My fieldwork experience in few words can be described as fast and exciting,just as fast food is ,and the Student Life Union Cefeteria as being an exciting place to gather and see familiar faces. Maybe I am speaking in my own terms when I say exciting because as I told Bianca,my partner in this mini-project it was the first time setting foot in any cafeteria on campus. In the first role play scenario, I took the role of Dr. Researcher studying the quality of the dining facilities on Queens College Campus.
Introduction to topic
I began the fieldwork by saying: I am doing a study on the quality of the dining facilities on Queens College Campus,would you mind if I asked you a few questions on the topic?
The setting was the Student life Dinner or cafeteria, on that day it wasn’t crowded, there was plenty of chairs and tables available, the decor was very appealing and inviting, in a 1950’s style. Most booths were occupied, however they looked comfy. There was also a section in the back, where students could hang out in an open space where there were also chairs available, and I saw a pool table.
I observed there being plenty of choices for a student to eat in the order section. There were healthy choices, cold foods, pizza and such, and even soups.
Here are the five open ended questions that were formulated to ask the participant in order to create dialogue :
1. Do you eat on campus often, and if you do on a scale of 1-10 how would you rate the Student Life Cafeteria?
2. How often do you eat on Campus?
3. Compared to other food locations, what types of food would you like to see at the Campus Cafeteria
4. What do you think the seating arrangements of the Cafeteria promote?
5. Why would you say that the food on Campus is affordable or expensive?
My partner and myself took the task of walking first to the Student Union Cafeteria, where we took many pictures of things that we thought were meaningful to the topic, then we got back to the classroom we did photo–elicitation by trying to explain the point of pictures taken by asking questions. First, here are some of my participants answers to my questions:
Participant said she rates Campus food a 7 on a scale of 1-10.That is why she eats on Campus twice a week. She said she enjoys the food on campus, however has stopped eating as much because of the price, and also the tax imposed on the food which started just last semester. Last, she likes the seating arrangements because they are comfortable and she said it promotes group gathering and social interaction.
I think that in general,the role of the participant is easier than the researcher because, you are answering questions that you could give your honest opinion on, however the researcher has to formulate open-ended questions that could be hard to thinks of.
I enjoyed the experience because it was a warm-up for what is to be expected when we work on our final projects, at the same time I felt comfortable because I worked with a classmate as opposed to asking questions and introducing yourself to a stranger, which compells me to think that for my final project I definitely want to work on a topic that I feel comfortable making my way through,participants and all.