Socking it to ’em (huh?)

Socks are great. I like them, wear them, and appreciate their various attributes and purposes. This time of year I spend most of my time in expedition weight wool socks. They’re warm, soft and help me keep the utility bills down. Summer? Sol-mate “mis-matched” cotton socks. But the GREATEST socks are the lightweight wool socks my friend Elizabeth knits. Wool is a miraculous fiber that doesn’t smoosh down when you walk on it; it’s warm when it’s wet; can be spun fine to be light and abrasion-proof on a summer hike. AND they’re pretty AND my friend made them. Seriously, they are the Uber-sock.

I have a few nostalgia socks in my sock basket. Swiss socks from those great times in the 90s when I spent a lot of time in Zürich. Since they are generally not pairs, but single socks and well worn, they don’t go on my feet, but I can’t let go of them.

I have some novelty socks, too — rabbits for Easter, moose for Christmas. They’re not very durable, but they’re cute and/or funny.

You can see I don’t organize my socks. I let them do their thing. It’s interesting to observe how the summer socks rise to the top of the pile when it’s their turn. Right now, winter socks have taken the top berth in this basket, but that will change.

In less sock driven news, my interview with the wild-life biologist crane festival coordinator went well yesterday. I don’t know if I’m a good interviewer or not, but even that question brings up questions. Is a good interviewer the kind of interviewer that asks pointed questions or loaded questions that provoke or which already have a particular spin or is a good interviewer someone who inspires the interviewee to speak freely. I guess that would depend on the point of the article, other factors. I should work on the questioning aspect of interviewing, I think, but overall I like what I’m getting which is long rambling open comments about the thing in question and the person’s relationship to it. It’s a little unfair to the interviewee, though, because it takes up more of their time than pointed focused questions would.

I record the interviews and transcribe them when I get home. It’s something I learned to do in my life as a secretary. It’s good for me because I have very weak listening skills. This way it turns into a kinesthetic experience and I can go back and copy/paste. That’s when I really hear what’s been said. I also wonder how the interviewees feel in our interviews. Comfortable? Nervous? On stage? I hope the bumbling reality of their interviewer puts them at ease a little.

The woman I interviewed yesterday was worried about what my article would say. She would probably like to control that, but her goals and the goals of the magazine are not the same, though there are many points of intersection. It was — for me — a great interview and there are many potential stories in it. It was great.

After the interview I was able to get Bear alone and we headed out for a walk. It was wonderful and we met the only other people we ever meet out there walking — and now I know their names. They love Bear, and as we chatted, Bear got attention. The interview left me feeling kind of doubtful and keyed up, our talk and the gray world of the Refuge was grounding.

11 thoughts on “Socking it to ’em (huh?)

  1. I am the anti-sock person. The times I wear them here in our ‘cold’ weather, I cannot wait to get home to rip them off. I have just never been a sock kinda gal.
    Interesting about your interview experience. I watched an interview with Robert Downey Jr this week where he did not like the direction the interview was taking, so unclipped his mic and left. From what I heard about the Anderson Cooper/Prince Harry interview, all the questions had to be submitted ahead of time for review. So much for spontaneity. Do you record or are you taking notes–just curious.

    • In CA I wasn’t a sock person, either, except hiking and after I moved up to the mountains. It was a little adjustment.

      I record the interview. I want to maintain eye contact and engage the person I’m speaking with in a conversational way. If I’m writing, I’m not really paying attention to the non-verbal stuff that goes on.

  2. My opinion is that an interviewer’s job is to discover the truth. Not supposed to be a mouthpiece for the interviewee but also not supposed to engage in provocative or “gotcha!” questions. An interviewer should try to reveal but not advocate.

    A good interview with Adolf Hitler would allow Hitler to shoot himself. The interviewer ought not to bring a gun. That’s a job for an op-ed.

    As the one who reads or views the interview, it’s my job to pass judgment. I don’t appreciate people telling me how to think.

    • I mostly agree, but I think it also depends on the nature of the interview. In an article that’s meant to attract people to the crane festival there’s really no place for a discussion of water rights. That’s where I wish I had more focused questions, but I’m new at this. 😀

        • Not all journalism is polemical. Mine isn’t. There’s legit journalism that informs and might invite AND might convince someone of the importance of something they didn’t even know about — is it PR? Yes, but minimally. It’s “Wow! I didn’t know about that! That’s cool!” — A response like that is journalism, too.

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