I love my research participants! In a good way, not an icky way.

I am having a great day today. For the last two weeks I have been transcribing the interviews of my participants and I must confess to absolutely loving the funny, interesting, curious people they are. I am loving listening to them speak, reliving the interview, as it were, while typing as fast as I can, and enjoying the interplay of interviewer, interviewee, the laughter. I laugh with the recording as I enjoy the interview for the second time. I am loving the intelligence of my participants, their diverse views on life, and their forthright opinions about their work. It’s such a pleasure, such fun. I have to be careful that I don’t enjoy the interviews so much that I lose researcher objectivity (doesn’t exist, anyway), or at least, ensuring I stand one step back from the process, trying not to get involved with their experiences to the extent that they mirror my own. If I do allow this to happen, my study may be less rich for it. These people are kindred spirits, in a way, and I am so grateful to them for sharing their stories with me, and for being part of this research study. They are so generous!

Mind you, I’m feeling a little bit blurty and excitable today as I can feel my study taking shape, in small incremental steps. This is a big turning point for me, where I can see what I want to achieve by the end, even if I’m not quite sure what is yet to come out of my data.