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Week 15

This semester has really changed my writing process. I've never spent an entire
semester on one subject prior to this course. This meant that after writing a paper and
turning it in, I couldn't just forget about it. Each paper helped me write the next one.
Before this class, the longest paper I had ever written was eight pages long, and wasn't
for an English class. Writing such a long paper required me to be more organized and
creative in my set-up of the paper. I found that utilizing headings really helped keep me
organized and on topic when writing the mini-ethnography.
I think that it would be very beneficial to this course if we were required to turn in
three drafts of papers, rather than two. Along with that, more conferences would have
been great. Conferences were nice because they allowed us to hear exactly what we
needed to work on.

Week 14
Throughout my research I've found many helpful sources to assist me in
understanding the employees at the Fossil store in Greenwood Park Mall. The academic
sources, though helpful in understanding broad trends, were probably the least helpful.
They couldn't describe anything inherently specific to my subculture. Since there wasn't a
lot of academic information about my subculture, the interviews seemed to be the most
useful to me. Who better to learn about a subculture from than the people in the
subculture? The interviewees gave me a lot of information to work with and answered my
questions thoroughly. Almost everyone in the subculture agreed to answer my interview
questions and help me with my assignment. Along with the interviews, the observations I
made were also very helpful. There's only so much the informants could tell me about the
behaviors in the store. It was easier to find what I was looking for if I watched, instead of
asked. The interviews helped me understand the subcultures attitudes and beliefs while
the observations helped me understand their behaviors.

Week 13
As I've observed my fieldsite, I've noticed that the relationships between
employees and customers flow very well. If one employee isn't ‘vibing’ well with a
customer, another employee will smoothly intervene and take over. This system usually
works very well and everything flows like a well-oiled machine. Occasionally, however,
the system derails. These moments are the most informing and entertaining. During one
of my observations an interesting woman came into the store and tested the system. She
was a blonde, attractive, teenager. Nathan, a 21-year-old married employee, was assigned
to be the greeter that day. He was also assigned to assist anyone in the front of the store.
He greeted the young woman and helped her find sizes she needed. After taking her to a
dressing room, Nathan approached Caitlin, an employee that has been working as Fossil
since it opened in Greenwood. He informed her that he felt uncomfortable with the
teenage girl and that she had been incessantly flirting with him. Caitlin agreed to take
over the sale and went to the dressing room to ask the girl if she needed any new sizes.
Caitlin continued to help the girl. The teenager than asked why Nathan had stopped
helping her. Caitlin tried to make up an excuse, saying that Nathan was on break. Nathan,
posted behind the cash wrap, was obviously not on break. This upset the customer and
she left. Customers like that teenage girl disrupt the norm in the subculture and force the
employees to think on their feet.
Week 12
Rhetoric means to use language to persuade. The things we say and the things we
write can be rhetoric. Even though the way we dress and act are ways to persuade, I don't
think they are necessarily rhetoric. I know that a lot of people consider rhetoric to include
almost everything about a person, but I like the more specific definition. If it included
everything, it would be persuasion and there would be no point to have the word rhetoric.
I've only heard the word rhetoric in English classes. It's not used in day-to-day
conversations in American society as I've seen. I haven't noticed if the word is considered
negative or positive. I feel like it's more neutral. It could go either way. Rhetoric is
definitely used in my subculture. Working retail, we are constantly using language to
persuade customers to buy our products. In my mini-ethnography I will write a lot about
this rhetoric that we're constantly using. Not only will I discuss the rhetoric used in my
subculture, but I'll also use rhetoric to persuade my readers to believe that the employees
at the Fossil store in Greenwood Park Mall are unique and different from the employees
at other similar stores. Though the main focus of my mini-ethnography will be to inform
and explain the behaviors and rituals of the people in my subculture, it will have an
underlying theme meant to persuade.
Week 11
My writing process has had to change for this class. I've never been in a situation
where all of my writings for the semester are working towards a final paper. I think
because of that, I've been forced to put a little more effort into the revising processes. The
first paper was probably the most difficult for me. That's usually how it is in any class for
me though. I wasn't sure exactly what was expected for it. None of the writings have been
particularly easy for me.
I don't really know how to answer the "why do you write?" question. I write for
class. I'm writing about my subculture because it's required. I wouldn't be writing about it
at all if it weren't required. On a broader basis I write to give voices to people no one is
listening to. I write to protest what's happening in the world and to spark change. In my
future, I think writing will play a similar role in my life that it does now. I won't be
writing for required classes, but I'll still be writing to open people's eyes to the tragedies
in today's world.

