Tuesday, November 26, 2013


In my personal experience, writing poems has been challenging, but this poem was different. In this poem, Venetcia's emotions and experiences drove the poem and this helped make the poem stronger. This poem is composed entirely of Venetcia's word about what it is like at study hall in the Student Athlete Success Center.

Study Hall,
It's prison.
That's it. It's prison.
It's small and tiny 
and there's no space. 
Gail is intimidating.
Don't know why though. 
She sits right there in front of you,
and she's like right there at the door.
You can't use a certain door for some reason 
and I know I will end up doing that next week, 
So I'll probably get yelled at.

I am happy that I don't owe
like seventy thousand hours for no reason,
but now me dealing with this 
is kind of frustration,
and in a way kinda doesn't fit my schedule at all. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Future Directions

When I met with Dr. Cook, this is how she mapped out my final paper. I think the most interesting part of this paper will be my experiences with high school sports versus Venetcia's. During my interview with Venetcia she told me a lot about what sports were like for her so I think this is going to be the perfect spot to use a lot of quotes from Venetcia. In the end I really want to look at how study hall does not treat their athletes like adults. They believe they are helping us keep our grades up but when I interviewed Venetcia and another RIC athlete, Abby, they both brought up negative things about study hall that I will include in my final paper. 

Establishing Rapport

When I sat down to complete my first interview with Venetcia Ortiz, I felt comfortable and confident because I met her on my first day of classes at Rhode Island College. I sat down with her and when I began the interview I realized that I was a little nervous. I had nothing to be nervous about but I think I was just scared that I wouldn’t ask the right questions, and then have an interview that didn’t even support my field study. Luckily Venetcia provided me with a lot of valuable information that I can use in my final paper. Venetcia told me a lot about what sports meant to her in high school and that is really going to help me compare her experience to mine. When I asked her about study hall she answered it in the best and also the most honest way, she told me flat out that study hall is like prison. When she made this comparison she gave me a lot to work with and this helped me surround my verbal snapshot around this image.

Although we are both athletes at Rhode Island College, we have very different backgrounds and different experiences with sports at our high schools. At first I assumed that Venetcia is my age 18 but upon asking her she is 19. It’s not a huge age difference but it is interesting to see that she is a freshman who is older than most people. She went through high school being one of the oldest so that definitely has an impact about how she sees the subculture, and it is most likely different from how I see this subculture. We are both females, but we have different race. Venetcia is Puerto Rican and while growing up in Central Falls she has experienced sports in a much different way than I have. Venetcia has broken most stereotypes that surround the area of Central Falls. She succeeded through all of her classes at high school and she was accepted into the Honors Program at RIC. Venetcia joined track because of a video game and it’s amazing to see that right from the beginning, she had talented. Her freshmen year she was invited to Nationals and that is a huge honor.

Since I have known Venetcia for some time now I didn’t acknowledge out differences but they were definitely overshadowed when we began talking about our mutual hatred for study hall. At this point Venetcia already had that in common and we grew off of that. Our differences were put to the side and we were able to laugh about our experiences that we’ve had at study hall and accept each other’s differences because in the end we are truly part of the same subculture, the athletes of RIC.

At first I asked Venetcia about her experiences with sports in high school, and she did an amazing job clearly describing the experiences she had. I then continued the conversation by asking her about study hall. The first words out of her mouth were “it’s prison”. The fact that she mentions this is funny because when you are there it seems like you are in prison. Venetcia had been there once and she picked up on that right away and it’s amazing to see how observant she is. The final part of the interview was Venetcia describing what throwing is like because although I have done track I have never thrown or really seen anyone throw. This interview with Venetcia not only helped me understand her experiences with track and her experiences in high school, but she also opened my eyes to see a view of study hall that I kind have just accepted, it is like prison.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Overcoming the Big Obstacle: A Slight Topic Change

