interview reflection

January 18, 2010
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Reflection

English Lit. 1-2a
Interviewee, Peter O.
1/20/10


He was closing his eyes, reaching and straining into the back of his head trying to remember; looking for an answer. His posture was chill, but the expression on his face suggested otherwise. He was sitting in a chair with his right leg propped up on his left, which was resting on the ground. His hand was under his chin, being a support for his head. His Lou’s Fish House sweatshirt brought back a good memory. This was my dad. The New York Times paper sits in front of him as I ask questions about his life.
I liked the fact that my dad was very open to this project, and so was I. I tried to ask him as many revealing questions as possible but things got tense at times. For example, at the beginning of the interview I started with a general question about his college experience. He got very frustrated and said, “Why would you start with a question like that?” He then tried to change my question to something he thought was a better starting question. I erased the tape and started again, asking about his college experiences. I learned some things I did not know that were interesting to me if not to him, like the fact that he went to two colleges and played tennis at both of them.
I then asked about his family. I was really struck by his answer when I asked him what it was like being the only boy and having two sisters. He said that he was spoiled. This surprised me because I thought he was going to say that he felt left out or picked on. I assumed this because he was in the minority in terms of gender, and being in the minority is usually not easy. When he said this, it completely changed the way I looked at how he was raised and how it affected the way he is today. Feeling spoiled as a child may explain why he is hard on himself sometimes.
The other thing that was interesting for me was our conversation about my dad being an architect just like his father. When I asked him what inspired him to be an architect he answered “Its interesting that you chose the word inspire, because it seemed like it was pre-determined coming from a family where my father, grandfather, uncle, and great uncle were all architects.” He went on to talk about his father’s passion and the fact that it wasn’t just a job for him. My grandfather felt it was important to do something that made the world a better place.
Before this interview I didn’t really know a lot about my dad’s childhood, which now seems strange. I knew basic things like where he was born and the fact that his father was an architect, but that was pretty much it. As I reflect on the interview I have a better understanding of my dad’s high standards for himself, his passion for his profession, and his high standards for me.





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