Hopes and Concerns, Chelsey Cain

Planning my interview has proven to be increasingly stressful and prompted more concerns that I expected originally.  So far the largest difficulty I had had to overcome has been finding an interviewee.  Because I recently moved to the UK from the United States, I have virtually no relationships with any adults in the area. Luckily, I have received a very promising lead from Dr. Matthew Smith at the Egham Museum and have a number of back-up options should that fall through.

My main concern is that my questions and the topics which I wish to explore may be seen as too probing or personal.  The woman I will likely interview was a child during WWII and her mother worked at a local ammunitions factory; I am interested in discussing gender during and after the war but I don’t want to step on any toes in doing so.  Also, I am interested in expressions of sexuality but do not know how to approach that topic in a delicate way.  I am hoping to gain more insight into this issue through the readings.

My second concern is related to my own abilities as an interviewer.  In an undergraduate class, I was assigned an oral life history as a final project.  We were encouraged to interview members of our own family (simply for ease of access).  I found myself unwilling to ask probing questions and struggled to stick with a definite them.  Hopefully, however, this can be attributed to a lack of training and preparation and also my relationship with the interviewee (my grandmother).

In terms of hopes for my interview, I would like to gain a greater insight into England during the Second World War.  Most of my knowledge on the topic is US centric so I am excited to see the topic in a new context.  I also hope that my interview will make the experience of war, especially one on such a large scale, seem more human to me instead of historical and academic; I hope that I am able to illustrate the importance of her experience, her story, and her voice.

On a much more personal level, I hope that this interview gives me a deeper connection with Egham and England in general.  Though a full-time student here, I still feel transient, like a perpetual tourist, and I trust that learning more about this community will change that.

Advertisements

One Comment on “Hopes and Concerns, Chelsey Cain”

  1. Graham Smith says:

    Great entry and it sounds as if you are thoughtfully preparing for the interview. It is often interesting to see what an ‘outsider’ interviewer brings to the interview, so very much looking forward to hearing the recording.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s