Military Personnel Project - November 27, 2012

Rough Editing - Completed!

Sherry Qiu

We have recently finished the rough editing of the interviews. During the rough editing process, we isolate the most interesting stories from each interview and cut out the rest of the material, leaving short silences in between each story. Later, we put these stories together and form the radio documentary. We each ended up with somewhere around 20 to 30 stories from our assigned interviews.


Military Personnel Project - February 15, 2012

Team Member Simone Gewirth Bio

Hi, my name is Simone and I am a freshman at University High school. This is my second year working with the oral history projects. Last year I conducted interviews on the Counterculture project and this year is my first as an intern working on the Military personnel project. Some of my hobbies are swimming, reading, and backpacking.
I think I was drawn to the oral history project because of all the unique things you learn, just from listening to someone tell their life story. Each person has had different experiences and has unique views and opinions to share. One thing I really enjoy about this project is that you can get insight onto a topic that you might never hear about first hand again in your lifetime! Having to think about the way in which all this information can be shared with the public and compiled into a documentary is great because it forces you to stretch your mind -- to ask questions, which is always something everyone should do more of!


Military Personnel Project - February 15, 2012

Team Member Janet Morford Bio

Janet Morford is the faculty sponsor for this and other Uni High oral history projects.  As part of her teaching assignment in social studies at Uni, she gets to spend several months each year working on a new project with her current crop of subfreshmen (7th/8th graders). She also has the pleasure of working year-round with two or more teams of high school interns, who are responsible for turning the younger students' interviews on a topic into a radio documentary.

As the "Military Personnel" project has taken shape, Janet has been fascinated to discover the many ways in which the armed forces -- as institutions -- have inspired, mirrored or lagged behind broader shifts in American society.  Such parallels are evident in the processes of racial desegregation (in and outside of the military), the opening of greater opportunities for women (in and outside of the military), the recognition of the civil rights of people who are openly gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender/queer (in and outside of the military), just to mention a few.

As a civilian who has had little personal exposure to the realities of military service, Janet has been grateful to hear so many different stories of the sacrifices and service rendered by men and women across the generations since the 1940s.  She is thankful to the countless Americans who have served our country in many different ways, and in particular, to the sixteen individuals who not only served or made other sacrifices on behalf of the nation, but also agreed to share their stories with us for this project.


Military Personnel Project - February 15, 2012

Team Member Ema Ondrejckova Bio

Hello, my name is Ema Ondrejckova and I am currently a Freshman at University Laboratory High School. This is my first year working as a WILL intern, however I helped conduct and transcribe interviews for the Counterculture project last year as a subfreshman. When i'm out of school, I enjoy playing soccer, sewing, reading, and playing the piano. I was born in the Czech Republic and speak both Czech and Slovak. I have always been interested in history and learning about different cultures and languages. This is the reason why I chose to continue on with the WILL projects as a Freshman.

As a first year intern, I helped track down potential interviewees by "pre-interviewing" people from our community for the Military Personnel project. This is my favorite part of the entire project because I get to hear stories that might have never been told before and get to know someone on a deep and personal level. I love listening to other people's stories and opinions. I can always read textbooks with the general information, but nothing compares to actually feeling and getting to know the person who experienced the history. I never thought that sitting for 2 hours listening to someone talking could really be something that I enjoy. I also help "train" the subfreshmen in the actual jobs during the interview, mostly scribe training. Another of my favorite things about the WILL project is transcribing the interviews. I get to sit down and just listen to someones story more than once and write it down so that in the future other people can read it. I am looking forward to being an intern next year and getting to experience more history in the C-U community. WILL has been a great experience for me and I hope to continue on during my high school years.


