Jonathan Miller: [True] Stories – Instructor Feedback and Reflection

·         How did you approach your class in the context of the grant?

My 100 level RCC course included a community engagement element. Students worked with older adults who are residents of the Mayflower Retirement Community. To help them begin to develop relationships, I asked the students to conduct a focused oral history with their resident partner.

·         What things that went well and was the grant helpful to your class?

The whole experience was helpful. I would point tot he permission process in particular as an opportunity to get students thinking about the various aspects of rights and permissions in a digital context.

Rachel’s presentation to the students was excellent, the Story Corps app was easy to use (although not easy to share content from.)

·         Any “ah ha” moments for you or your class or yourself?

One section of the course concerns preservation and memory. Seeing the “melt” between actual interview, recording, upload to the StoryCorps app, and finally upload to the True Stories blog was an object lesson in the ephemeral nature of much digital content.

·         Any advice/recommendations for future participating instructors?

Work with Rachel Walton. She’s great!

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My overall interview experience was very good. It was funny because I interviewed my boss and she got nervous. It was very surprising for me to see her in that state because she is usually so calm and has control over every situation. Some barriers that occurred during the interview included loud noises, people walking in, and she was nervous. They are remodeling the hospital so it was very frustrating, also the construction workers needed to get into her office so we had to pause the interview. I think pausing the interview threw Ms. Hudson off because she lost her train of thought, which made me nervous. This interview made me realize that no one is perfect no matter how important they may seem, everyone gets nervous and it is okay for me to be too. Other than my interviewee being nervous I got really awesome answers from her. She is the internal marketing manager for Florida Hospital, Winter Park campus. I have noticed with my time with her that all she does is listen to people around her and some things that she says helps are writing everything down in her notebook. She struggles with the memory part of the sier model so writing everything down and taking good notes has helped her. She also tries to use the persons name multiple times in the conversation to show them that she is listening and she cares. I noticed that in the interview she did this technique a lot even talking with me she said it helps her concentrate on the conversation better. Even though we experienced these particular barriers, I learned how to work around them and I think it made me a better listener. I am glad I chose to do this interview even though I was nervous I feel as if it helped me with listening in every day life.

Emma Bumbar Blog Post 4

Emma Bumbar


Dr. Stone

9 November 2016

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My overall interview experience with Alessandro Garabaghi was very enjoyable. Not only did I get the pleasure of interviewing someone in the photography industry as a professional, but I was able to learn more information on what I want to do from an insider.

It was also very refreshing being able to get his perspective in photography from an extreme sports side as well, instead of the normal landscape or fashion photography.   I was able to take the information he gave me about listening within the industry among simple facts of photography. For example, I learned different aspects of how important listening is within the profession such as: listening to yourself and your own work, listening to the boss, to the client and anyone else’s opinion that plays a part. That the work you produce may not only be about you.

He was also able to give the perspectives of all of the other people involved and how listening can effect their jobs. He mentioned that the object of his photography, (mainly wakeboarders) sometimes had to put aside what they think is best for the situation and listen to what Alessandro thought was best for the shot.

As for challenges there were not many barriers or distractions. The interview took place in his house that is on Lake Howell, so it was generally pretty silent. The only barriers were when his dog barked a few times, and when his wife came home and forgot we were conducting an interview. The barriers didn’t really mess up the flow of the interview, besides maybe a few giggles here and there.

Listening overall throughout the interview was very easy to follow him. He made his answers very simple to follow as well as gave very clear cut, and concise answers. Another aspect that helped was the interview was generally pretty informal. So, the answers he gave were very personable which made the overall experience more comfortable.  I am very pleased with how the interview went and what I personally was able to take from the whole experience was much better than I has expected.

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“How important is listening in your field of work?” This was one of the first questions I had asked when I began my interview with Mike, a personal trainer. He immediately answered, “all I do is listen.” I did not find his answer surprising for many reasons. One of the reasons is because listening is a human necessity and is used in everyday life. It is applied to all professions out there. Another reason I did not find his answer surprising is because personal trainers have to pay attention and listen to what their clients are saying. Especially when they talk about the possible prior injuries they may have had that may prevent them from performing certain exercises.


However, what I did find surprising was when Mike said he uses a lot of therapeutic listening in his work. I did not quite understand what he meant by that. He went on to explain that he has to listen to what is going on in the lives of his clients. Mike said this was a way to get closer with a client. He mentioned this was kind of a business tactic and went on to say that keeping clients is much more difficult than finding clients. In order to keep his clients coming back he has to become friends with them and learn more about their personal lives. He said this was also largely due to the fact that majority of his clients are between the age of 50 and 75. His clients don’t have many people to vent out to in their lives so they vent to him. He is totally fine with it because it is part of his job and part life.


