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.