurants-3409678.shtml

Assignment 3

The reflection and revision process has been fairly shocking. Whilst I’ve reviewed transcripts many times in other classes, I have never reviewed a transcript of my own voice. I’m feeling a mix of shock, embarrassment and downright wonder about the things that I’ve seen after finishing reviewing the last page.
First of all is the sheer number of disfluencies that I used in my responses to questions – I said “um” for basically half of the interview to start my sentences. Compounding that is the high usage of the word “like” in my speech; I am appalled that I sound so unprofessional. I knew that I used these two previous words a fair amount, but never to this extent – I’m kind of dreading the job interview process now given these habits in my speech.
After a bit of poking around on the web, however, I came upon an interesting article that shows the meanings (or, the meanings that the listeners hear) regarding these breaks in speech. There is some evidence that “um” is simply a short pause indicator – studies show that using this marker increases the attention level of a listener. “Uh”, on the other hand, is considered to be a long pause indicator – this has been shown to create a negative response in the listener of one’s speech (perhaps due to unpreparedness or dishonesty). So, I suppose that my usage of ‘um’ isn’t that bad (or may I’ll just go to any length to defend my awful speech, heh).
The usage of “like” is a different matter – its usage can be marked by a lot of different meanings. Most of my usages of the word seem to fit under the categories “highlighting concepts to hold in mind for future reference” and “showing how two adjacent utterances are related”. Leave it to linguistics to legitimize my socially unacceptable speech…

here is the link to the article:

http://www.cseg.ca/publications/recorder/2008/04apr/apr2008-science-break.pdf

Assignment #3

While reading through the transcript of my interview, I was mostly satisfied with the way my words were presented. There were a few instances, though, where something like “inaudible” was written in parentheses. This is interesting because it shows that I was, at times, incoherent in my responses. After the interview, though, I listened to the recording and did not notice that. I am sure, though, that while attempting to transcribe the interview, some incoherent sections became more noticeable. These “inaudible” sections made me realize that I actually do tend to quiet down and speak more slowly at the end of phrases, especially ones that I am struggling with.
There are also a couple instances in the transcript where it is not clear exactly what I am talking about, and I am curious as to whether or not something was omitted in the transcription. For example, at one point the transcript reads, “It doesn’t seem to be the case very much, for an acoustic open mic night which is for the college… I almost associate that with college only, not so much the community, I think.” Here, I am pretty sure I was discussing the Meridian Coffeehouse in some capacity, but nothing in the transcript indicates that. However, without listening to the recording, I do not know what I said there. For all I know, this could be completely accurate.
While reading the transcript I also discovered some things about my speech that surprised me. I used phrases that I never consciously used before. It is strange to read your own speech slowly and carefully and realize the things you naturally say. For example, I use the phrase “you know” very frequently in the interview. I was more worried about my constant “ums,” but I think Liz may have been forgiving in her transcribing when it came to that.

Research Journal 3-30-2009

RESEARCH JOURNAL

Monday, March 30, 2009

Today I spent some more time perusing The Flat Hat and The Virginia Gazette from the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. I am still striking out on information about the Rainbow Room. It looks like I will have to rely solely on interviews to gather information about this venue, which is very intriguing to me. I did find a recent article from The Virginia Informer that says the basement of what is now the Cheese Shop used to be a disco hall. This information is corroborated by Sharon Scruggs’ in-class interview.

A few chunks of time are set up when Maya, Ash, and I are available to interview Glen Gormley. Maya is in touch with Glen and we will hopefully solidify an interview time in the next few days.

(45 minutes)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Exchanged emails with Maya and Ash. Maya has done a great job at trying to quickly set up an interview with Glen Gormley, owner of the Green Leafe. It appears this may happen in the near future, so in the next few days I will be working on a list of questions for him. Most of my questioning will be focused on the Green Leafe Underground, which is not opening until the fall, but will be a venue for live music and dancing.

Looked up J.M. Randall’s performance schedule and decided to go next Saturday, April 4, to see The Buddy Parker Band, who are from Virginia Beach and perform somewhat regularly at J.M. Randalls. They have been playing in the Virginia Beach/Hampton Roads region since 1985.

(20-30 minutes)

Spent most of this day working on other assignments for Monday.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Read another chapter in Barry Shank’s book. The chapter was entitled “The Performance of Signifying Practice.” It presented some potentially useful theories about the formation of music scenes, their relationship with universities, and the role of youth in the Austin music scene.

(75 minutes)

Friday, March 27, 2009

I went to Swem and checked out Barry Shank’s book entitled Dissonant Identities: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Scene in Austin, Texas. This is a book Prof. Knight suggested when I expressed my interest in having a significant theoretical aspect to my final paper. I read through a few of the chapters, and found some information that I will definitely keep in mind when conducting my interviews and other research. I took notes and placed tabs on pages with intriguing points.

