American Folklore Essay, Research Paper
Analysis of A Transcription
During the work of this project our group realized the importance of the individual players within this large production known as the Little 500. There was much to be learned from these riders of the Acacia team and how they perceived their training and performance in this esteemed competition. By interviewing one involved in the procedure much can be extracted into terms of form, function, meaning, event and context. Although it seems to be rather difficult at times to understand the importance of some of these within the transcription, there has been a straining effort in order to come to the requested conclusions below. For our research on the fraternity Acacia’s representing team in the annual intramural race we interviewed Kevin Vanes. Kevin, being put through the grueling training, spoke with us on certain instances of practice, techniques used in competition and the satisfaction coming from these experiences.
In reference to form being evident within the interview, an observer may notice that of the two people involved, one is asking questions and the other is responding. Responding to the first question about his trip with the team to San Diego for the purpose of training. He discusses the events of the week by mapping out the strenuous exercises from one day to the next. By noting the accented words within the interview and listening to the tape we notice the rider stresses the difficulty of this training “vacation.” He seems to answer every question by not only emphasizing the difficulty for shock effect but in order to impress us and gain our admiration. This helps us understands the importance of this challenge to the riders. The particular person being interviewed finds much pride in overcoming the challenges provided by his coach, his teammates and his own pressures to qualify for the race. He also paused often in describing the tough terrain of the coastal city.
“Well as far as memorable and personally gratifying it was
probably climbing that mountain?. Uh?. 12 miles of straight
climbing out of the desert??. Just up into the mountain of switchbacks?? uh just valleys?steep valleys of the edges and
uh?. It was just very mentally challenging to convince?”
This type of pausing while describing this training shows not only his attempt to emphasize the strenuous circumstances, but also a feeling that he can still envision the mountain within his head. For the riders of the Little 500, memories of training for the race and the experiences seen and done with their team will forever be engrained in their heads.
The function of describing this training, as spoken of earlier, is a chance to allow us, as listeners, to understand the full experience of being part of the Little 500 bike racing, and specifically working with the Acacia team. When describing the method used to dismount from the bike and pass to the next participant, known as the Acacia exchange, Kevin illustrates the technicalities involved in what may seem to be a simple maneuver. His function is to, first and foremost, inform the interviewer, and those reading the transcription, of what objectively goes into the training for this race as he describes their trip to San Diego. However his underlying motive is, although discreet, to demonstrate the true athletic strength and pure dedication when describing his spring break sounding a lot less enjoyable than a week in Cancun. When answering the question about the qualifying round, Kevin wants the listener to feel confident and hopes to keep his own confidence about his riding abilities and the teams. As an athlete a negative attitude about a small mistake. He wants to feel he can remedy any problem. This is not your average ultimate frisbee intramural competition.
There can be many ideas, or one solid meaning from a smaller microcosm, extrapolated from the brief and detailed answers given by the young bicyclist of the Acacia team. When he speaks of his grueling training in the mountains, one can begin to grasp how tough they have trained throughout the season.
“?it was such a long flight we just did a short 50 mile ride just to spin our legs and uh?..get our muscles back used to cycling
Kevin does not come out and say what an average training length might be like in Bloomington, but by emphasizing the briefness of a fifty mile ride with words like “just” one can assume the team goes farther than fifty miles on any random training day. When he discusses the exchange of the bicycle and refers to the other methods as “fighting over the bike” the reader really feels how tough it must seem for a rider to use such a procedure. He finds his form of artistry safer and his pride for his team’s patented exchange emanates a pride for his team and his fraternity house in general.
The context being used in much of the interviewer is exclusive to the bicyclist’s arena. When Vanes discusses his training he uses many slang words that may be confusing if one would not be familiar with riding competition. He talks about “spins,” a word he would probably not use to describe to someone he knew had no knowledge in his athletic field. Talking about a “6000 vertical change” sounds a little confusing but when understanding he is speaking of a mountain trail and distance biking, one can assume the term means rising an falling altitudes on the trail of 6000 ft. One must also look at when and to whom he is speaking. Had he been answering questions from a fellow rider he would have thrown in more slang terms and details. Had he been speaking to a teammate of his, he may have shown more disappointment in the qualifying performance or reminisced more about other events happening with the team not relating to riding. Because the Vanes knew the interviewer was interviewing for information on training of the race for a class project he may have left out his hatred he may have had toward his coach or another teammate, or a good anecdote about letting loose after a long week of practicing. That side of the team is not expressed in the answers due to the context of the interview. One thing can be certain though: A lot of thought, time, and dedication are put into this event for this team, and they are not out to lose.