Fieldnotes 3

Posted: May 4, 2011 in Uncategorized


First proper Evolve (Thursday Night) service I’ve attended.

Still couldn’t for the life of me find the correct door.

The speaker is a middle aged woman, discussing the concept of forgiveness. References taken primarily from the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John).

Several members of the BCM, including Casey (one of my interviewees) come up to say hi.

Introduced to Scott, a fellow engineering major, who says he’s willing to be interviewed if I decide I want another interview.

The crowd gathered is a rather diverse one, and it’s pretty obvious that there are more than a few subgroups within the BCM.  The size of the crowd is more in keeping with hat I had originally expected, and matches up with the assurances I was given at my last visit that what I’d seen before was a slow night. The room is fairly packed. I’d hazard a guess of around 30-40, though I have been known to have absolutely horrible guestimation skills.

After the official meeting I’m invited to go over to Arby’s with a few people.


The primary thing I took away from this meeting was the overwhelming friendliness of the members of the BCM. I don’t think there was a single person in that room who wouldn’t have been willing to talk to me if I’d approached them. The size of the group is also a bit shocking. Perhaps it’s just a bit of good old American cynicism, but I’m unaccustomed to seeing a dramatic difference between ” a slow night” and a normal one.

The message presented was interesting and gratifying, if unhelpful insofar as this project is concerned. It does raise interesting questions about the nature of Christianity in a college environment that I hope to further investigate on my own.


DW Box 25

Posted: May 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

BCM Jargon:

Evolve: The Thursday night worship meeting

BCM: An abbreviation for Baptist Campus Ministry, used to refer both to the group and the building.

Unfortuately, the BCM has a surprising lack of specialized lingo or jargon that I could observe. The few that I did notice were listed  here, however in general it seems that the BCM was largely similar to the remainder of the ECU population, with the minor exception that they happen to be practitioners of a particular Religion. I expect that this may be, at least in part, due to the fact that the BCM is socially a very diverse group, therefore any sort of localized slang would have to be adopted by extraordinarily different individuals, making the entire endeavor more than a bit impractical. Perhaps time will see more specialized vocabulary developing, however at the moment it is scarce to the point of nonexistence/irrelevance.

Box 20

Posted: May 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

1. IN my first meeting with both of my informants I was struck by how incredibly similar we were. Minor differences aside, we had similar experiences with the notion that IW as investigating, and had similar opinions as to why and how it had originated and was propagated.

2. The differences between my informants and I are minimal, at best, at least insofar as they are relevant to conducting this interview. Both I and my informants are (relatively) well off, able to attend a respected university, and are not struggling for some sort of position in society. While one of my informants was female, and another was slightly older than I, creating something of a difference, it was not such that I felt it impeded our ability to communicate.

3. In effect, I have always felt that the best way to overcome any sort of minor difference between two individuals is to recognize that it exists, but to otherwise ignore it until it becomes obstructive or otherwise problematic insofar as accomplishing ones goal is concerned. In this way the minor differences present between myself and my informants were able to be completely disregarded in the course of this interview, while still obtaining valuable information.

4. Over time, I felt that the rapport between myself and my informants grew, as tends to happen in a calm, polite, mutual exchange of ideas, such that by the end of my interviews I felt comfortable saying I “knew” my informants, rather than that I had simply interviewed them.

Uploaded here:

Interview Q’s

Posted: May 4, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

Experiences with religious diversity:
Are you familiar with the notion that college will inevitably convert you to either atheism or agnoscticism?

Have you seen this notion in action/Is there any practical truth to it, in your opinion?

Do you believe that an individual’s commitment to a system of religious belief enhances the college experience?

Have you seen a major difference between your academic experience and those of your non-religious friends?

Have your religious beliefs interfered with your ability to succeed in classes?

Ethnography Reflection

Posted: May 3, 2011 in Uncategorized

A) My writing process for the Ethnography mostly consisted of sitting down in enormous bursts and writing, often without reservation or without proofreading any of the mess that was being hastily thrown out into the world. Only once I felt like I’d gotten down every idea that I had did I go back and begin to edit to create an actual draft, rather than a random smattering of words. The only discovery writing that was really all that helpful to me was the Artifact one, which ended up being the foundation for a good deal of the content and analysis in my paper, so I think it has definitely proven its worth.

B) I think that the thing I like best about the final product of this ethnography would have to be the monumental artifact analysis, simply because it tied so many other ideas and necessary aspects in to itself, to say nothing of the way it seemed to just…appear in my paper, without a whole lot of conscious effort on my part. It was definitely odd to type that much without having any idea where I was going, especially when I had a cohesive product at the end, but that was certainly a most welcome surprise.

C) I think the biggest thing that I’ve learned about the difference in communicating different types of sources would have to be that it is extraordinarily difficult, at least for me, to use both types of source effectively. It seems like with the two products I’ve produced this semester both rely heavily upon one type while touching on the other, and even that touch was brought about with great difficulty and finagling of the product.