I honestly cannot believe that it is time to reflect upon my progression through the course Voices of Migration. Like so many college experiences prior, time seems to fly faster than I can manage. Nevertheless, listed below, please find my reflection on my project’s content, oral histories, and website design.
Regarding the topic of course (and the project), studying migration was a fascinating experience. In an academic manner, I learned many new aspects about migration. Whether it be describing the global challenges migrants face, explaining what it means to be a refugee, or discussing the effects of transnational citizens on economic development, I feel that I have developed a robust vocabulary. Therefore, in an in-class sense, I gained new and valuable knowledge about an increasingly important international subject.
As for conducting my oral histories, I gained valuable understandings. Conducting an oral history interview is challenging. One must be flexible enough to go with the flow, but also stay structured enough in order to discuss the desired topic(s). I struggled with my first interview. The speaking style of my interviewee was rather short and concise; therefore, I had a difficult time thinking quickly on my feet to keep the conversation flowing. On the other hand, my second interviewee was rather talkative, moving from point to point on his own accord. I had an easier time directing his oration because I became more of a facilitator, rather than as the driving force. So, I now have a newfound respect for the work oral historians do.
In addition, I really appreciated conducting the oral histories for its personal research style. The research process was so alive, communicative, and emotional. While I love researching subjects which interest me, looking through history monographs and navigating through databases can become monotonous. An oral history, on the other hand, is an alive artifact. It needs both the interviewer and interviewee; without one, there is no final product. Working through the interview is an engaging exploration for both parties involved. This type of research was exciting and fun; I hope I can conduct more oral histories for future studies.
Finally, I thoroughly enjoyed creating/designing my own website. I had the autonomy and control to make a product and then actually publish it for the entire world to see. I was able to learn new skills regarding website design, digital tools, and up-keeping my own personal blog. These are adaptable skills with tangible results. I am very pleased with the knowledge gained through working with new technology.
Finally, I would like to acknowledge my appreciation for the inter-humanity/ interdisciplinary nature of this COPLACDigital course. I was engaged in history, sociology, technological studies, and even art design. These opportunities are reflective of the changing landscape of education and future employment opportunities. Learning how to think independently , work collaboratively, and live critically is the liberal arts philosophy. Voices of Migration, in my opinion, perfectly encapsulated everything that I love about a liberal arts education.
Thank you to my professors, classmates, COPLAC associates, and MCLA faculty who made this wonderful opportunity available to me. I truly believe this was one of the most educational, challenging, and rewarding academic experiences I have even been a part of.
It´s crazy how fast this class has passed; I still remember the first day when we were just getting used to using Zoom! As you mentioned, it is interesting that the interviews we give depend so much on the speaker. As a result, the interviewer has to make new accomodations depending on the interviewee. This experience will hopefull have a good impact on any future oral histories you conduct!
Also, I loved the shout out to liberal arts education! Make that two!