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Oral History Project Reflection: Emily DesChane

Through this project, I learned about the personal side of immigration. I learned how the immigrants felt about moving to a foreign country. This is interesting to me because I had the privilege to hear my interviewee, Mrs. Lautenbach, tell her story in person. I heard her tone, I heard her attitude and I saw her emotions. Listening to what happened in history from someone who was there is so much more educational and moving than reading about the same subject. I could easily picture the things Mrs. Lautenbach was telling me. It was like I was there with her, experiencing what she experienced. Before interview day, I was worried my group and I wouldn’t have enough note paper. So, I printed out extra question sheets with more space for answers plus I brought a blank notebook. By the middle of the interview, I realized I over prepared myself and my group. Honestly I felt relief because I knew we were ready for note taking. Most kids worry about taking notes but my group was ready. If I were to give advice to the next interviewers, I would say, “Expect the unexpected and over prepare you and your group because you never know what could happen. Your success in this project depends on how well you prepare yourself.” In my history class we have been looking at primary source documents about immigration. In comparison, the documents were less subjective than the interview because there was less personality in the readings. They sounded more factual and objective than the interviews. Listening to Mrs. Lautenbach gave more personality and depth to the whole project. This increased my learning and understanding of immigration to America. This project has changed my perspective on U.S. history in that I appreciate my country more. Because I realized that America is a very welcoming country compared to others. Other countries don’t allow as much freedom to new people the way America does. We give foreigners the same rights...
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