There were a few challenges/barriers when conducting the interview. One of them was the commotion going on in the background. The interview took place at the gym he works at, so there were still some people working out in the background. Another challenge was to keep the interview going longer. He was not prepared for the questions I had for him and that is the reason he was giving in depth answers to only a few of my questions. We discussed many topics other topics as well such as the supplement industry and nutrition. He went on about the common misconception about supplements and how a lot of people rely only on supplements. He said people need to listen and understand the word “supplement” because they should be used to supplement you when you are not able to put together an actual meal. Mike was surprised and also intrigued about our class when I told him about it. In his opinion, listening is the most important tool in communication. Overall I enjoyed and learned a lot from this interview.

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I would say my overall interview experience with Dr. AD was a very successful and enjoyable one. Being my first time interviewing a person, I felt it was easy to talk to my interviewee and make it more of a conversation rather than an interview. Since Dr. AD is actually my chiropractor, it was really easy to schedule an interview with her, which is always good. During the actual interview, it was laid-back and we were able to talk like any other time I see her. Even though the interview went well, there was still a couple of things that I felt were barriers. The first barrier was that there was music playing over the PA the whole time during our interview. Her office plays soothing music for the patients to enjoy and we did the interview in one of the adjustment rooms. Luckily, the music was not too loud so it was not a problem for the recording (it actually added a nice background music to my recording.) Also, I felt it difficult for myself to focus because of the people in the other room talking. There is no door between he adjustment room and where the rest of the patients sit so I had to really focus on not getting distracted. Throughout my whole interview process, the only thing that surprised me was how short my interview was. It scared me in a way because Dr. AD was answering my questions rather quickly. It made me really think on my feet. I had to think of a lot of follow-up questions. But even that was not enough. I had to think of completely new questions to ask because of how quickly she answered my other ones. Aside from that, the whole interview process was a lot of fun and I look forward to doing more in the future.

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My interview with Karl Sturge was honestly a great experience for me. For, it was just like another day in the office, but that was the first time that I ever participated in a real interview. Several days before the interview, I had a real positive attitude towards it and I believed that it was going to be easy, but as the day for the interview came, nerves started to run through my body because I was scared that it was not going to go as planned. Luckily for me, Mr. Sturge showed the utmost professionalism and made my job a piece of cake. It was such an amusing experience to be able to listen to all the information Mr. Sturge had to offer. As the interview was happening, there were some barriers that I faced. One of the barriers was that Karl had been a family friend of mine for many years, which made it challenging to separate personal friendship and business during the interview, but only for the beginning of the interview. As I said earlier, Mr. Sturge always acts with the utmost professionalism, which made it easier for me to stay focused and separate our personal life from business. Also, the room created an echo at some points depending on how loudly we spoke and my uncertainty with my placement of recording device became distractions to me. Every time I though the device was maybe to close or too far, I would move it, which caused me to wonder off while Mr. Sturge was speaking. But with the barriers, came the successes. I was very pleased with the fact that we did not have to take a break once during the entire interview or have any awkward moments. I came in to the interview expecting to maybe have to take a break here or there to gather our thoughts or to gather our focus, but fortuitously for me, we ran a smooth interview. Also, Mr. Sturge was able to give me more than enough information that I needed for this project, without having to deviate from my scripted questions. I got out every bit of information, and more, that I needed. All in all, I would say my interview was not only a success, but an eye-opening experience that I am glad I participated in.

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My interview went extremely well besides the story corp app deleted my physical interview. But before it did I was able to transcribe some of my interview. My interview went extremely well and I was able to meet the requirement of being 30 minutes. This is what I was originally worried about.  However, it went extremely well once we got into our flow.  I interviewed an elementary school teacher, Rachel, who works at Lakemont Elementary school.

When we first started our interview it was a bit awkward Rachel was not used to being interviewed so there were a lot of um’s and nervous laughs within her answers. This was from my side as well I was not used to interviewing so I had to learn what to ask and how to ask. I noticed that she would answer the minimum very short answers. So I had to ask question words like, why, how, and when. I had to push her to get her talking more and more. It was interesting because I learned so much from this one conversation. At the beginning, we were focusing on listening and Rachel said that is her whole job. She then went into details of who she has to listen to and why. For example, she has to listen to parents, co-workers, her principal, and the students. If she doesn’t listen properly to the students than they might do poorly on a test or standardized test because they could not understand the lesson.

