Monday, April 9, 2012

Journal Entry #33 - 4/6/12 ...Saying Goodbye...and Hello

So I've been finishing up my Proposal. Doing my presentation last week was good for firming some things out in my mind. I think I do better when I'm presenting something than when I'm writing, just because a visual medium gives you so much more freedom.

These last couple of days I've been doing so more research on little things that I'll be encountering in London. I think I spent about an hour on this blog, London Is Cool, and although this funny Irish guy that has written it since 2009 is as quirky as they come, he sure loves London, and has countless short, readable articles about different places to go in London and just enough pictures to give you taste of what it's like to be there. He's really not very sophisticated, and he repeats himself - a lot - but I actually appreciated that, because the truth is, not every city is just like the guide and travel books paint it. Not every sunset is picture perfect, and not every restaurant has that vintage flair that you're supposed to be looking for when you're abroad. Some parks are fun to go to, but some aren't, and the author of this blog is honest enough to say when it is and when it isn't.

However, I cannot believe how incredible the British Museum looks in these photos. The Great Court is literally the largest enclosed room in all of Europe! And the Reading Room inside it looks absolutely gorgeous. That is one place I'll definitely have to go and see.

But enough tourism, I've been thinking about the interviews that I'll be doing. Sitting here from the comfort of my apartment, with two of my roommates who I've known since my sophomore year of high school, two of my brothers living just around the corner from me, and my Provo city home where I've spent four semesters going to BYU, there's just no sense of insecurity at all. But once I'm in London, with the foreign, unfamiliar streets, and millions of people who I don't know, it's going to be quite different. I imagine going out each day and looking for ways to meet new people who will be useful to my research is going to be extremely difficult. It's not an easy job. But, I'm looking forward to reviewing what I've learned in the Prep class, and especially the readings about interviewing and gaining access to a location. Those two will be especially key to my project, and although it will be a challenge, I fully expect it to be a challenge worth facing. I know that if I can work hard to build connections in the first weeks that I'm in London, the rest of the project will come together. It's just 15 interviews...that's all. And the right gatekeepers to help me get those surveys completed. After the lecture today in PL SC 200 about surveys and the influence of the interviewer, I know that I'll have make myself quite "bland" to the people being interviewed, or I will affect their answers too much. That will be interesting. Maybe I'll bring back that comb-over from 7th grade :) hehe...okay, maybe I won't go that far.

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