Week 10: The Train has left the Station

The experiences I have been through this quarter were outstanding experience when it came to the development of an experience. This project has made me incredibly open to the idea of research projects when it comes to the home that I choose to call the United States. People matter everywhere even in the privileged grasps of the United States there are problems that many experience and this assessment of the safety and health in Edmonds has simply been outstanding. I have learned that when it comes to communicating that email may be easy, but sometimes calling may be the best bet because it means plans can be made while both parties are present and communicating. I have learned that things can be misinterpreted when it is sent in email as there are things and certain nuances that many cannot notice via text. I have learned that car rides regardless of where I am put me to sleep with the prospect of a return trip. I have learned that group work is better for the distributor than the people not distributing work. Most importantly I have learned that the future of Anthropology is still relevant everywhere whether it is an exploration into groups thousands miles away or a group of individuals in our backyard, it remains relevant.

Week 9: Putting the Cherry on Top

This week has been about putting together our findings and making sure that we have a presentable and coherent paper to turn into the city. In particular, I really enjoy the process by which we have been able to do our work. The integration of not only findings, but using GIS software, Google Maps, and photographs taken by us we will be able to present not only an interesting report, but a report that comes with future considerations. While the process has been painstaking at times when it came to the establishment of ourselves in the community and figuring out how to best communicate with the parents in these communities was key. I feel however, we may have been able to reproduce more information if we had a longer period to do research and the means to be adjacent to where our research community is. I feel like a similar study can be done on any number of neighborhoods in the Bellingham area and produce incredible results.

I sadly will not be in attendance at the presentation given by not only our class, but through the university-wide projects that have occurred. I will instead be on a  charter boat that morning, I will gladly provide an update on that trip on this blog after we get back to shore. I wish all of my fellow presenters luck as they take their journey onto presenting to a community our work as an academic party.

Week 8: In Sight of the Finish Line

This week has been a whirlwind of emotions from going down to Edmonds despite a cancelled interview into an outstanding response from the community via a survey. I am truly fascinated by the scope of our project and how much it has been evolving in the short week. The visit to Edmonds was in particular very interesting because we ran into our research partner while walking in downtown Edmonds. It was a very interesting experience that we were able to get from looking into the situation we were given and we were able to achieve context from the neighborhoods, most glaringly the fact that a sidewalk never finishes on one side of the street and from early data we have gotten, this seems to be a common concern.

This week is completely reserved for analysis and the formation of our research paper, and turning it into a viable and informative guideline for the future of our work. I truly think there will be some good information to come out of this experience, but many ways for us to look back and improve on the location and the subject by which we address the project.

Week 7: Communication is Key

This week brought with it one of the most stressful experiences of my life as my research team thought that all of our work up to this point was moot. There was a period of miscommunication among our group members as we worked through are limited and hard to schedule interview. Confusion about the status of our IRB as well as what pertains to our research project become incredibly confusing. One of the key things to remember in research is to not overreact and stay calm until everyone knows what is going on, which is one of the most frustrating things in the world. Fear of the unknown not only rocks the boat, but creates a situation by which people get defensive and want to defend everything they’ve done up to that point. One of the key point is that now everything has been handled and we are making our first field visit down to Edmonds tomorrow to work with an interview and to go take pictures. I am excited, yet cautious because I still am a little uneasy about the events concerning our group’s work and communication.

To work through this project and provide anything of value will be incredible, but do I wish that we had significantly more time. I feel that even on a semester schedule this timeline would be pushing it. That is an important consideration to bring up when talking to the people who organize the programs, while something like this could be achievable, the shortened timeline combined with the complexity of the project makes this one of the hardest things I have ever done.

War and Human Rights: Accountability

             “One of the things that a president needs in the face of genocide is resolve.”                               -Samantha Power

Resolve is defined by Google as to “decide firmly on a course of action.” Now, most of the time a president is praised for their resolve for how they act in the face of tragedy. Some may think that LBJ’s resolve broke from the stress of Vietnam, but he possibly showed the strongest resolve of any president by refusing to run for a second term, knowing that he had failed. Bill Clinton’s inaction in foreign affairs highlights his lack of resolve.

Samantha Power was an investigative Journalist who was in Bosnia at the time of Srebenica and watched as thousands were killed due to inaction from Washington and Brussels. While Clinton’s lack of resolve was notable, the lack of resolve from the EU was even more concerning who were allowing genocide to occur on European soil after the Holocaust.

Maybe this is because of the idea of the Balkan Powder Keg or the “ethnical impurity” of the Southern Slavs. George H.W. Bush made it clear that the 1st kept him out of the collapse of the former Yugoslavia, but Bill Clinton advocated for supporting Bosnia while on the campaign trail. Yet, he stood by not taking action until well into his first term. Yet, when the Kosovar Albanians were beginning to be attacked by the Serbians in Belgrade he became a warhawk. In 1998. With no fear of re-election.

Clinton’s resolve finally showed, years too late.

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Week 6: Ready, Set, IRB

This week we are entering the real period of our research. More importantly, we will be able to do our work with IRB approval of our work, even though it has minimal risk to all involved. One of the most important aspects to this research is the narrow window of research for which we have to conduct all our work. 3 weeks may seem like a short time for many, but it can be one of the most important and stressful times in our careers. I am excited and ready to do this research, but the time allotted is not only incredibly tight, but incredibly short. 10 weeks seems like a tremendous timeline for some projects, but when it comes to transportation over an hour, a class, and a partnership thins can get messy. However, it is truly outstanding that we as students are able to make this jump into the Edmonds project and turn it into an incredible project. If only we had more time.

Nevertheless, our real in-depth research will begin in this upcoming week, including with us possibly going down on a Friday to observe and learn about what is going on. I am particularly interested in getting to speak about what we fully expect from not only our contacts, but from some of the individuals dying to talk to us about their own assessment of the area. This week has mostly served as a transitory period into the research cycle. I am ready to get some work done.

War and Human Rights: Complicit in the Face of Genocide

One of the most recent and most unknown genocides in recent memory was that of Bosnian Muslims during the collapse of the former Yugoslavia. Genocide had happened in Europe after the Holocaust which all vowed to never be repeated. The world stood by and watched while genocide was occurring a 4 hour plane ride from Berlin.

This genocide is very particular when it comes to its appearance to the outside world. These people dressed like westerners and acted like westerners wearing American Football gear and their Adidas brand shoes. Sarajevo had just hosted the Winter Olympics in 1984 and represented the appearance of a modernized Western City. However, this masked the uprising of religious and nationalist separatism between the Yugoslav Republics. Serbian nationalism was rising in the absence of Josip Tito and had reached a boiling point in the former Yugoslavia. The rich and modernized Slovenia was able to separate without much resistance by the Serbian government. However, the separation of Croatia and then Bosnia-Herzegovina led the the violent bloodbath that was the Bosnian War and Genocide. I chose the image below because it symbolizes the rise and fall of Sarajevo as the War took its toll. The bullet-ridden Olympic rings are symbolic of the broken and destroyed unity and the now broken Bosnia.

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