Monday, October 11, 2010

My Diary

In considering the authenticity of experience, the medium I used to mediate my experience proved to be just as important as the avatar (the aspect of myself I used as a lens for that moment).  They told us in the preparation class before entering the field that every student should have a diary separate from field notes. That causes a few problems if we want to talk about authenticity, but some things even I am not about to have public on this blog.

So what kinds of things go in a diary, and why not in the field notes? After looking over my different mediums, I have decided that my journal had more of a personal tone to it (FN:7:20). They were more intimate and honest, things that I would not want other people to see (and honestly it would not interest anyone else). In my diary I tried to make sense of my experience in the larger context of my life, related more to my past, and was conscious of some of my personal issues. Because of that nature, it is also more enjoyable for me to read.  Of course, if I was not already recording the day-to-day details in my field notes, I would have recorded more of those types of details here.  Something to think about.

Another thing I included in my diary, just because I always have, but did not in any other medium was the setting. I always wrote down the time and place I was writing, and it adds a unique flavor.  I think it tends to set a mood.

One thing that kind of bothered me when I went back through my diary was that there were many entries where I talked about nothing that actually happened that day (FN:39:2). I went on and on about boys, drama at home, feelings, insecurities, etc but only mentioned in casual that I happened to be in Ghana that day. Our minds are probably rarely actually in one place, but I feel like this medium allows for more wandering into the realms of thought and away from reality.

Early Entry- This particular day was one of the first I had in Ghana.  I was still in Kejetia, and you could say that I was having the moment of "what have I done."  This is not the kind of image you would find in a field journal.  It also talks about a bad experience I had calling a friend back home and Rachel's whole peeing in a ziplock bag incident.  Maybe not academic, but one of the fondest memories I have.

Bad Day- Here we have a classic example of a not-so-great day in Ghana.  I am starting to get scared about coming home here, and towards the bottom you can see that someone in the group really made me mad.  Had to come out somewhere, and wasn't about to come out in field notes or a public blog.
Boys- Of course.  I tried to find one that did not cover an entire page for the sake of everyone involved.  There is one reference there.  It is crazy to me how something like the woes of Provo dating life could actually be on my mind when I am a few continents away. 
Faith- Like all experiences like this, where I stand with my spirituality and faith was an important part of my personal growth in the field.  It was a significant part of my experience, but it was not something I could record in my field notes.  It felt too personal.
Epiphanies- I learned a lot about myself during my experience in Ghana. While that is not supposed to be the focus of a project in field studies, I do think it plays a significant role as far as applications go. Here I have a little realization about my perfectionism. Still a work in progress.

1 comment:

  1. This was so fun to read years after our adventures in Ghana! And informative. Thank you Rachel for writing it and thank you Doctor Burton for providing our class with this link!