Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Learning Journal 24

I enjoyed contemplating the term "be flexible" in class. One of my main concerns has been with understanding how to deal with obstacles in the field. At this point, its hard to know exactly how I'll handle things as my knowledge of the culture is largely limited to information gained in conversations. My approach will likely change shape as I come to understand how my project fits into Tongan culture. That ties back in with the idea of being ok with ambiguity in my project at this point and finding clarification along the way. Since my project is largely exploratory, I have to be willing to accept ambiguity to a point until I have a foundation to build off. I realize that my proposals are helpful in developing some framework to where I can begin, but some of those specifics may need to be adapted.
The question that we were supposed to answer in class dealt with getting the project started once we get in the field. Initially I thought about how I'll just have to see what happens when I get there, but then Ashley made us think deeper. One of the questing she asked concerned our intitial observations. The gist of what she asked was, how are you going to observe what you don't naturally notice? I'm still not sure exactly how you would even identify what you don't notice, but I suppose making a conscious effort to observe is a good start. Going into a new culture, in my opinion, actually helps because since most things are foreign you have to make an effort to understand what's going on. When you've been around something for most of your life its harder to observe because you think you understand it. It will be an interesting transition of seeing how my proposal will act as a framework for my project in Tonga.

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