From Round to Square (and back)

For The Emperor's Teacher, scroll down (↓) to "Topics." It's the management book that will rock the world (and break the vase, as you will see). Click or paste the following link for a recent profile of the project:

A new post appears every day at 12:05* (CDT). There's more, though. Take a look at the right-hand side of the page for over four years of material (2,000 posts and growing) from Seinfeld and country music to every single day of the Chinese lunar calendar...translated. Look here ↓ and explore a little. It will take you all the way down the page...from round to square (and back again).
*Occasionally I will leave a long post up for thirty-six hours, and post a shorter entry at noon the next day.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Fieldnotes From History (15)—Moisture

[a] Drizzle RF
Part of an occasional Round and Square series that follows the blog’s main theme (east meets west, round meets square, and past meets present), these snippets from my early fieldnotes are reproduced as they were written by hand—and then revised on an ancient desktop computer—during my first fieldwork stay in Taiwan (1985-1987).  All entries are the way that I left them when I returned to the United States in 1987—some nicely-stated and some embarrassing. Although the series began with my assumption that the entries can stand alone, I have found that separate comments and notes might help readers understand a world that is now, well, history. These are always separate from the original fieldnote.

[b] Droplets RF
I like this severely understated and almost worthless (from the perspective of "data collection") fieldnote. I thought to write more (I remember it at the time), but left it until, a few days later, I had more to say about rain, culture, and belief. I am including it here as a reminder that the substance of the note itself ("data") is not always its most important feature. This one triggered new thoughts, but they would not appear immediately. Process, not results, has to be the day-to-day goal of fieldnote writing.
Although the records show no measured rainfall on this day, I distinctly remember the brief "shower" and its contrast with the grime. After several weeks of dry sunshine, I was relieved and disconcerted by the cool, greasy moisture. The next day (5/24), it began to rain in earnest.

23 May 1985
A light rain is falling on the city, and has been for the past hour.  It is not strong enough to wash away the layers of gray grime on buildings and shopkeepers’ signs.  They are blotched by streaks of clear glass on a greasy background.
[c] Misty RF

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