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The assignment is to interview, and be interviewed by, a classmate, and to reflect on the experience. I interviewed Dustin Dippin, who asks really astute questions in class. I wanted to meet him and to know him, so I jumped on the opportunity to interact with him at this level. I will not write his personal details here, except to say that at age 26 he is highly advanced for an American male, and I am pleased that he is here at NCNM. His experience validates my own.

I interviewed him first, and I feel good being the interviewer. My goal in the interview was to let each question come out of my true curiousities about him and what he just said. A few times I felt that I rushed the new question in when he might or might not have been done saying what he wanted to say about the last question, and in that sense I led the conversation. Only a couple of times did I have to go back to the standard set of interview questions in order to get our conversation started again. At the end of the interview I felt I needed just a little more info on his personal history, in which to frame his current thoughts, and he willingly answered those short questions. I was the one minding the time and I had a good sense of when 20 minutes was up.

When Dustin was interviewing me I was considerably more anxious. I sat there watching him and waiting to hear what he asked. He asked probing questions, deep ones that led deeper. I felt good as long as I was answering a question, and nervous when waiting for the next question. Sometimes I would begin to answer a question and in the process forget what the question was, and be unsure if I had answered it or not.

We both made the attempt during our interviews to remain present with the other and to refrain from sharing too many personal details about ourselves when the focus was on the other. To a great extent this was successful, though I believe we each did share one or two small details about ourselves while interviewing the other. Self disclosure while interviewing can serve to support the other person and perhaps make them more comfortable, at least this was the intention.

Both interviews felt too short. Twenty minutes is long enough to open several cans of worms, but not long enough to go fishing with the worms. So we had to conclude our interviews with the worms still wandering around.

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