Military Personnel Project - February 15, 2012

Team Member Anna Kanfer Bio

My name is Anna Kanfer, a sophomore at University Laboratory High School. In 8th grade, I was first introduced to Oral History through the Disability Barriers radio documentary, and haven’t left the project since. In my 3 years with the intern team, I’ve worked with the Disability Barriers, Counterculture, and Military Personnel groups to get student crews ready for their recorded interviews. Throughout this time, I have especially enjoyed working with people in the community to hear stories of their memories and experiences, and relating them to the flow of historical chapters from our commonality of Champaign-Urbana to the wider country and world. While the projects most definitely take a lot of work and time outside of school, I have enjoyed thoroughly being able to actively learn about so much of a variety of areas we have reached. Even though I’ve only worked with three topics in this program, the stories we hear and the research we do covers so much more. I play both basketball and soccer with Uni High, and have always enjoyed traveling and spending time with friends and family in my free time. I am so excited to be a part of yet another Oral History Documentary, and look forward to being a part of many more.


Military Personnel Project - February 14, 2012

Subfreshmen Training

Recently, I have been working with fellow interns in small sessions of subbie interviewer and team captain pairs to get them ready for their interviews. We just finished these sessions last week, and I think it went pretty successfully! The subbie pairs all really seemed excited and invested in each other, their interviews, and mostly, their interviewees. Each has their own unique personality and stories, and the subbie teams, having researched so much of these, were definitely prepared to dive into their interviews!

Our intern group worked with them on the general form of the interview--we talked about it in a chronological order, starting with the initial introductions and small talk and ending with the wrap-up and thank-yous. We also went over some troubleshooting guidelines. Problems are bound to happen in any interview, but the best way to handle it is always staying natural! Finally, every session closed with questions from the subbies. They didn't seem half as nervous as I was before my interview, that's for sure.

The interviews are finished now, and I know virtually none went perfectly--but of course that's the best way to have them!

~Anna, Sophomore


Military Personnel Project - February 14, 2012

Subbie Interviews Finished!

We've just finished a big step in our production process: all the subbie interviews are finished!  I think they've gone quite well so far.  Last Thursday, I was at the studio between two interviews to help get the subbies on the second interview team ready, introduce the interviewee, and make sure things ran smoothly.  I was really impressed with how prepared the subbies were.  They seemed a little nervous, naturally, but when it came to making her (ther interviewee) feel welcome, they certainly did a good job.  I talked to the interviewee afterwards, and she said she was very moved.  She hadn't realized how much of an impact the military had had on her family until she encountered some of the questions that the subbies asked.

We have one more interview coming up which should prove to be very interesting: a sixteenth interview performed by the interns and producers.  I'm definitely excited!


Military Personnel Project - February 14, 2012

Subfreshmen Training

Anna Kanfer

Recently, I have been working with fellow interns in small sessions of subbie interviewer and team captain pairs to get them ready for their interviews. We just finished these sessions last week, and I think it went pretty successfully! The subbie pairs all really seemed excited and invested in each other, their interviews, and mostly, their interviewees. Each has their own unique personality and stories, and the subbie teams, having researched so much of these, were definitely prepared to dive into their interviews!


Military Personnel Project - February 14, 2012

Subbie Interviews Finished!

Bissy Michael

We’ve just finished a big step in our production process: all the subbie interviews are finished!  I think they’ve gone quite well so far.  Last Thursday, I was at the studio between two interviews to help get the subbies on the second interview team ready, introduce the interviewee, and make sure things ran smoothly.  I was really impressed with how prepared the subbies were.  They seemed a little nervous, naturally, but when it came to making her (ther interviewee) feel welcome, they certainly did a good job.  I talked to the interviewee afterwards, and she said she was very moved.  She hadn’t realized how much of an impact the military had had on her family until she encountered some of the questions that the subbies asked.

We have one more interview coming up which should prove to be very interesting: a sixteenth interview performed by the interns and producers.  I’m definitely excited!


Military Personnel Project - February 12, 2012

Moving Along

Leif H

Finally, all of the interviews are done!
A few weeks ago, our team finished pre-interviewing all of the potential interviewees.  After that, the other producers and I, along with Ms. Morford, created the final list of people who would be interviewed for the Military Personnel Project.  These interviews were conducted over the past 3 weeks.  It was really exciting to watch the number of people interviewed increase and know that the events that we had worked towards were in motion!  I hope that all of the interviews went well and produced good material!  Now that all 15 interviews have been completed and the transcripts are being worked on, it feels like we have made real progress on this documentary.


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