Field notes – Reflection

At the start of this assignment I was very confused and unsure where to start and what my focus should be. This uncertainty however forced me to just dive into the assignment and begin jotting down everything and anything. The part of the assignment that was most difficult was definitely the start and the finish. With the start I wanted to just sit in campion and observe from one place but I realized that I need to move around in the space to get a diverse amount of jottings. As I began to move around various spots in campion I began to feel more comfortable as time passed. I felt very comfortable observing others, at time people were curious about why or what we may have been jotting but I think the small notebook and constantly moving around in the space made it less creepy for those we were observing. As time ran out I wish I would have taken more jottings about smells and feels and less about the objects or people in the space. I think feels and smells give you a better idea later of what the space felt like, it takes you back, where as objects and people can’t as easily put you into the state of mind you were feeling in the space. I also wish I would have taken more jottings about scenery, not just the space itself but what you could see that was outside the space. I did observe outside scenery from one of the dining halls but I wish I would have added more about what I could see outside the main dining hall. I also could have engaged with my subject I was writing about. This may have made them more comfortable if I had asked them a question or engaged in conversation. Because I didn’t ask questions I became an outsider in the space versus actually becoming part of the observation. Overall most of what I wrote are things that I would not have noticed in my everyday encounters in the dining hall. Finishing the assignment was difficult because you never really felt like you got everything down so therefore the assignment felt sort of unfinished. As I was jotting I did have some judgmental obsrevations, but I tried to see past them and not write them in my jottings. Finding new ways to express what I am observing in ┬ánonjudgmental way is also something i can definitely improve on. I usually am not in campion so this experience was different for me because Im not usually in the dining hall environment. I am interested to know if being in a environment like Hagan arena or one of my classes would have made me more likely to engage and talk to people.

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