Once we walk inside Faatimah’s apartment from the brown tarp welcome mat I am hit by a similar aroma to a Starbucks Coffee shop. It does not smell like coffee or tea, but of fall, autumn, and pumpkins. Immediately I ask if there is a candle, my assumption was confirmed. The smell of fall is the first thing I noticed when entering her apartment. It immediately provides a zen like atmosphere toying with me take deep breaths and close my eyes. The smell is strong, but yet not overbearing. After the aroma, due to the way her house was constructed the first thing you see is brown wooden floor leading to these two huge windows that act as the eyes and natural light for her apartment. In between the two windows is a bluish gray couch with two white slumped pillows on both ends. After you take a few steps inward I notice that to closer proximity to me is a small white kitchen to the right. There is a small wall divider a few feet above hip height that creates a boundary between the kitchen and what I would assume as the dining area. It has a long wooden table with six wooden chairs underneath. Sitting directly next to it is a small fireplace against their almost artistic red brick wall.
Faatimah is a thin, tall, black inviting person. The whole time she sat on the couch she was smiling, even though you could tell she was nervous. She kept looking out the window and folding and refolding her hands in her lap. She adjusts her circular, thin, black glasses on her ears and face. She held onto her phone. She leaves right before the interview starts to primp, even though she already looks put together. She wears a pink silky jacket with a back shirt underneath, dark jeans, and black low top leather shoes. Her warm nervous personality leaks out of her posture and fidgeting.
Faatimah sits on the blue couch next to the fireplace and the floor lamp. These two couches seem to be the focal point furniture of the room. They are grey blue and both have small, white, sunken pillows on the two ends. The fabric of the couch is threaded. I can tell that the couch must have had a lot of love, because there is excess fabric that seemed stretched. It has ten indents as if buttons were there or it is the design. The couches also look like they are futons as well. The couch does not look super soft, but seems comfortable. When touched it feels like a soft worn out pair of jeans. Visualizing the mentors sitting on these couches every month I can see talking, laughing, and reflecting on one’s experiences as part of the couches history.
After finishing the interview with Faatimah, it brought on a lot of emotions and ideas for how I am going to continue this project. Faatimah was so nice and welcoming especially, because the interview was in her house. I was surprisingly comfortable in the space, even though it was unfamiliar to me I think it was because she made me feel invited.
The interview itself content wise I think is great and will be impactful to the overall story I wind up telling. She gave me a lot of information about how mentoring helped her a lot into becoming the person she is today. Before Restory she had previously mentored other children in a different program unaffiliated with the Story Philly Church. She also said that having a mentor herself is beneficial while she is mentoring. That is one of the reasons that the mentors meet up together and reflect about once or twice a month. She was also able to give me insight on their mission and broke it down in terms where an outsider would be able to understand.
The execution of the interview I am concerned with, because she lives close to the a busy street and even though the windows were shut you could still hear the sounds from outside vividly. I was not able to get a microphone in time since the interview was planned with very short notice. However I did try and record her answers through my phone for backup which came out clearly. The space I interviewed in besides that was very open and had good lighting, because it was right next to the windows. She thankfully had a plain backdrop behind her without any pictures or distractions in the way.
Moving forward I am a little weary only because for broll and the other modes of media. Since the interview was conducted in a house that restricts what I can use as footage. This is also mainly because there were few objects in the space. I am undecided on whether I should get video from the Story Philly Church since that is the main support for this program, and it has a location. I could also ask where the mentors meet these children they mentor in city and just film the area as well. Along with scheduling another interview the project is progressing.
I am going to interview Faatimah, a mentor from Restory. Restory essentially is a branch from the Non Denominational Church, Story Philly. Restory is a program that this church has put together that connects inner city youth to a mentor, values formed through their mission, and the city itself. I plan on seeing how the conversation flows, but I will be asking her simple questions about her journey with this program and ones that show the impact of the program on her life.
I am a little nervous going into this interview, because it is not in a typical setting. The interview will be held in her house, because most of the mentor meetings that occur are not in a set location.She told me for most of the time the mentors meet up in her house anyway. I am a little apprehensive only because a house is such a personal and can be an emotional space, I do not want to intrude.
However, I am so excited to go on this interview, because it shows a little bit of progress in this project. Setting up a time and place to schedule an interview brought me so much happiness. I am looking forward to a great interview.
