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?



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.  



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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