The first chapter of the book is called “The Imaginary Tourist: An Introduction to Austin’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Scene.” While Austin is not comparable to Williamsburg in many ways, some of the theories here can still be useful. The University of Texas, according to Shank, has a profound influence on Austin’s music scene. The relationship between a college and its town’s music scene is certainly applicable in my research. He also discusses how regional segregation affects the formation of a city’s music scene. The existence of record stores is also a very important aspect of Austin’s music scene, which led me to believe I should probably try to talk to someone at Plan 9 Music on Monticello Ave.

The other interesting chapter I read was entitled, “Punk Rock at Raul’s: The Performance of Contradiction.” This is an article that focuses on one venue, which no longer exists, called Raul’s. I was a bit disappointed that this didn’t provide me with more useful information, but it did talk about the relationship between Austin’s music scene and the entertainment and mainstream press. I will be interested to see how local venues advertise and to what extent local press advocates such venues.

(2 hours)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I met with Prof. Knight and Jenna to discuss my project. It was decided that my project would be, to some extent, an extension of Kevin Leslie’s project from last year. While his report covered music up until about 1975, I will try to survey the music scene in the years since then.

(30 minutes)

I found an article in The Flat Hat that discussed the upcoming opening of The Green Leafe Underground, which will be a venue for performance and dancing aimed specifically at college students. I will be pursuing an interview with Lindsey Gormley, who is quoted often in this article and seems to be most involved with planning for this Green Leafe venue. I will also try to contact Samantha Greenwood of the Class of 2009, because she worked on the Underground’s marketing campaign as part of a class project. It will be interesting to hear about some of the group’s strategies.

I went to Swem Library and began searching through Flat Hat and Virginia Gazette issues from the late 1970’s. I was particularly looking for information about the Rainbow Room, which Sharon Scruggs mentioned, and Glenn Gormley mentions in the recent Flat Hat article about the Underground. In the venue that will be the Underground, there used to be a place called The Rainbow Room. I had no luck finding such information.

(1 hour)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I read an article in Andy Bennet’s book Popular Music and Youth Culture: Music, Identity, and Place. The article was entitled “The Benwell Floyd: Local Live Music, Sociality and the Politics of Musical Taste.” This was a case study on a Pink Floyd cover band from Newcastle, England in the 1980’s. Bennet proposes a theory that financial affluence of a community can affect its music scene. He quotes Sara Cohen in this discussion of why the Liverpool music scene thrives. She says that participation in a music scene is normal “in a city where the attitude of many young people was that you might as well pick up a guitar as take exams, since your chances of finding full-time occupation from either were just the same…” This theory, I think, is going to become a major part of my research, since Williamsburg is a fairly prosperous community and is home to little or no music scene.

(1 hour)

Assignment 3/Research Journal

Jenna did a really thorough and accurate job transcribing my interview. I only came across one or two corrections. I think one of the things that struck me the most when rereading is that I realized I have a distinct speech pattern. I tend to start a sentence and then stop mid way with another one. I do this quite often throughout the interview. This really bothered me because I think it made me sound unintelligent. However, this is how I actually speak. Perhaps I will be more sentient of it in the future. I also noticed there were a few times that I cut Jenna off mid question. I suppose I was just really excited to provide my answers!

Conceptually, I think she accurately recorded the responses I was trying to convey. I don’t think there was much lost in translation. She included my “ums” which I also did when transcribing Tazewell’s interview. Although pauses seem natural in conversation, reading them kind of perturbed me. I would like to think I articulate better than what I read in the transcription.

 

Thursday, March 26th

One on one meeting with Professor Knight. AK answered questions regarding the direction of my project, specifically how to intertwine a personal ethnography notating experiences at the Leafe while including historical archival information.

30 minutes

Received an e-mail from Maya regarding coordinating our schedules for a Mr. Gormely meeting.

5 minutes

Went to the New Green Leafe for dinner to experience a wider variety of the menu.

1 hour

 

Friday, March 27th

Replied to Maya’s e-mail with detailed personal schedule to coordinate a joint interview. She indicated she would be in contact with Jake.

Received e-mail from Professor Knight regarding a contact he has who might be interested in providing an interview.

15 minutes

 

Monday, March 30th

Went to the Green Leafe. Briefly chatted with manager. He was not interested in providing an interview.

30 minutes

E-mailed with Jake and Maya. We have compiled our schedules to provide to Mr. Gormely to arrange our interview later this week.

15 minutes

 

Upcoming things this week:

1)      e-mail contact provided by Professor Knight

2)      Meeting with Mr. Gormely, and potentially Mrs. Gormely

3)      Interview with Green Leafe Bartender

 

Ex. 3

It was interesting to read over the transcription of Ash’s interview with me because it really brought me back to the sitting in the room, taking part in the interview.  There were really not glaring mistakes from my end and I found Ash’s transcription skills very laudable. She accurately spelled small details like my hometown and family information. It was however funny to see how she approached the punctuating inaudible sounds and mumbles, though because now I realize that each person will have their own way of writing out these little noises and the non-verbal gestures that do not translate well onto the page. Her methods were a little different than mine, but nonetheless work within the context of this transcription. In the end, I was rather happy with her transcription.

