Double-Entry Notes

This week, we talked about fundraising at the Greyrock Review. Instead of recording my observations after the internship was over, I decided to try an ethnographic research technique known as double-entry field notes. According to FieldWorking, “double-entry notes are designed to make your mind spy on itself and generate further thinking and text” by forcing you to observe both your surroundings and your reactions as they appear before you (90). As you can see in the photo above, double-entry notes divide a page in half vertically: the left side is for direct observations and the right side is for recording personal reactions to observations.

This research exercise was eye-opening and made me consider my own biases at this internship and the way I impact the culture of the Greyrock Review. At first, I began recording the way the discussion was going and who brought up which topics, and my reactions were mostly based on my thoughts about the individuals who made specific comments. However, as the night went on, I began to get into the groove of writing down my observations and I started noticing more about my environment and less about the people in the room.

Overall, my most striking observations came from the table at which we sat together. I noticed that many group members were on their phones during quite a bit of our meeting. My immediate reaction to this was that they must all be distracted by their phones (texting, using social media, playing phone games, etc.), which I realize now is a personal bias that I hold against many people in my own generation. However, I soon came to the realization that most of the people on their phones were looking up different aspects of fundraising, and the qualifications for fundraising a CSU club, with their phones and sharing their findings with the whole team. We have quite a limited amount of time as a group each week, so the wide use of personal devices to make quick clarifications shows me that my fellow interns truly want to get things finished as efficiently as possible.

Throughout the night, I made some other small observations about the number of daily planners on the table in the meeting room (seven of ten interns had their planners out), the amount of times people volunteered to do extra work outside of class, and the number of questions that were asked for the sake of the whole group. My reaction to these observations tells me that I am among individuals who are excited to create this literary journal, want to create a legacy at CSU, and hope to use this internship as a stepping stone toward a career in the publishing industry. I’m learning more about the culture of this litmag every week, and I’m starting to notice several trends in our meetings that I think speak to the way Greyrock operates throughout the year.

Throughout the night, I also observed that when an intern asked Kristin, our graduate adviser, any questions, she turned to me instead of immediately answering them. This was quite nerve-racking for me, but my immediate reaction was surprise (and feeling honored) at how much she trusted me — enough to let me handle student questions. Over time, I noticed that many interns began to ask me questions directly instead of asking Kristin by the end of the night, which made me feel that they are starting to see me as a true Managing Editor this week. It’s becoming more clear to me just how much of an impact my presence makes on the culture of Greyrock. I’m interested to see how this new dynamic continues to develop next week as well.

My duties before our next meeting include reminding everyone to sign up for three classroom visits in which we speak to classes about getting Greyrock submissions; making sure that our promotional flyers are made, printed, and distributed throughout campus, announcing that we have a public meeting for our club next week about the submission process; recruiting extra RamRide volunteers for our fundraising efforts (we get $1,000 if we have 30 volunteers at RamRide, but we only have 10 interns); and contacting the SLiCE office to learn about our current finances and our account information for RamRide registration. I’m absolutely loving all my new responsibilities at this internship!


Sources:

Chiseri-Strater, Elizabeth, and Bonnie S. Sunstein. FieldWorking: Reading and Writing Research. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1997. Print.

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