Class today was be about coming up with plans B through Z, which intimidated me a bit when I found that out. It reminds me of the saying, “better safe than sorry,” which is something to keep in mind while I’m planning the study, planning my travel arrangements, shopping for necessary materials, basically when doing anything for this trip.
When thinking about the study itself, I can’t imagine everything going exactly as I planned. I am expecting to make changes and to have to take things as they come, rather than everything turning out so easily that I can breeze through the study. There is just so much to a field study, like the research itself, the participants, the environment, a new culture, the group of people you traveled with. It all is important and has to be taken into consideration. Everything will work together to make up the “field study experience” and I can’t let one little wrong thing mess up the whole of it.
The facilitators did a good job of giving us examples of what could possibly go wrong and they gave really good advice. Some of the things I got out of it were to:
1. Know my project and know how to explain it to other people. If I can explain clearly and well what my project is about, then others will be more willing to help out and they will know what kind of answers I’m looking for.
2. avoid negativity. This not only makes your experience less worthwhile, but it also affects those in your group. It can put a damper on everyone’s experience. If we all try to be positive, it is more likely that there will be less problems within groups.
3. have a plan in case something gets stolen. Also, do not carry valuables that you absolutely do not want to lose with you to big places.
These are just a few of the things, but they are good things to note and good things to remember. The field study will not always be perfect and I will not always feel excited and ready to jump out of bed to do research, but there is always something I can do to get over that “I’d rather stay in bed” feeling. It was brought up that the following things can be done to cheer up: express gratitude to two people, serve others, and write a journal entry about something new you did that day. Or we can make sure to plan an appointment for the following morning every day so that we have a reason and some motivation to get up. Another thing I really like that was shared was to write down a list of everything we love about the place we are in so we can remember why we are there and why we love the experience we are having.
I am looking forward to the fun, the learning, and the challenges that I will face this summer. It will be hard, but it will be worth it.