Week 10
When I first started this project I was planning on writing my mini ethnography in
chronological order. After doing most of my research, however, I've realized that that's
not going to work for me. Being that it's a longer paper, I think I would probably go off
on tangents and not the paper wouldn't be as effective as I would like if I wrote it
chronologically. I think I'm going to start my mini ethnography by concentrating on a
specific informant. After that, I want to write my paper by topic. I think that will be most
effective for me because it will make it easier for me to go into detail and to concentrate
on one section of the subculture at a time. I'll probably conclude my mini ethnography
with a specific informant much like I'll begin the paper. I want to concentrate a lot on the
insiders in the subculture because they can give the best insight into the subculture.

Week 9
The hardest part of the research process has definitely been the academic
research. Since there aren't many websites or book about Fossil, let alone Fossil in the
Greenwood Park Mall, I've really had to broaden my search. Most of the things I've come
up with in the broad searches haven't been very helpful. The easiest part of the research
has been the interviews. I feel like the employees' honest, detailed answers really helped
me discover what I want to write about in my mini ethnography. If I could start this
project over, I think I would have come up with a different subculture. My choice wasn't
very unique and I chose it completely out of convenience. I would've learned more had I
stepped out of my comfort zone and explored a subculture I wasn't completely familiar
with.
Keeping this blog has helped me with my research because it allows me to go
back and see what I was thinking at different points in my research. My opinions and
biases have changed and keeping this blog allows me to acknowledge that better and take
that into account when writing my mini ethnography.

Week 8
The main theme I've noticed throughout my research is the camaraderie felt
between the members of the subculture. All of them emphasize a strong bond amongst
each other that they had never experienced in previous jobs. This bond can be seen on the
fieldsite because employees are constantly joking with one another and helping each
other with sales. The employees refer to themselves as the "Fossil Family." My place in
my subculture has change a little over the past eight weeks. Since I only work one
weekend a month, I'm slowly becoming less involved and less "in-the-know" in my
subculture. It's almost like I'm starting to become an outsider. This has to do with the
amount of hours I'm there, and I'm sure I'll go back to being a full insider once summer
begins and I work more often.

Week 7
The main thing my subculture needs is for corporate to pay attention to the needs
of the stores. This is evident in many of the interviews that I did and in the basic research.
Certain items sell well in our region and yet corporate makes no changes based on store
location and demographic. Many interviewees described corporate's lack of caring as
their least favorite thing about the subculture. I don't really know how I could give back
to the subculture. I work there, so I can continue to work hard and put forth effort when I
work. As far as making corporate understand our needs, I don't think that is ever going to
happen. We've tried to communicate with corporate before, but it always somehow gets
lost in the web that we have to go through to talk to the higher-ups.

Week 6
"Fossil." Fossil. 2009. 18 Feb 2009.

This source is the official website for the subculture my subculture is a part of.
The main purpose of the site is to display the different products Fossil stores sell. They
also have a “style guide” that helps the viewer figure out how to put a Fossil outfit
together. At the bottom of each page there are links that take you to various things like
“customer care” and “investor relations.”
This source will be helpful in creating my mini ethnography because it’s the main
site for my subculture. It will give insight into the subculture my subculture stems off of.
Learning the different policies the corporation has will make the behaviors in the
Greenwood Park Mall Fossil more easily explainable.
"Fossil Appoints a New Retail Division President." Internet Retailer. 13 February 2009.
18 Feb 2009 .

This source is an article announcing that the Fossil Corporation appointed a new
retail division president. This was a newly invented position given to women named
Jennifer Pritchard. For the job, Pritchard reports directly to the CEO of Fossil. She is
mainly responsible for the retail concepts in all of the Fossil stores worldwide.
This article will be helpful to my mini ethnography because it shows how Fossil
has changed. The article was written in 2006. Pritchard has had an effect on every Fossil
store, including the one in the Greenwood Park Mall, since that point in time. The article
also outlines the number of each type of Fossil store worldwide. The fact that Fossil is a
relatively small chain corporation is telling.