The second part of the interview was much more of a conversation. I started asking her questions about her experiences and her advice. It almost became like a mentor session and was so helpful because she prepared me for what I will face. I loved the interview I learned a lot and how to properly interview.Overall, I wanted to interview someone with my future career so I could relate and understand the importance of listening within their field.

Dr. Miller’s RCC Class Submits Interviews to the College Archives

As the semester is winding down, class oral histories and interviews are beginning to be submitted to College Archives so that the work of our students will be preserved for the long-term and accessible to the next generation of researchers.

Check out these great interviews from Dr. Miller’s class at Rollins College!

Kennedy Butler Interview –

Taylor Boyd Interview –

Peter Haddad Interview –

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On September 22, 2016, I interviewed Scott Wilson, a physical therapist who has been working at Physiomed for sixteen years. Having the interview with Scott opened my eyes to different perspectives of a physical therapy career. I was amazed to hear from Scott that since high school he knew that he wanted to be a physical therapist and ruled out all other medical professions. Not many people can say that ever since grade school, they knew right off the bat they wanted to be in a specific profession and pursue it until finally going into that profession. I was surprised to hear how many concepts from class Scott talked about during the interview such as active listening and therapeutic listening. From his interview, I took away some key lessons that could help me in my future endeavors. I realized how important active listening is to patients when working on their treatments plans. Although many patients come see Scott on a daily basis, he mentioned how important it is to give ones full attention to what the patient is saying, and take the time to understand their points of view. He mentioned that an active listener is one who acknowledges the patient and is interactive (nonverbally and verbally) while a passive listener does the opposite. Furthermore, being able to communicate to the level of the patient is a critical point in a physical therapy profession because it allows the patient to understand what you know about their condition and how to go treatment. Scott couldn’t stress enough to me that its important to go beyond just simply treating the symptoms of the patient, but rather understand the patients “why” and be able to educate patients about their condition and how its affecting their activities of daily living. After our conversation with Scott, It inspired me to continue pursing a career in physical therapy. In the past summers, I did shadow for Scott at Physiomed so it was helpful to interview him and learn more about the profession. I was able to get on a deeper level with him and understand the responsibilities, and important characteristics of a successful physical therapist.

Although the interview was an enjoyable experience, Scott and I experienced couple barriers and challenges. The first one was that I had trouble scheduling a time to interview. With Scott’s busy schedule, it was hard to set a time and day that would work for him when he wasn’t with a client. We decided that the best time would be the weekend since he leaves middle of the day. Knowing Scott’s hectic lifestyle with work and his family, it is a challenge for him to find a couple minutes for lunch or dinner. He is always working and doesn’t have the time for himself during the week. The second barrier I found while interviewing Scott was when he was eating and talking to me simultaneously. I felt that some of the questions took him longer to respond to because I could hear him eating in the background and he was probably more focused on his food than the question. I was understanding of the circumstances and continued on with my question. This could be considered a physiological barrier since he was exhausted and he just wanted to rejuvenate himself. Although these barriers arose during the interview, it did not make Scott’s responses unimportant or less accurate. He took some time to think through some questions, but overall he responded thoroughly to them, and I learned a lot of useful information from him.

My overall interview experience was great, and I learned a lot of valuable advice on interacting with patients and what it takes to be an excellent physical therapist. I am continuing to learn about this inspiring profession everyday, and I hope to one day become as successful of a physical therapist as Scott.

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Emma Bumbar

Dr. Stone

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I interviewed professional photographer and videographer, Alessandro Garabaghi. Before I sat down to interview to Alessandro, we spent about an hour or two just talking and getting to know each other. Not only to get to know each other better, but also to become more comfortable with questioning each other without awkward pauses. Overall, I am very glad that we did that, because in the long run it made the entirety of the interview flow much better.

One of the things I noticed that was that Alessandro gave very clear, raw, and truthful answers he provided. According, to the author of “Qualitative Interviewing: The Art of Hearing Data” claims that the richness of the findings from in-depth interviews have built-in credibility checks and a systematic analysis to guide an in-depth interview.

In order to conduct an interview through openness and honesty, one has to have some sort of basis between the interviewer and the interviewee. Irene Rubin expresses the importance of having that basis relationship between the two. She claims that the emphasis on the importance of working with interviewees as conversation partners rather than than just someone you are interviewing relives most stress of the interview overall.




Lastly, Alessandro and I were able to conduct an interview that flowed well because according to Stephen Rollnick, the author of “What is Motivational Interviewing” the trick is to be direct, and ask questions in a counselling style behavior to help the interviewee to explore deeper into their thoughts while answering questions. This is exactly what my interview was like as I tried to keep my questions short but at the same time, help Alessandro to explore deeper within himself to dig up more information about his profession.


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