Ethnographic Vignette- Observing The Scene

Before I go into conducting these interviews in the next upcoming weeks, I will take part in a little process called “observation”. In class the other day, Professor Peake asked us students to open up a picture and jot down some field notes of what we see and hear from the accompanied audio. We opened a picture of a large group of people all standing outside at night time. From this given information, we were asked to take in all the small details that made up who these people were, where they were from, why they were outside, etc.

Similar to the process we did in class, I will observe the tutors at the writing center. In my observation process, I will use the same techniques I did in class to capture the whole scene as best as possible. I will do so by taking a step back, erasing any assumptions I might have, and of course — writing everything I see. I plan to write down conversations that stick out to me, facial expressions, clothing attires, body languages, and the overall energy or atmosphere I feel.

I plan on being a fly on the wall and to do this successfully, I plan on capturing multiple perspectives at the writing center. Understandably, how a tutor sees a tutoring experience could be totally different than how a tutee sees the same experience. Everything is about perspective and understanding. Yes, not all of my questions will be answered after every observation exercise, But I hope to get a bigger and greater understanding of the total picture afterwards.