For this assignment, I decided I would interview my grandmother. This is how the interview went down.
I started the interview by thanking her for being able to make time out of her schedule to do this interview, and started with the questions.
“What is your name? Your birthday? Any other details about yourself you would be willing to share?” I asked. She replied very quickly “My name is Caroline Derrick Stroup Funderburk. I was born in Baptist hospital, Columbia South Carolina, 1926.” I followed her response quickly by asking where she grew up, and any siblings she had as a child. With a response as quick as the first, she answered, “I grew up in Lancaster, South Carolina. I had one older brother, named Ben Stroup. He was a good man.” Wishing to get a little more information about her past, I asked about her career and college choice. Caroline responded by saying she knew she wanted to be a nurse as a senior in high school. She attended Winthrop University and John Hopkins as well after her four years. Finally, I asked her where she met her future husband. Caroline knew immediately by stating, “Baltimore, I was a student at John Hopkins. He was a dental student at the University of Maryland. We met from friends of his in Lancaster who knew me. Love at first sight.”
After getting a good majority of her past, I decided it was time to inquire about her views on media, and her first ever news story she remembers. “The first news story I remember? Hmm. Oh Pearl harbor of course! I lived through Pearl Harbor. It was on a Sunday. We had gone on an afternoon Sunday school church mission when the news came over that the Japanese had bombed us. I was probably a senior in high school. Before that, I remember news about England being bombed nightly and leaders Winston Churchill and Woodrow Wilson secretly meeting on ships.” she stated. I asked her, if she could elaborate on the media’s effect following Pearl Harbor. Her response was, “Yeah America went full tilt to war effort. The men were gone and all that was left was women and Rosie the Riveter. Propaganda was everywhere. Magazines and newspapers covered it. There would be advertisements telling us to ration our sugar and tea. One memory I can see clearly is sugarless pound cake and unsweetened tea. It was rough times but, no one ever complained. We all supported the war effort and did what we were told.”
When asked about what the media was like growing up as well as if she is still adapting to the new technology used now, Caroline answered “We had mostly radio. We didn’t get TV till much. Later. Maybe the 1950s when I had my first child. Not until after college I know. We wrote a lot of letters as well. It was the main way to communicate. Now everything is text messages. As for whether or not I’m stopped adapting, I try to adapt. I am not successful at it but I try. Cell phones, computers, kitchen tools. All of it.” After a short laugh she explained what influences her decisions to buy new technology by saying, “If you don’t get the new technology you can’t communicate. I don’t want to be behind. Money though is what’s bad. All this new stuff is expensive. My generation is not used to having to pay expense for convenience. For instance your iPod thing. You probably paid $100 for that. We would have never done that. The thing I love about it though is the correction ability. Type writers were impossible to fix. Now it’s easy to fix on the computer. Searching for information is easy! It would take hours to find something on index cards at the library. You probably do not know what those even are. Now I Google everything! I think it’s exciting. And convenient. I think it makes people want to live in too big of hurry, like the microwave, you want it to hurry. Living really too fast. We should be more patient. My computer is slow; I want it to speed up. But not everybody my age is willing to learn this stuff.”
After agreeing, I asked her whether or not she thought “Today’s media is better or worse since her generation?” Her response was short, “Better. Much better. But I think they are too prejudiced. I think you get too many opinions but, it is detailed. Instead of seeing an event all you see is people’s opinions of events. You have to hunt for a channel that will give you the facts rather than a story featuring a reporter’s opinion. Just way to opinionated. But it is more complete. When I grew up, if something happened over in Europe you would find out three days later. Now a days you know immediately just by clicking anything. Or even a newspaper. Global instantaneous knowledge. That is the biggest difference. I think media is massively different in the last 50 years.