Post 1 – Fieldnotes: Jottings Translated

Below are my fieldnotes from my Student Center observation.







Four of us from class enter the ladies room with a fifth woman we do not know. My three classmates enter stalls and the other woman takes the handicap stall. I am left to wait and observe my surroundings. As my classmates call out humorous observations about the bathroom I note the beige and brown tile, the fact that there are 7 stalls only one of which is handicap/wheelchair accessible. I mention this as an observation.

The woman I do not know exits the stall I need. She does not wash her hands and exits the restroom from the door we entered which is thee only door for entry and exit.

After using the facilities which I notice do not have an automatic flush option I wash my hands and exit with my classmates who are waiting for me. We exit into the public area of the student center. I see the elevator and begin to roll toward it until it occurs to me I will not be able to get to the Pit (common/social area) of the student center from there. Because the Pit is centralized in the construction of the building there are two staircases on either side to enter.

I notice a chairflift that a classmate points out, but quickly decipher it is out of order as the door is locked on it and there are many folding chairs stacked beneath it. I head toward the information desk to find out if there is any way for me to get down into the Pit, but am stopped by a man asking if I need a way into the Pit and pointing out another newer looking chairlift that resembles a small exposed elevator (no elevator shaft). I do not see it at first and a second man points to it and I roll over.

I press a button of two on the wall by the elevator/chairlift that opens its door. I enter the small space and follow the directions of pressing the down button to shut the door and then again pressing and holding the same button to descend to the floor of the Pit. When I stop at the bottom the door opens. I turn around and exit from the elevator/chairlift on a small ramp. I find two more buttons on the wall and press the top one to close the door.


(This is a translation of the first two pages of fieldnotes above. I note that I was able to write 403 words, 5 paragraphs, 19 sentences from my notes and memory. I find this interesting as what I thought was the meat of my observations came from  being in the Pit itself, but rather I got a lot from how I got down there.)





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