Week 5
I have done some observations at the field-site of my subculture. I've also
researched some online. I'm having difficulty figuring out where I want to go with my
ethnography, however. I don't really know what central idea I want to focus on, or what I
really want to share about the subculture. This is making research really difficult too. It's
not like there are tons of blogs and other sites about Fossil stores, so I need to broaden
my research. I don't really know what I want to broaden it to, though. I was hoping to
already have interviewed most of the members of the subculture, but couldn't come up
with good questions. I thought that after observing the field-site, I would be clearer on
what I wanted to ask and where I wanted to take the ethnography. That wasn't the case.
Interviews are definitely going to play a major role in my ethnography, so I want to get
those done as soon as possible, but I also want them to be informative and useful. I also
need to get the interviews done and ready for the annotated bibliography, which is
coming up soon.

Week 4
So far I haven't officially observed my subculture. I'm going to do that this
weekend, so right now I can't make any specific conclusions. However, I definitely think
that geography does play a huge role in the behaviors of my subculture. The only other
Fossil retail store in Indiana is located in Castleton. That's not too far from Greenwood,
but the store is completely different. Even though the employees are mostly Caucasian,
the Castleton store is more diverse than the Greenwood store. The Castleton store is also
much larger than the Greenwood store meaning that they have more employees. Having
more employees means that the workers aren't as close to one another. I don't think that
different religions will affect the different stores. The employees at the Greenwood store
have religious beliefs ranging from Pentecostalism to Atheism. Those different beliefs
haven't really had much of an impact on the relationships or the subculture as a whole.

Week 3
Some interview questions I may use include basic facts like "How long have you
worked at Fossil?" and "How old are you?" I feel like these sort of factual questions will
help me be more objective in my research. Even though I've been to my cultural site
many times, I have yet to visit it for this specific assignment. I'm going to visit it for this
assignment next weekend. I hope that since I'll be visiting the site with a research
purpose, I'll find different things than what I've noticed before. These new observations
will also help me further construct my interview questions.
After reading different definitions of "academic" I definitely think that there's a
difference between academic research and non-academic research. Academic research
deals primarily with things learned from books or teachers. Non-academic research is
more about getting out there and learning things as they are first hand.

Week 2
Once every month I travel an hour and a half south, using up a quarter of a tank of
gas. Once reaching my destination (which looks a lot like the place I was at before) I
paint my face and attach spikes to my feet. This sort of attire is applied in preparation for
the place I spend most of my time. I go into this crazed building full of loud people and
different smells. I quickly walk down a hall of this zoo-like place until I reach a room of
comfort. I spend eight hours of my life in this room. I mostly just stand and wait,
sometimes one of the people from the hall venture into the room and give me green
sqares of paper when I give them cloth or metal to wear around their wrists. Once my
time is done in the room, I'm rewarded with some of the green squares of paper.

Week 1
When first thinking about the topic for this blog, I wanted to write about my
writing process when the final product was something worthwhile. After I thought back
on my past writing experiences I realize that I haven’t really liked anything I’ve written
or enjoyed writing anything since sixth grade. The last paper I wrote in sixth grade was
for my social studies class and was about the Northwest Passage. I completely messed up
all the facts and confused two different time periods, but my teacher still gave me an A
because it was so creative. When writing that paper I was sitting in the piano room at my
parents’ house using the piano bench as a desk like I always did. I was listening to music,
most likely Kansas or Don McLean (there was only a record player in the piano room and
those where the two records I enjoyed then). Before starting the actual essay, I did
prewriting in the form of a sort of bubbled web. I then wrote the essay and transferred the
product to a nicer paper. The only difference between the “first draft” and the “final
draft” was some simple editing. I fixed the spelling and grammar and that was it. Had I
made more massive changes, such as with organization and word choice, and actually
revised the first draft instead of just editing it, I think the final product would’ve been
even more successful.