I’m a bit nervous going up to people. “Can you help me with my project?” Sounds scammy. “Can I ask you about us returning to the moon?” “I’m documenting people’s views about our return to the moon can I ask you a few questions?” How to start? What do you say in those first few seconds that communicates what the project is about and that people should participate?
This is one of the things I will figure out as part of this project. But on December 26, 2019, my sister Christa and I were going to Coldspring. I can’t remember if I was dropping off James or if I was picking him up. Or if I was just transporting him between Maggie’s place where Christa would also be or what. In any case, Christa and I were going from Houston/Spring to Coldspring, and she can’t go to my dad’s property. There is a long history there. So I dropped her off at the Exxon there in Coldspring, and I would pick her up later. And now that I think about it, James was with us when I dropped off Christa. And he wasn’t when I was picking up Christa. See! If you just think it through, it is possible to figure it out!
While Christa was at the Exxon she met April the attendant that was working there. And Christa suggest I interview her.
Looking back over this interview, this is originally what I had in mind. 1,840 of these types of interactions. But the project has definitely changed a lot and I have some really in depth interviews. Also, if I had stuck strictly to the plan of doing these types of interviews, it could have become exceedingly boring. And I’m not sure I would have been able to make it through the year. The variety in the interviews is definitely helping to keep me going. Some short, some long. Some with people that don’t think about the space programs and some that do. Some with random people, and some with people I already know. It is the variety that is key to keeping the project interesting to me.
April was surprised to learn that it has been 1972 since we went back to the moon. She thinks that space exploration could be good. But she does not think about it that much. She will likely just read about us returning, it will not be a moment to celebrate.
How could I improve this? Think ahead to the questions. What am I going to ask?
Can you say a little about yourself?
“Did you know we were sending people back to the moon in 2024?” – explore the answer
“What do you think about it?” — Explore the answer
“If it were safe and affordable would you go into space?” -explore the answer
that is the general pattern. Though I’d like to toss in the “Do you know the last time we went to the moon?” And “Have you heard about Space Hero?” and “What would you hope that we get out of returning to the moon?” are some regular questions that I would ask.
It is about making incremental, step by step improvements. Each interview I learn a little more, and become a little more confident.