Drawing from the Well
Chapter Four Pulling up the Bucket
|Counter||In/Out||Juan Miguel Vigil:|
|1/523||In: 23:10||I remember when I went to school at the old Catholic Church, when the nuns were very strict. I don't remember what I had done but I got in trouble and I was taken to Sister Camille, who whipped my hands, and I cried. I had to go home and tell my mother, and she gave me a spanking and said, "Wait till your father comes home." At that time, my father worked in Los Alamos and only came home for the weekends. Well, sure enough, when he got home and heard about the trouble I had caused, well, he spanked me again. So, if three times wasn't enough||
may fit with
|Out: 23:41||to teach you, I don't know what would.|
The purpose of logging is threefold:
In other words, students need to identify the key highlights from the interview. What you want is to establish a way to relocate segments without having to listen through the whole tape again. It is the prerogative of the teacher and/or the class to choose to transcribe everything that is on the tape or to only transcribe what they think will be significant passages and information for their end projects. Traditionally students have logged only the parts they plan to use.
Considerations for Tape Counter Readings
Before logging the tape, be sure to rewind the tape to the "head" (beginning) and reset the counter to zero. It is most ideal to work with a counter that reads real time. If that is not possible there are some other solutions. Every tape recorder has a counter that is particular to that recorder. And often, within that recorder there are inconsistencies. This means, if you were to jot down the counter reading of "362," and then fast forward the tape and then rewind back to counter reading of "362," you may not be at the same place. Yet, you should be close and the best you can do is learn about the idiosyncrasies of your own equipment. It helps to use the same tape recorder/player through the process of logging and relocating segments, since the counter reading will be closer than a totally different recorder's counter reading. However, if you do not have consistency nor do you have a recorder/player with a time counter you may wish to apply the following method which we have found to be effective for logging and ultimately re-finding footage on a tape:
This process is a little tricky, but it definitely fosters teamwork. One person manages the stopwatch, one operates the tape recorder and watches the counter, one is listening for when the tape was stopped and one writes down the description of the segment. Before logging a tape you will want to have the tape rewound all the way to the beginning. Zero the counter and when the tape first rolls start the stopwatch. When there is something you want to either listen to again or mark on your log, the tape engineer, the person with the stopwatch and the person assigned to listen have to cue one another at the same time to stop. Then if the tape is rewound to listen again to a segment, the stopwatch doesn't start up again, until the assigned "listener" cues the "stopwatcher" to continue marking the time. In this system you can't be very accurate with the exact time something is said on tape, yet you'll be in the ballpark. Also, should the stopwatch inadvertently be zeroed or left running, students have the opportunity to go back to their last known segment and begin the watch at zero. This affords the students the pleasure of adding one clocked time, like 22:23 to another time, like 2:39, in order to identify the actual time where a segment exists on tape. This then becomes a great exercise in base 6 addition and subtraction skills.
If all of this is too much, students can transfer segments to a highlights tape. The advantage to this method is it reduces time spent trying to find segments. The disadvantage is the loss in quality of the recording. What needs to be considered is the ultimate use of the audio or video footage. If using digital recording equipment, the loss of quality in a transfer is minimal. Usually, digital recorders/players have real time counters.
Other strategies for logging:
After all the students understand the principles behind logging and listening to the footage, it may be more expedient for one or two students to finish the logging (perhaps get extra credit) and report back to the other students about what segments they found to be of greatest interest.
What to look for in reviewing and critiquing the recordings:
Choosing key highlights:
Ultimately, as students log their tapes they will be looking for key segments to use in their final product - whether it be text, website, video, audio or performance bound. There is something very instinctual about identifying good sound bites. Often it is not what is said as much as how it is said. Have your class expand upon the following list that helps determine whether a segment from the footage is a key highlight or not:
While the students are logging their footage it will be helpful to have these questions on a poster or on the board so they can reference these suggestions for discovering what in the trade is called "good tape."
Once students complete the listening/viewing and logging of their interview footage they will need to include the highlights from the interviews on a separate paper or, we suggest, on separate index cards. With each "sound bite" on a separate index card students can easily re-order the sound bites in the sequence they ultimately choose for their final project. Use one color for each person interviewed, including the question and response.
Analyze the highlights students have prepared. Conference with the group. Give them feedback on the strengths. Brainstorm creative ways to use their choices. Problem-solve areas of possible improvement and plan for obtaining additional research, materials, and/or information needed to complete the picture.