For this assignment, my friend Taryn and I had to go around the school to eavesdrop on other peoples conversations. We went around the hallways of our school to try and pick up on some of the daily conversations that people were taking part in and came across some pretty strange topics!
1. Talk about the process of eavesdropping:
a. Where did you go?
We went in the hallways of our school because all the kids that skip class have fairly weird conversations.
b. How long did you listen to conversation?
We listened to about two minutes of each conversation (before they found us suspicious).
c. Who was it between?
Most of the conversations were between about two guys and one girl.
d. How did it feel to be recording the conversation?
We felt like undercover spies!
2. What insights did you gain about the way people speak?
We listened to two groups containing a couple boys and a girl and another group containing a couple girls. We noticed during the conversations with the boys and girls that most guys are willing to start conversation with girls ( knowing the girl will continue the conversation). They will continue talking even if they aren't interested in the topic. It was funny to see how the guys quickly lost interest but pretended to listen. The difference between the all girls conversation was that sentences were more cut off and it was more fast paced.
3. How can you apply this to your writing?
What we noticed is very typical to conversations between girls and guys. The conversation is slower and the girl is the main focus. Conversation between a group of girls is faster and harder to keep track of the topic because the topic is always changing. ( I now understand why guys tune us out!)
4. How is personality and character revealed through conversation/dialogue?
We noticed that your personality can be portrayed through the choice of wording you use and how intense your tone is. For example, these two girls were talking about their love for music and you could tell the one girl was a little more tough than the other girl. She was swearing while describing how much she loved music and how she HAAAD to pick up some new beats to have a deeper experience with her music. The other girl was a little more gentle with her words and seemed happier. This reflects their characters as people with only a few words.
5. What happens when more than two people participate in a conversation?
When more than two people participate in conversation, we noticed sentences aren't always finished. The more people there are, the more other people begin to interrupt or add in on conversation. We also noticed that the more people in conversation, the more the topic can change because new ideas are being brought up. Between two or more girls the conversation is harder to follow, but when there is a guy and a girl the guy usually ends up listening.
6. What was the most surprising thing you've learned about the way people converse?
I suppose one thing that really surprised us was that people (high school students specifically) can have long conversations about the most random, general topics. Ones we heard today were music and socks. We know that sometimes we're like this as well when we converse with people, but that just goes to show that as teenagers, we don’t always have a whole lot of interesting topics to talk about on a daily basis. Especially since we talk to the same people everyday. Conversations begin to resort into talking about random things such as socks. (Believe us... they talked for a good 10 minutes about their socks!)
7. What are the differences and similarities between written and spoken conversations?
In our opinion, the biggest difference between written and spoken conversations are that most written conversations are not only more planned out, but have more of a purpose. I know that lots of the things we say do not always have a purpose and sometimes it’s just about the experience of interacting with another person. Usually in a story or wherever else you’ll find written conversation, the author will omit conversations that do not further develop the character or plot of the story. However in spoken conversations in life, one cannot simply omit a useless conversation. Also in a spoken conversation there is more of a visual aspect because you can see the person actually talking and read their body language.
8. General comments about the experience?
This assignment was actually pretty interesting because we were told to go walk around the school and eavesdrop on our peers to then later write about their conversations. It was a little difficult to get the full conversation at times because we didn't want to seem too obvious that we were listening in on them. Surprisingly no one noticed how intently we were listening in on their conversations... Maybe that was because we were just so sneaky! Taryn and I pretended to be opening our lockers near the people or another key trick was to walk in front of the people because then they had no idea we were following them!