What I learned the most from my profile story was to keep on top of your work and always have a place to move on to when something falls through. I waited far too long hoping to get an elementary school teacher for my project and getting no response. I figured going in person would help too, but I was denied access to seeing a single teacher, so that failed badly.
At that point I was behind on finding a new subject and close to deadline. I got very lucky being able to walk into the middle school and instantly find a teacher willing to be my subject. I also learned that you need to push your subjects to give you contact info that allows for access at all times (reasonably). There were multiple times I got delayed in my work because I was only given school/work email addresses instead of personal so I wouldn’t hear from my contacts in any manor of speed.
Speaking of email, from now on I’m asking people to very neatly write out email addresses in print because I sent off a couple thinking I was safe only to get a ‘couldn’t send, not a valid email’ response in my spam box. Not good… As long as I stay on top of my work and contacts and keep the flow in my control I should be good this time. Also, plenty of back ups and clear communication access (I wish people were more comfortable giving out phone numbers in today’s age…).
When interviewing I learned something nice that worked in my favor because I went slow to pack up and leave. I could tell my subject was kind of nervous during the interview and answered questions very quickly without delving too much. I was having a hard time getting a lot of info despite leaving lots of time to respond and not speaking. When I ran out of most of my questions after she blew through them I decided to tell her it was over and lean back relaxed. She instantly loosened up and calmed down. She started talking about herself more and just opened up about some of the subjects we had already gone through.
Apparently she didn’t notice that I hadn’t actually turned my recorder off. So I was able to get extra material by being just a bit sneaky. It helped greatly having more stuff to work with, and I got some great genuine stuff about her personal life. So I’m glad I could learn from a solid choice instead of another mistake. It really is hard though working with people that give short answers to open ended questions…