Over the course of the early phases of the Adulthood Project, I have experimented with different styles of team work, ranging from project development to field work. It has been a learning process for me to go from the typically solo work of ethnography to the team-based approach. One thing I didn’t fully grasp was that in a project involving students, training is more or less ongoing as experienced students graduate and new students join the project. While this slows things down a little, I have discovered how much fun it is to watch new teams come together and gel during each field season.
This field season has been no exception. This summer’s team has completely different interests than last year’s team, and their enthusiasm is contagious! It has also been exciting to see a team member from last year step into a new leadership position; she’s running a tight ship in the lab!
Much of our work this year is focused on data coding and cataloguing what we’ve already collected to date. As we work through questions like how to define regions of the U.S. (this took more time than we probably should admit), I’m realizing new ways I can approach teaching this kind of work in my courses. Our debates are fruitful, and I’m pleased to see my team increasingly take ownership of our work. The real fun, though, begins next week, when the project resumes collecting long form interviews with this new team. I can’t wait to have them discover the joy of fieldwork, my favorite part of doing anthropology!