I left the higher educational realm for over two decades. This was not the original plan, but life happened and here I am back to finish up what I started. I sit here trying to form a rapport with this young man (Darius) who is just a few years older than my son. It is a bit awkward to begin this peer interview, but I decide to treat this interview as if I was meeting one of my son’s friends. I think about the questions I would ask his friends upon meeting them for the first time and go from there. I decided that I should ask basic questions to begin and then move into the more in-depth questions as we progress with the interview.
As I get through the first few awkward questions, I am able to gather bits and pieces of information on Darius. He is quick to answer any question asked and expands on his answers if prompted. For example, I asked Darius if he will continue his education beyond a bachelor’s degree and he answered no. He does not believe that a degree beyond this is needed in his chosen field of study. He is a very opinionated individual and talked a lot the during the interview. This dynamic worked for me because it gave me the opportunity to learn more about Darius.
One of the questions I asked Darius was, what are his hobbies? He tells me that he likes music, video games and to read. I am an avid reader myself and am always excited to meet others that enjoy reading. This led to other questions. Do you have a favorite author or genre? Do you like novels, manga or graphic novels? I learnt that Darius likes to read Autobiographies. To be more specific, he likes to read what is considered “neutral” autobiographies as he feels that writers can be bias depending on their point of view. He also likes to read books written by Russian classical writers. I was able to encourage Darius to be specific on a few questions. Reading and what he specifically liked and music. Darius likes music and spends money on equipment that will enhance his listening enjoyment. Unfortunately, I was not able to learn more because I was only able to interview Darius once.
Conducting this interview was interesting for me. Coming into this class I was not expecting to have to interview anyone. I was content on just coming to class, learning and writing papers. While I found it interesting, I also found it a bit difficult. Difficult in the sense that I had to make sure I was not projecting a “mom” mentality. This was not my son nor his friends. I was not responsible for his behavior or actions. So, I had to reign myself back to peer not mom.
What surprised me about this interview process was that I found a person who was interested in some of the things I am interested in. Reading and music. While the genre is different in both interests, I was able to relate to the love of reading and music.
Darius’s perception of how the media is accountable for people’s reaction to events is unique. Unique in the sense that there isn’t a lot of young people who would stop to think about what is reported by the media. People tend to take reports at face value instead of stopping and thinking for themselves. They do not ask questions about what is reported nor do some even care to look outside of their own bubbles. This makes him different and he can draw upon this to make a difference in his world and what matters to him.