A month ago I wanted to investigate the ways in which athletic directors and trainers make athletics possible at Rhode Island College but since then I have changed my topic. I have spent all of my time at the Student Athlete Success Center and I took both sets of field notes there. The more I started thinking about my field study I always wanted to relate it back to the Student Athlete Success Center. While I started looking at my literature review I realized I started to focus it on Title IX and the amount of boys and girls I counted while I was at study hall. This is when I decided that I wanted to focus on study hall and investigate why athletes are forced to go. When I started to look deeper into study hall I noticed to sides of why athletes have to go to study hall. One is to keep the athletes on track because sports consume a lot of time. The people that are in the athletic department want to see the athletes succeed and by having us go to study hall they make sure that we are on top of all our work. The other is a view from student athletes. We feel that study hall is a place that we are forced to go to and it sometimes proves to be a waste of our time. Some people are so on top of their homework that they don’t have anything to do. For me, I believe that athletes should only have to go to study hall during their sports season because at that time it is a lot of work that has to be done but after the season is over it’s a waste of time, and it isn’t fun to have to walk back and forth in the cold when I can do my homework at home.

Now with a new topic change I have begun my interviews. I have completed one interview with Venetcia about study hall. She is a winter athlete that was never told about study hall, so when she went to go talk to Gail, the woman in charge, about study hall she told her she had to complete 30 hours. This amount is near impossible to complete so Venetcia said she wouldn’t compete in this winter. Now she is able to and I got to ask her what her first experiences at study hall were. Of course it was negative. She instantly described study hall from prison and it’s not that far off. At study hall there are so many strict rules and its extreme. I have a view from someone that is on the outside that has stepped a toe inside but I also want to interview someone who frequently goes to study hall. Still for my first interview, I would like to interview my suitemate about study hall and how she feels about it. I think it is interesting to hear what both of these girls have to say because they are both in the honors program so its crazy that they have to be watched in order to succeed. For me, my first interview was not as awkward as I thought it would be. I do feel however that towards the end I started getting interested in what Venetcia did in outdoor track rather than focus on study hall. Since Venetcia has never really been to study hall, I believe that I asked enough questions about study hall to see how she feels but when I interview my suitemate I want to keep my main focus to study hall.

I would like to do my second interview either tomorrow or this weekend so I can type up my transcript. The informed consent form is completed and I already have one signed from Venetcia. So far I think that I am doing well with dates and I am completing everything on time. For my second interview I would like to get a guys perspective about study hall and hopefully someone not from the honors program.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Mind Map

Since I have changed my topic, my mind map has altered a little but I still want to follow a lot of the same main ideas. I know that investigating the different conferences and Title IX will be a big help for this field working study because I am studying athletes so it would be cool to study the amount of females vs. males. So far from what I have seen, there are more women's teams than there are men's but every time I go to study hall there are more guys there. My big question is, could there be more women's teams but there still be more male athletes? Even though my topic has been changed I can still focus on sports as a whole and the amount of money it generates. I also think it would be cool to see how college sports leads to the major leagues and how an elite group participate in the Olympics. In a way its crazy to think that athletes at RIC are an elite group participating in sports so it's almost like the Olympics at RIC. With my focus being on study hall I think that this mind map will still work in the same way because I am starting to focus more on the athletes now, which may help me broaden my horizon. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Questioning My Fieldnotes #2

The second time I went to my field site I decided to go at night instead of going in the afternoon. I went to the Student Athlete Success Center on October 22nd at 6:50 pm.

What surprised me?

 The thing that surprised me the most was something that I noticed before, except this time something happened.  Before, I noticed that most of the people there sit in the cubicles and try to use their cell phones and this time someone got caught. When I was there these two boys were talking and the guy in charge went over to stop them from talking. After one had already left he dismissed the other one but he was standing right there. When he asked the boy what he was reading he also asked to look at the book and found his cell phone in the middle of the book. I have seen people use their cell phones, but they do it when no one is looking. This time he thought he was being sneaky, but because there were six of us it was very hard for something to not seem suspicious. This time this boy was not lucky and he is now not allowed to have his cell phone near him, it has to be up at the front desk and he has to sit at the tables in the front. Gail and the guy know that’s the reason so many cubicles are used each time so it’s like they’re giving us a first chance and then once you break that, you have to pay. The other thing I found surprising was the people at the cubicles on the right. They were not sitting next to each other. There was a cubicle between the two people on one side and a cubicle open between the two people on the other side. I’m not sure whether there were people there before that divided them, or they didn’t want to sit right next to each other so they put a cubicle in between themselves.