Assignment #3

I think Jake did an overall good job transcribing my interview, except for one glaring error: my name is spelled Bayley, not Bailey. I think it’d be worth it to go back and change this in the transcript, because this could cause a good deal of confusion further down the road. Plus I think Word makes it pretty easy to do something like “change all: Bailey to Bayley,” but I’d have to poke around to find that function. But I don’t think any of my key points were misrepresented or anything was misinterpreted to the point of being something other than what I intended.

Also, I noticed that I write far better than I speak. I would say that Jake included many likes and ums that I would’ve omitted, but I don’t think that’s true. I included plenty of Liz’s likes and ums that, looking back, probably could’ve been omitted without changing the meaning of her answers. I remember keeping them in Liz’s transcript because they were exactly what I heard, but now that I see myself recorded on paper with all of them still in there, it makes me more conscious of how I dealt with that during my transcription process.

Regardless, Jake did a good job getting my points across and recording my words exactly as he heard them.

March 23-30 Journal

Monday: did nothing due to illness.

Tuesday: Missed interview with Prof. Knight because of illness. Slept the rest of the day.

Wednesday: Sent emails to several community members involved Farmer’s Market with the asking for information or possibly an interview. Still waiting to hear back about from them. I prepared for my interview Mr. M. Anderson Bradshaw at his office in Toano by researching him, James City County’s zoning laws, and preparing interview questions.

Thursday: Interviewed Mr. Brawshaw in his office. The experience was a great success! Mr. Bradshaw gave me a lot of information about other farmer’s markets and possible people to contact about my project. That afternoon, I talked with Prof. Knight and he gave me more suggestions about where to take my project.

Friday: Read blackboard articles on conducting interviews and prepared for the next days farmer’s market.

Saturday: Attended the Williamsburg Farmer’s Market. Enjoyed the experience and seeing the festivities, despite the weather. I could not find Ms. Oliver to ask if she had received my emails. I asked several attendees about what they thought about the market. Some were willing to discuss opinions, but none wanted to “go on the record with William and Mary.” Most quotes I received were unremarkable.  I left the farmers market after around 2 1/2 hours when reoccurring sickness made me vomit the candy I bought earlier near a produce stand. The vendor promptly told me to “get the hell away from my stuff!” Shoppers looked equally phased. Took a nap before leaving town.

Sunday – Monday: Attended a Law School scholarship interview in Birmingham, Al.

Questions for Bloom Store Manager

Here are a list of questions I came up with the other day. If anyone can think of anything else I might want to add please comment. I think I will be adding some questions from the reading I am doing and also include some questions about the ideas of grocery stores as gathering places and the relationship between public and private space.

1. When and where were you born?

2. How did you make your way to Williamsburg?]
3. How long have you been working for Bloom?
4. How did you get your job at Bloom?

5. Did you have any educational experiences that specifically prepared you for your work
in the grocery business?

6. How long has Bloom/ Food Lion been in Williamsburg?

7. How does the company conceive the difference between Food
Lion and Bloom?  Or, In your experience, what are the differences…
8. How have you seen grocery stores change in your experience as someone
in the industry?
9. A lot of people who study American communities have noticed a change
in key businesses like restraurants and grocerty stores from small
ommunity gathering places to larger, more impersonal places; in your
life experience do feel like you’ve noticed anything like that?
10. Is it something that Bloom takes into consideration? Does Bloom try to
do anything to resist the label of large, conventional supermarket?
11. Does Bloom do anything to encourage a sense of community among
shoppers and employees?
12. Does Bloom attempt to reach a specific type of customer?
13. How would you describe Bloom in comparison with other grocery stores? What makes Bloom different?
14. What makes Bloom different from say Trader Joe’s or Ukrops?
15. Are they catering to different customers? carrying different products?
16. Overall does Bloom have cheaper prices than other groceries? Do you consider Bloom a discount food store?
17. How does the distributional system for Bloom work? Where does the food come from?
18. Does Bloom carry local produce?
19. Does Bloom have any connection to local Williamsburg farms?
20. How do you keep such a large store organized and running? How is the hierarchy broken down?
21. How many employees work at Bloom? Full and part time?
22. What qualities does Bloom look for in an employee?
23. How long does the average employee work at Bloom?
24. Do most employees live in Williamsburg near the store?
25. What kind of benefits does Bloom offer to its employees?

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About

The Williamsburg Documentary Project (WDP) strives to collect and preserve the rich past of Williamsburg, Virginia. By conducting oral history interviews, building physical and digital archives, and creating online exhibits, the WDP interprets Williamsburg’s recent past. The WDP works towards developing a better understanding of Williamsburg by bringing together individuals, local groups, Colonial Williamsburg, and the College of William & Mary.

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