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Permanent Link: Veterans Issues Research Reflection #5"
Veterans Issues Research Reflection #5<br />At first, when I found out that we needed to interview an expert, I felt like I was completely thrown a curve ball. I was at a loss as I had no idea who I wanted to interview and how I would find this person. I was very worried that I wouldn’t be able to accomplish this section of my project, but my mom saved me once again. I was talking to her about how we needed an expert on the war. She referred me to her friend whose son just recently came back from the war due to an injury. I contacted this person and he is now my expert. <br />Writing an email of inquiry is quite nerve racking. I didn’t know what to say or how to start out. I wanted to sound professional and be respectful at the same time. I wasn’t sure whether my expert would answer to a young 10th grader since they have higher priorities on their list. Fortunately, I have such great teachers who helped me through this process. I found it very helpful when we filled out the preinterview form and Mrs. Lester was able to give us suggestions and edit some of our questions. This helped me very much as I figured out how to format a question and how to effectively and respectfully ask it. Before I sent the final email off, Mrs. Lester and Ms. Hamilton were so kind as to offer their wonderful eyes to make sure that we were sending out a perfect email of inquiry to our expert. They guided me all the way through this process and I am so grateful for that.<br />My expert didn’t really give me information that was related to my topic, but he did do a great job in helping me understand how life in Afghanistan was. He explained the behavior of the Afghans and let me see the war through his eyes. He told me all of their little jokes that they made up about the Afghans and he was very helpful for me. Even though I didn’t get as much information regarding my topic, I thought that this interview was still very essential for me in order to better understand exactly what we are learning and researching this semester.<br />I learned quite a bit from finding, contacting, and interacting with an expert. I definitely saw in myself the will to never give up. I was motivated by those around me; my parents, teachers, and friends. I also saw in myself the ability to converse with someone that had a totally different perspective on life. I made sure to still try to connect with them and show them that I care about their views and their beliefs. Lastly, I was able to see that I have developed wonderfully in research. I am miles better at researching now then I was ever before. I was able to understand my expert and understand my topic through my significantly better research skills and attitude.<br />The advice that I would give to a fellow student for using an expert as an information source for research is to be persistent and now your limits. Make sure to always follow up on your expert, don’t assume that they will see your email or hear your voicemail. These people are very busy and so it is very important to always follow up or else you will end up with nothing. Also, make sure to not be too pushy. No one likes someone that is demanding and so you definitely need to know when to put on the brakes. Either than that, don’t be scared of your expert because they love hearing from you and make sure to enjoy yourself during the interview because as I have learned, interviewing and expert can be tons of fun.<br />