Monday, April 14, 2008


So, I was able to attend a family party, nothing unusual, except I spent the whole time with Dan. I was able to see people and situations from a different perspective. Have to tell you, it was an improvement from the usual family parties! I was able to see both the camaraderie and competition between brothers, and the parents reactions to both!
After the party, I was invited out to "party more" with Dan and his friends, but i couldn't go. I told him I'd be up for it another time... I hope "another time" comes before the end of this semester! LOL

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I've been dumped...

So, Ali finally responded. She "didn't realize" I still needed help. She will no longer be involved in the project. Apparently, she and Dan are done... even though they always said they weren't dating, just "hooking up" now and then. So, as I was using Ali as a subject for my research, she was using me to get closer to Dan! Funny how things work out.

My final project will need to be centered on Dan, as I'm not sure if I have enough Ali info... We can discuss this at our working group meeting, I guess.

A good lesson learned, I had never even considered that an informant would agree to be invovled and then decline to finish a project. I guess this a concern faced by every anthropologist. Being dumped by an informant !

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Family concerns...

This week I spent some time with Dan, at a family gathering. Now, whenever I see him, he comes directly over and starts talking. I guess he feels comfortable with me, knowing I am nonjudgemental. He had a lot to tell me, about the music he likes and the concerts he'd like to see. He talked a little about Ali, and told me not to "count on her help", apparently they are not as close as they once were. I enjoyed my time talking to Dan.

After Dan left the party, other family members were discussing him. Apparently, they are concerned that he is partying too much. From my time with him, and what he has shared, he drinks and smokes too much for his age (what teenager doesn't?), but not to the point of real concern. But the stories I am hearing from the others is actually concerning me. I am not sure if this very conservative family is overreacting or if Dan is keeping information from me...

Once home, I emailed Ali to ask her about getting together. She hasn't answered, that was Tuesday. Apparently, anthropology (not to mention my grade) doesn't mean too much to her! I am concerned about the final paper, if we don't meet some more, I may not have enough to write, and it is too late to find another informant!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Ali's Room ?!?

Today I was finally able to see Ali's space. The interaction was not as enthusiastic as Dan's descriptions, but I feel that she shared more with me today than she has before.
Prevoiusly, we had me at my house or anywhere but hers. Now I understand why. It is not truly "her space", she doesn't have her "own" space. Her bedroom (which she gave me the highlights of) is nothing like her personality or descriptions of her interests. I found myself feeling for her, remebering what it was like to walk in those shoes. It took all my self-control not to give her advice, I took in what she had to say and sympathized with her.
But, I did get some cool photos of both informants' bedrooms, and some interesting stories, too! Plus, I have been invited to a party- I guess I have been promoted to the "in crowd!"

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Her space

It took a while, and some coaxing from both Dan and myself, but Ali is back in the game. She finally answered my emails and has agreed to let me visit "her space", even though she and Dan are still at odds.
Being a typical high school senior, I was partly a pawn in getting him to talk to her on her terms! HAHA , I am so glad I am past this stage. Funny, at their age this type of behavior was the norm, now I have the ability to see both sides... what a difference a few years make.
When I visit Ali's house tomorrow, I believe her Mom will be home. I wonder if her presence will change what Ali wants to show me and/or tell me? Dan was extremely open with the discussion of his possessions, but only the two of us were there. Perhaps having a parent present will make a difference. We'll see tomorrow!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Victory, sort of...

Today, after a week of texting, I was able to meet with Dan for the grand tour of his room. He usually likes coming here to hang out and talk, but today we were at this house. Funny thing is, he chose a time when we would be alone, no one else was home. I do believe he wants this project to be "his" thing, without any comments or input from his family.
We discussed Ali, my absentee informant. Apparently, they're having some "issues"- he talked to a girl she doesn't like, and didn't tell her. So, Ali is with holding communication with me , to get back at Dan. Can we say high school all over ? LOL So, I am a pawn in an adolescent squabble. I will keep you updated as to how this progresses!
But anyway, my Material Culture (HIS portion) sounds pretty good... just waiting for Ali. Any advice on how long I should wait? Or should I attempt to find a new informant? Any help would be appreciated! LOL

Monday, March 3, 2008

Still crawling along...

Ok, so I was not able to explore the personal spaces of Dan or Ali... they BOTH have the flu. Hopefully, they'll be up and around so I can get the "grand tour" soon!

I have been thinking about my previous post, and why my informants prefer to meet at my house. Although they are both "technically " adults, they both live with their parents. Being with them at their houses, also means their parents are nearby. Not only would they have to curb their comments and stories, but their parents would also be involved. It seems that both Dan and Ali want this to be their "thing" without comments or interjections from their parents. I know from experience with Dan and his parents (Dan is my nephew),that when he and I are talking, they will answer for him, or correct him, or even berate him. If he mentions he was out on Thursday night, they'll say "you wouldn't believe how late". Because both Dan and Ali seem to feel comfortable with me, they want to be open to express themselves without any parental comments being interjected. Or at least that is my take on why they visit me...

In talking, most of the discussions are about how they spend their free time or social activities. Friendship and "hanging out" is very important to them. My final topic will be related to their social lives, maybe a "he said/ she said" type thing.