Observations and Though
So I know I promised both pictures and interviews in this post but both days that I stopped by the BSU and the Latino Organization Group my camera on my phone wasn’t working that well and the people in each club wanted more time to think about what to say for the interview. So I will for sure add those in next Friday!
Today however, I would just like to talk about what I have been observing for the past few days in Coffman. Like I said in my last post, I just realized that Coffman is actually the student center for anything or everything. Whether you would like to go there to eat lunch, study, sit in the main lounge and listen to the beautiful piano music, or even taking a quick nap, Coffman is literally the center for everything student related! So, this week I decided I would be that one creepy student and go people watching and take mental notes on what groups of people were doing with each other and what they were saying(Much like what Rebekah Nathan was doing with her studies on Freshman).
So, on Tuesday, my first day of doing this, I went into the main lounge of Coffman and simply sat down in one the comfortable chairs, took out my laptop to act like I was doing something, and began my research. I was shocked by the stark contrast between how people acted if they were waiting for a friend, or people simply wanting to be alone. The ones who were waiting for a friend seemed to not be as engaged with their homework/laptop and every two minutes or so, they would look up, slowly scan the area, then would look back down at their work, repeating the process every so often. Even the ones who were caught by surprise by their friends didn’t seem too engaged with their work even though they had either textbooks or a laptop in front of them. From what I was seeing, they seemed to be a bit more open towards everybody, and much like me, they were using their work just to mask what they were really doing. Of course, this is only an assumption.
The ones who (seemed) to just want to be alone had their headphones in while they rigorously went about their work. They seldom looked up and they were completely engaged with their work. Some would have their lunches with them and would take occasional breaks to munch on their food, while some others would just simply look straight ahead, and be in a daze for about five to ten minutes. Others would simply be watching a tv episode on Netflix while some others would be completely asleep. Overall, I noticed how differently these two groups of students acted. Of course, the things that I’ve noticed could be nothing conclusive, by from my three hour observation time span(I had some free time!), these are the main things that I noticed.
On Wednesday, I decided to stop by the BSU (Black Student Organization). My camera on my phone was taking really weird pictures for some reason(However I was able to ask a couple students questions and I will post the Q & A session next week!) so I decided to sit in and see what was going on. The environment was very lively, with some students were sitting at the table talking about how midterms was going for them, others werw sitting alone studying, and a few participating in an activity. I decided to watch the game of UNO taking place and was surprised at how quickly the game could become so intense! It was really amusing to see how the group of seven people interacted with one another. They were making jokes at each other, laughing hysterically when a major move was made, and there was of course the occasional trash talking taking place! In fact, one student passing by saw the group playing and decided to stop by and play one match. I was even more surprised to find out that this student has never been apart of the BSU (He was a freshman) and he just wanted to find an organization to join. Were other students making this type of leap of faith? Were others as brave to just go outside their comfort zone? You always hear stories of students doing this but seeing it first hand took me by surprise! Even though this student wished to be anonymous, I was still able to get an interview with him which was great and will be posted next Friday when I interview other students! From what I saw, everybody seemed so engage with one another that it was great to see. Whether it was the game of UNO, students sitting at a table talking with one another, or even some students studying for their big Chem test the next day, everybody seemed to be here for a reason. It will be interesting once I get to interview more of them to see how exactly they decided to join the Union and what type of effect it is having on them.
On Thursday I visited the Latino Student Organization and was a bit disappointed to see there wasn’t a lot of students there (Only two were there at the time, and they were playing FIFA). Apparently the area becomes more lively later on in the afternoon as well as in the early evening so I will definitely have to make a stop there sometime next week! From what I’ve seen however, the students seemed to be enjoying themselves with the game they were playing and they seemed to know each other rather closely. They even invited me to play with them since they had a third controller and even though I discovered that I’m terrible at FIFA, it was fun to play with them and to hear them get competitive with one another! Since the students wanted a little more time to think about their questions, I decided just to return next week and interview a larger group then.
So these were my observations for Coffman. Although today I spent sometime on the outside patio and even spent some time in the food court, there was nothing major that stood out to me. Next week I will for sure add some photos that I take and add in the interviews that I conducted as well. I’m still decided whether or not I should do a video interview or not, but I’ll see once I get everything finalized. To be completely honest, I don’t know how exactly these observations will be used within my Digital Media Project, but it was useful to be able to put things in perspective!
So what do you all think of data that I collected? Is there anything I should take into consideration while doing these observations? Also, sorry for the long post, if you were too lazy to read it all the way through and you skipped to the bottom, I don’t blame you! :D
(All images were found on Google)