What intrigued me?

The easel there that had information intrigued me. Instead of giving information to all of the coaches, the information is displayed on the easel for the athletes to read. Before I left I read all of the information on it and it was about the times the athletes can go to Craig-Lee and input their classes and it had the times and dates of the community service days for the teams to complete. I found this a little weird because it asked for you to have things planned to do there so I questioned whether teams do this together or if the athletes do it on their own. Then I started to wonder how the fall athletes were supposed to plan their activities because the seasons are almost over for some teams. With these questions in mind I think these might be things I can interview Gail about to learn more about the community service that we have to do.

What disturbed me?

The only thing that disturbed me is the amount of activity that I found at study hall. When I went there it was 10 minutes before they close the doors and only one other person walked in after me. There were about 6 or 7 people and many of them left while I was taking my fieldnotes. Not a lot of things happened at study hall this time, which made think that maybe a lot of the athletes go home instead of staying which then made me think that many athletes could be commuters. Regardless if they are commuters or not it seemed like many athletes don’t want to spend time late at night at study hall.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

An Open Heart and An Open Mind: New Positions

In the beginning I focused my subculture with the athletes of Rhode Island College instead of focusing on the people in the Athletic Department.

Fixed Positions:

Now that I have focused on the people in the Athletic Department I do have biases. My age is something that is very different from the people who run the Athletic Department. I am much younger than them and I am the one that is able to play sports while I am at college right now. While some of them have played college sports, their eligibility years are over and that makes them unable to play at sport at a college now. My gender is something that I cannot change but it something that has made me see the world differently. I never had to go through hardships in life, fighting for the right to play sports as a woman, but at one time women were not allowed to play sports. Even today women playing sports is not ideal to men, but this makes me look at sports differently. In high school the Athletic Director clearly showed favorites in high school and I have brought that experience to RIC with me. I believe that the male directors here think that women’s sports are a waste and that they are a joke. When I study these people in their jobs I have this bias opinion that the Athletic Director hates women’s sports and it’s an idea that I have to release. While living in Coventry, I have been brought up without going through tough hardships. I was given the opportunity to play on many different teams and there I never really had to fight hard to make a team. As a player I never thought of how much work was put into these leagues and I always thought that their jobs were a joke, thinking that they didn’t really have to do much. I came to RIC with the same silly notion, not thinking deeper into things until I decided to choose RIC athletics. Since then I have decided to think a little deeper than just assuming their jobs were as easy as mine. While participating in sports I have been able to breeze by just by playing and I always assumed that the directors were just coaches on the teams and most were, but now that I am at RIC I can’t assume that all the directors were coaches, each person has a different story. The fact that I am white changes everything as well. White people have always been handed everything throughout the years and that provides a different experience for me. I have never actually had to really fight to be able to do something and that makes me bias. I have been able to walk through life so easily that its something I am bringing to RIC athletics with me. Not all of the directors are white though, so they have had different experiences, something I have never seen before. 

Subjective Positions:

By playing baseball at the age of six I was lucky enough to be able to play a sport and I never realized that not everyone has the same opportunity as I did. As the years went by I played for my high school and once again I never realized how lucky I was to start on my varsity tennis team my first year. My years of sports in high school shape the way I see the athletic department here. For one I believe that men’s teams are more highly regarded than women’s teams and I would love to learn more about this topic. The athletic department seemed like it was composed of two men who barely cared enough to show up to any of the sports and I came to RIC thinking once again no one cares about tennis. However since the start of this project this bias is slowly dwindling away. Many of the people I plan to interview from the athletic department take the time to go to the games to watch their players. Because of this experience so far at RIC, I have already begun to see that the biases I have brought from high school may not be true at this college.

Textual Positions:

The textual positions are much different now than they were before. As a student athlete I could relate to the other athletes but I have never been part of the athletic department. This is something new to me. Because I have never been a part of the department I don’t feel like a part and its something I have to adapt to. As I delve into my project I want to feel like one of them so that I am included in my work. In this way I will be written into my work and the subculture I am studied will be regarded in a well-respected manner.