Sunday, November 8, 2009

Thoughts Of A Home Invader

Today's session was rather different to the routine that we've established over the last couple of months. Today I ran a task that involved A. and her cousin speaking - where I normally rely mainly on A. - and a task involving telling a story with pictures I provided - instead of usual tasks like sentence and word elicitation, or simple storytelling. And, just to really shake things up, I recorded the whole thing, not only with my audio recorder, but two cameras as well.

When I proposed this task, I really had no idea how A. would react to it. I mean, it's one thing to sit around with an audio recorder (in fact, it's quite easy to forget that it's on), and it's another thing to shut all the windows, turn lights on, have cameras staring at you and not drink any tea for a whole hour.

But she was totally fine with it, as was her cousin. In fact, they really enjoyed the task. It made me reflect upon just how obliging people can be. It's something that S. and I have discussed (Incidentally, I will point out with much excitement that S. is returning to Ktm on Tuesday after a month in the field). People can be incredibly generous with their time. I don't know if it's because they're flattered someone is showing an interest in the language they speak (or, in the case of S., their children), or if it's that we're just too stingy with our time back home. All I know is that everyday when I rock up at the house at 7 am I'm awed by the fact A. is willing to sit down for two hours and talk with me.

No comments:

Post a Comment