Her hair was black and long. It was black, long and interwoven. This woman had her hair done in braids. At the root where her black string net started there was a shiny clear thin substance around her temple. It gleamed when she moved her head or when the light fixture was straight overhead. The beginning of her hair did not start gradually; it was abrupt. It appeared as little knobs acted as a crown around forehead and circling around to the back of her head as well. The knob was created from tiny individual strands of hair. The top of the knobs appeared smooth as the strands of hair were tucked around to form the first plat. From the knob it went to form a smooth continuous pleated pattern. However, this pattern stopped midway on the top of her head, as another pattern was forming. She had a huge bun on the top of her head underneath the criss crossing of the hair net. The bun was made out of what appeared to be hundreds of the individual braided strands swooped diagonally. Not all the ends were coiled around each other in the same way. Some were too short and therefore could reach the end of the bn, so some were sticking out of the side of her hair net. These pieces were frayed and had tiny little hairs sticking out. These ones were not able to keep up with the consistent pattern of a three strand braid. When she turned around, facing away, I could see small sections of her brown scalp peeking out between the knobs. The black hair net on her head was raised high as if straddling a teepee in order to reach the height of the bun. The net could barely cover the back roots of her hair, due to the strands of the netting being stretched. She had three small tiny little black curls at the top part of the back of her back. These were too small to make into knobs and too short to fit in the net. They were simply making their own pattern coiling around each other.
Taking jottings in the student center was intimidating. At first I had no idea what I was doing. However translating my scribbles from jottings to field notes was an easier task. Essentially, all I had to do was was take my descriptions and one word characteristics and form coherent thoughts. It helped a lot to think back and remember what I saw and did there when I was taking notes. Visualizing what I had written before was not as daunting as writing the descriptions initially. However it was tough going from fieldnotes to distinct scenes. To me this was difficult, because it felt as if I was repeating myself from the fieldnotes. With the fieldnotes I tried to simply connect the dots between the words, but also made the descriptions fluid similar to a story. When I wrote the distinct scenes I just added more descriptions and brought forth some inner reflection of what I felt in the given space. The last assignment of describing someone’s hair was undoubtedly challenging. My goal was to find someone with the most intricate hair style and focus on that without going up close to the subject. Describing the hair in detail was not that difficult, but only describing hair was.
I sit in one of the red comfy arm chairs in the Campion lobby facing away from the Fishbowl and directed toward the plasma screen against the wall with other similar chairs. The space has no particular smell but my sense of sight is triggered as two other people from the couches stare back in my direction. They both look away as I sit down. I hear distant laughter and faint conversations from the cafeteria and the Fish Bowl, which juxtaposes the quiet space that is in the approximate vicinity of where I am. The glossy wood paneled floors form the open space to become a pathway with people coming and going from the staircase or down the hallway. There is a male lounger on one of the chairs across from me under the plasma screen. He appears to be in his twenties. He is sunken in his green chair with his low gaze facing toward his phone. His feet in flip flops perched up on the empty chair beside him. His wavy light brown hair with streaks of gold reaching his eyelids lays on his head strands going in no particular direction. I think of the perfect bed head appearance. He wears long baggy black pants, headphones, and has a grey bag resting on his upper thighs. His arms are folded in his lap with his elbows on the arm rests. His head tilted downward, eyes closed. He makes no movement and like wise no one moves toward him.
Outside of Campion by the main entrance my ears fixate on an incessant sharp ringing noise similar to a whistle with short breaths in between going in and out. Then I hear far chirpings of birds that are unapparent. In the background I hear men’s deep voices working on a nearby black trash can by the door squeaking. Outside the sun shines down with a blue sky, there are a few passers that walk on by, but all the commotion is heard from City Ave as cars engine’s run. There is an old white man sitting on a wooden bench next to mine. He has white straight hair to the back of his head. He appears to be in his sixties or older. I only can see a side view, but he seems to be staring off into the distance toward the campus chapel. He is wearing a red thick cotton checkered flannel with a grey puffy vest overtop and blue long pants, but not jeans. Set aside from him is a dark green lumpy satchel with a lot of zippers. Someone passes by and screams “Erin” I assume to the girl with recollection of her name and waves back.
By sitting in the Campion lobby before you enter the food court I get a lot of stares as I sit down from people at the couches. I hear distant laughter from the cafeteria and the Fish Bowl,which juxtaposes the quiet peace that is in the approximate vicinity of where I am. The glossy floors form the space to become a pathway with people coming and going. There is a lounger on one of the chairs across from me. He is sunken in his chair with his gaze toward his phone, his feet in flip flops perched up on the chair beside him. His wavy dirty brown hair with streaks of gold reaching his eyelids forms the perfect bed head appearance. He wears long baggy black pants, headphones, and has a bag resting on his legs. His arms are folded in his lap, his head tilted, eyes closed definition of relaxation.
Sitting outside of Campion in the main entrance I hear birds chirping and an incessant sharp ringing noise similar to a whistle with short breaths in between going in and out. In the background I hear men’s voices working on a nearby trashcan squeaking. Outside is sunny, peaceful, yet busy with people going to and from places. There is an old man sitting on a bench near me. He has white straight hair. He appears to be in his sixties or older. I only can see a side view, but he seems to be staring off into the distance toward the campus chapel. He is wearing a red checkered flannel with a grey vest overtop and blue pants, but not jeans. Set aside from him is a dark green satchel with many zippers. Someone passes by and screams “Erin” I assume to the girl with recollection of her name and waves back.