RM Oral History Forum – Monday/Wednesday

Here you will post your own self-evaluation about how the Focused Project Interview went. Be honest, speak about what surprised you or interested you the most. In the title of your response, identify your narrator by age range, first language, and current neighbourhood. Do not use your narrator’s name. Posts should be 100 words or less.


17 thoughts on “RM Oral History Forum – Monday/Wednesday

  1. I want to start by saying that i completely forgot about this part of the project. I interviewed my neighbour on When doing this interview i definitely learned a lot about my neighbour Phil and her experience moving and settling in montreal. Before doing this interview my biggest concern was that i was not going to have 60 minutes of recording, but luckily we did thanks to my neighbour being able to elaborate a lot on her answers. When doing my interviewer my interviewee; Phil was not comfortable with having an ongoing interviewer, therefore we had to pause after each question. The reason for this is because she would get nervous when answering certain questions making her uncomfortable. This was probably my biggest problem because i was forced to edit it on audacity after. Another problem i had was in some parts of the interview your hear people talking ; mostly my mom. You also hear the sound of furniture moving while Phil is talking in 1 or 2 parts of the interview, but overall it was quite. In the beginning of the interview the recorder was very close to her therefore her voice was very loud, but i solved this problem by moving the recorder further away from phil. Despite all the problems i had, my interview went well and i hope you will enjoy listening to it.

  2. My second interview was much easier than the first one. The narrator was able to speak without me having to help her. There was a bit of silence but it felt very natural. I was able to ask more questions than in my first interview. The interviewee seemed very comfortable and we were able to laugh together. A few things she said made me laugh. I didn’t have any problems with the audio quality, it came out very well. One problem was that half way through the interview my aunts phone rang, but I managed to edit that part out. It don’t feel that the process of interviewing was very difficult in this case.

  3. I think this second interview went so much better than I had expected. A reason for it might be that I have learned quite a bit from last time so I knew to be ready in case of anything. Also, since the interviewee was different, I think the vibe was different between me and my interviewee was different, but also the age closeness and relatability might have broken down certain barriers I have experienced with my last interviewee being 60 years old. All though I thought I knew a lot about my interviewee, I’ve learned so much more, and I think it’s great how such projects can enrich someone’s knowledge base academically but also personally for the interviewer. My interviewer easily took the flow and I would have loved to continue further but time was up and we had to switch to the second part of the interview.

    Something I noticed though, even though we took a break after the first part of the interview, around 40 minutes in, all though the story is nice, it gets exhausting for the interviewee to talk so much and focus on what they are about to say etc. but also for the interviewer making sure they are always focused to what they are asked and potential possible answers for later.

    I’m glad I did this interview, overall great experience, better than the first one and I’m sure others would enjoy listening to it too

  4. My interview was conducted on the 6th but as it was recorded at a family gathering in Cowansville in a barn with no internet, I was not able to post on this forum until now. Initially the interview was going well but my interviewee did not speak about the past as much as i would have hoped, though I did learn a lot about his life. I think it went better than the first one because I prepared so many questions for any direction I thought he might go in.

  5. I tried to get the interview started earlier today in the afternoon but unbeknownst to me until after I arrived at the house that the interviewee’s family cat (my deceased cat’s granddaughter) was being put down by some kind of vet. So it was postponed and I ended up going back later tonight. I did the interview in the office of his home, which was a bit of a mistake because the telephone rang and the fringe started making that constant noise they always do, creating some extraneous noise I’m sure, though I haven’t listened to the whole interview yet to hear how bad it was.

    My interviewee didn’t seem to explain his answers the way I wanted, like not explaining his life course for very long and generalizing perhaps, not giving more details that could have enriched the account. Also, I spoke at times during the interview in an non-kosher manner for a supposedly formal interview. Not like swearing but agreeing aloud while my interviewee spoke. I found it difficult to keep separate the two topics we had to cover while interviewing. Some overlapping happened. In the end, I think it was executed well enough.

  6. First of all I completely forgot to do this part, but my interview actually happened on April 4th in the afternoon. All went well with the the life history part but once i got to the second half of the interview I found it difficult to transition to the other topic and once I got to the life in Montreal I had some questions ready but couldn’t come up with anymore on the subject and ended it short. But otherwise everything else went well my interviewee was very co operative, went in dept about her life history and I learned a lot about her and her experiences she had.
    I feel that this interview was a lot better then the first one I did, because I prepared myself with much more questions to ask her and I also came with questions on the spot to ask whenever I wanted her to elaborate more on the subject because I was interested in what she was telling me. Over all this interview played out well for me and enjoyed doing it.

  7. I had a much easier time with the second interview, despite it being twice as long as the first one. I think it was easier because I knew what to expect, so I could better prepare. I wrote a greater number of questions, and allowed the narrator to elaborate more on certain aspects of their life. I found that the second part on the interview was more challenging than the first part, simply because my narrator would veer of track from time to time. My narrator was also nervous and shy about being recorded, which led to her not telling me as many stories during the interview, but right after I stopped recording. Overall I was pleased with the interview and the quality time with the narrator.

    • My response title should have been, “60’s English, Lachute,” my apologies….

  8. Personally, I found that the second interview was better than the first one. Knowing the importance of preparing questions in advance, I had a lot of them written down. This helped with the fluidity of the interview. Compared to the first one where I ran out of questions and winged it towards the end. Also, I found it very interesting because I interviewed a family friend instead of my mother. In the first one, I interviewed my mother but I already knew most of the stuff that she was saying about herself. But, while interviewing a family friend, I got to learn many things on her that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise. The only big challenge was that, this time, the interview was much longer but, in the end, I still had enough questions to last the whole hour.

  9. I don’t know why it showed up as anonymous but the title should have been 50s, French Wesmtount.

  10. My interview was very different than my first one. When i asked my narrator to talk about himself he did it in a very different way than my previous one had which took me a little bit off guard. I felt like sometimes questions that were clear to me were not getting across properly to my interviewee and there had to be some clarifications a couple of times. It was easier to listen to what my narrator was saying because i had prepared a set of different questions. Doing so would allow me to listen to his answers as opposed to struggling to come up with a pertinent question to ask them once they stop talking. I learned little things i did not know about him and it was very interesting.


  11. My interview was conducted at my friend’s house, early at 6 am on April 1st. My friend thought I was joking when I showed up even though I had asked him 2 days prior and he had agreed. The narrator is a student at Vanier College and is a friend of my friend. During the interview, we were both sleepy. He was tired because he had just came back from his job. I talked too much and even interrupted him a few times. Then, out of nowhere, the phone rang and my friend’s mother started to speak loudly. We just continued the interview. Towards the end, he started cussing which was actually funny. Some of my questions did not make sense and I had to reformulate. Overall, I think that this interview was bad compared to the first one and I know I could have done better.

  12. An elaboration to my previous post: My narrator is a man in his mid eighties, who is from Prince Edward Island. His mother tongue is English. He currently lives in NDG in Montreal.

  13. To be honest, this interview between my grandfather and me was a bit surprising. Firstly, I learned a lot about his life. I learned about things such as him skipping around 6 or 7 grades at his school house. I found it very neat. I didn’t realize the extent of his stay in the Jesuits. I also was curious about his life in Montreal. I always wondered if he felt the divide between the English and the French, but he never did.

    Also, I felt that I could have asked more relevant questions, and more interesting questions. His answers took me by surprise, and that was what changed the whole interview. However, even with a few of my mistakes, I’m happy to say that my interview was a big success. I’m happy I did it. I learned a lot about my grandfather’s life, and I also learned a bit of the family history. It was engaging.



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