Jessica: Women’s March Reflections with Natalie Sams

Interviewing Natalie Sams about her experience at the 2017 Womens March showed me that I am already more comfortable with conducting interviews. The long pauses that happened in my first interview were not present, because I was more confident in my questions. Maybe I should have responded to Natalie’s answers more, and asked more in depth questions about what she was talking about, but I was confident in the list of questions that I had. I did reorder a few questions, but I was prepared enough ahead of time to know what questions I already wanted to elaborate on. It was already helpful that I knew that Natalie went to the march with her mother instead of with Muhlenberg, so I had specific questions about how her experience might have been different if she had done the opposite. I think that I might have asked too many questions, because the interview is just over an hour long. However, I did not want to cut any questions because I felt that they were all important. We did take two short breaks during the interview, and before restarting for the last time, I asked Natalie if she wanted to keep going or not, because my last chunk of questions about protest at Muhlenberg were less directly related to the rest of the interview. Another reason that the interview took so long was that Natalie was very descriptive. I did not want to cut her off at all, because we were both willing to stay for this long and I wanted to keep her answers authentic. Natalie even apologized for talking too much and offered to help me transcribe it! While transcribing, I have become more aware of people’s speech quirks. While Simone unconsciously said “Um” a lot, Natalie said “like, you know.” While these filler words are to be expected when someone is speaking off the cuff, it is interesting to see what words they fall back on the most. This also affects the transcription, because I need to make the decision whether or not to keep these phrases in.