So I had to interview my subject today for my oral history class. Which was nerve-wracking to begin with. Then I get home and have to start the transcription, as the transcript was, technically, due yesterday.
My first reaction was: is that what I sound like?
Followed soon by “oh my god, is this what it’s like to talk to me?” The number of “uh”s and “um”s and backtracks and false starts and…it’s horrifying.
And after a while I started realizing that the amount of fear in my voice is overwhelming. You can practically hear it trembling. I feel like I can hear the cold sweat breaking out on my palms every time I speak in the recording, and like my heart, pounding in terror, is going to drown out the speech.
Not, of course, that I recall my palms sweating while I was conducting the interview. Or that you can actually hear my heartbeat on the recording (though goodness knows you can hear everything else!). But the fear is not only audible: it’s practically palpable.
If anyone was ever not cut out to conduct oral history interviews, it’s me.
In an hour and a half, I’ve only managed to transcribe the first half hour of the interview, because I kept having to rewind and listen to sections over and over again because all the hemming and hawing and re-started sentences. (Not, of course, that they were all me. The interviewee also has a tendency for false starts and hemming. But nowhere near as bad as mine.)
Technically, when my laptop’s battery ran out, I should have gone into the other room, plugged it in without turning it off, and kept going. But I was feeling worn down by it. Plus the Project Diva soundtrack arrived today, and I wanted to reward myself by listening to (part) of it and unwind a little.
So…yeah, I have nothing actually interesting to say today. Sorry about that.