Greetings from the west coast. I just returned to my hotel room after the first day of oral history training; they said it would be intense, and they were correct. Today we covered a number of subjects including establishing a mission statement for oral history programs, ways to make the interview subject, or narrator, as comfortable with the process as possible, technical equipment, and legal issues.
Tomorrow we will begin interviewing techniques and I’m greatly looking forward to it. While I don’t think I will be morphed into the next Barbara Walters overnight, I do very much enjoy talking to people about their life experiences and I believe this natural enjoyment of mine will be of great use with oral histories at Villa Finale. Like I mentioned in a previous post, there is a lot more to oral histories than merely conducting a simple interview; today’s initial training only supported that notion.